1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources
Deuteronomy 17:3 and the Bedrock of Existence
Throughout the Scriptures, God warns us against idolatry. The fact that Scripture repeats these warnings again and again leaves us with no doubt that idolatry is the most grievous sin towards God imaginable.
What is idolatry? How do the Scriptures define this sin?
In Deuteronomy 17:3, the worship of idols is described as “that which I have not commanded”. The same concept appears in Exodus 32:8, Deuteronomy 4:23 and Deuteronomy 13:6.
The concept is simple. God commanded us to worship Him and Him alone. Any worship that God did not command us, is by definition, idolatry.
Most of the commandments of the Torah were relayed to the people of Israel through the medium of Moses (Deuteronomy 4:14). The commandment against idolatry is different. When it comes to this critical commandment, God did not rely on the agency of Moses to impart this law…
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