4:15 Be very careful, 1 then, because you saw no form at the time the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the middle of the fire. 4:16 I say this 2 so you will not corrupt yourselves by making an image in the form of any kind of figure. This includes the likeness of a human male or female, 4:17 any kind of land animal, any bird that flies in the sky, 4:18 anything that crawls 3 on the ground, or any fish in the deep waters of the earth. 4 4:19 When you look up 5 to the sky 6 and see the sun, moon, and stars – the whole heavenly creation 7 – you must not be seduced to worship and serve them, 8 for the Lord your God has assigned 9 them to all the people 10 of the world. 11
4:23 Be on guard so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he has made with you, and that you do not make an image of any kind, just as he 12 has forbidden 13 you. 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God. 14
4:25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, 15 if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind 16 and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 17
1 tn Heb “give great care to your souls.”
2 tn The words “I say this” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 16 is subordinated to “Be careful” in v. 15, but this makes for an unduly long sentence in English.
3 tn Heb “creeping thing.”
4 tn Heb “under the earth.”
6 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
7 tn Heb “all the host of heaven.”
8 tn In the Hebrew text the verbal sequence in v. 19 is “lest you look up…and see…and be seduced…and worship them…and serve them.” However, the first two actions are not prohibited in and of themselves. The prohibition pertains to the final three actions. The first two verbs describe actions that are logically subordinate to the following actions and can be treated as temporal or circumstantial: “lest, looking up…and seeing…, you are seduced.” See Joüon 2:635 §168.h.
9 tn Or “allotted.”
10 tn Or “nations.”
11 tn Heb “under all the heaven.”
sn The OT views the heavenly host as God’s council, which surrounds his royal throne ready to do his bidding (see 1 Kgs 22:19). God has given this group, sometimes called the “sons of God” (cf. Job 1:6; 38:7; Ps 89:6), jurisdiction over the nations. See Deut 32:8 (LXX). Some also see this assembly as the addressee in Ps 82. While God delegated his council to rule over the nations, he established a theocratic government over Israel and ruled directly over his chosen people via the Mosaic covenant. See v. 20, as well as Deut 32:9.
13 tn Heb “commanded.”
14 tn The juxtaposition of the Hebrew terms אֵשׁ (’esh, “fire”) and קַנָּא (qanna’, “jealous”) is interesting in light of Deut 6:15 where the
15 tn Heb “have grown old in the land,” i.e., been there for a long time.
16 tn Heb “a form of anything.” Cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, TEV “an idol.”
17 tn The infinitive construct is understood here as indicating the result, not the intention, of their actions.