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Exodus 20:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “You shall have no other gods before Me.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Thou shalt not have other gods, besides me.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'Thou hast no other Gods before Me.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Thou shalt haue no other Gods before me.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Thou shalt have no other gods beside me.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Thou shalt have no other elohim before me.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Thou shalt have x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
no x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
other 312
{0312} Prime
אַחֵר
'acher
{akh-air'}
From H0309; properly hinder; generally next, other, etc.
lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
before x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
x6440
(6440) Complement
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
me. y6440
[6440] Standard
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Exodus 20:3

_ _ Thou shalt have no other gods before me — in My presence, beside, or except Me.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Exodus 20:1-11.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Exodus 20:3

The first commandment is concerning the object of our worship, Jehovah, and him only, Thou shalt have no other gods before me — The Egyptians, and other neighbouring nations, had many gods, creatures of their own fancy. This law was pre — fixed because of that transgression; and Jehovah being the God of Israel, they must entirely cleave to him, and no other, either of their own invention, or borrowed from their neighbours. The sin against this commandment, which we are most in danger of, is giving that glory to any creature which is due to God only. Pride makes a God of ourselves, covetousness makes a God of money, sensuality makes a God of the belly. Whatever is loved, feared, delighted in, or depended on, more than God, that we make a god of. This prohibition includes a precept which is the foundation of the whole law, that we take the Lord for our God, accept him for ours, adore him with humble reverence, and set our affections entirely upon him. There is a reason intimated in the last words before me. It intimates, That we cannot have any other god but he will know it. That it is a sin that dares him to his face, which he cannot, will not, overlook. The second commandment is concerning the ordinances of worship, or the way in which God will be worshipped, which it is fit himself should appoint. Here is, [1.] The prohibition; we are forbidden to worship even the true God by images, Exodus 20:4-5. First, The Jews (at least after the captivity) thought themselves forbidden by this to make any image or picture whatsoever. It is certain it forbids making any image of God, for to whom can we liken him? Isaiah 40:18, Isaiah 40:25. It also forbids us to make images of God in our fancies, as if he were a man as we are. Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination. Secondly, They must not bow down to them — Shew any sign of honour to them, much less serve them by sacrifice, or any other act of religious worship. When they paid their devotion to the true God, they must not have any image before them for the directing, exciting, or assisting their devotion. Though the worship was designed to terminate in God, it would not please him if it came to him through an image. The best and most ancient lawgivers among the Heathen forbad the setting up of images in their temples. It was forbidden in Rome by Numa a Pagan prince, yet commanded in Rome by the Pope, a Christian bishop. The use of images in the church of Rome, at this day, is so plainly contrary to the letter of this command, that in all their catechisms, which they put into the hand of the people, they leave out this commandment, joining the reason of it to the first, and so the third commandment they call the second, the fourth the third, &c. only to make up the number ten, they divide the tenth into two. For I the Lord Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God, especially in things of this nature. It intimates the care he has of his own institutions, his displeasure against idolaters, and that he resents every thing in his worship that looks like, or leads to, idolatry: visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation — Severely punishing. Nor is it an unrighteous thing with God if the parents died in their iniquity, and the children tread in their steps, when God comes, by his judgments, to reckon with them, to bring into the account the idolatries their fathers were guilty of. Keeping mercy for thousands of persons, thousands of generations, of them that love me and keep my commandments — This intimates, that the second commandment, though in the letter of it is only a prohibition of false worship, yet includes a precept of worshipping God in all those ordinances which he hath instituted. As the first commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, so this the outward worship of prayer and praise, and solemn attendance on his word. This mercy shall extend to thousands, much further than the wrath threatened to those that hate him, for that reaches but to the third or fourth generation.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods (b) before me.

(b) To whose eyes all things are open.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Exodus 15:11 Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?
Deuteronomy 5:7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deuteronomy 6:14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which [are] round about you;
Joshua 24:18-24 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: [therefore] will we also serve the LORD; for he [is] our God. ... And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
2 Kings 17:29-35 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put [them] in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. ... With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalms 73:25 Whom have I in heaven [but thee]? and [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire beside thee.
Psalms 81:9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:
Isaiah 43:10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isaiah 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared [it]? ye [are] even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, [there is] no God; I know not [any].
Isaiah 45:21-22 Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is] none beside me. ... Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.
Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like me,
Jeremiah 25:6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.
Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending [them], saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Philippians 3:19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
1 John 5:20-21 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. ... Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Revelation 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ex 15:11. Dt 5:7; 6:5, 14. Jsh 24:18. 2K 17:29. Ps 29:2; 73:25; 81:9. Is 26:4; 43:10; 44:8; 45:21; 46:9. Jr 25:6; 35:15. Mt 4:10. 1Co 8:4, 6. Ep 5:5. Php 3:19. Col 2:18. 1Jn 5:20. Rv 19:10; 22:9.

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