[b-hebrew] Exodus 20:4-5 on idols

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 12:48:56 EST 2013


The “missing” waw is found elsewhere, most commonly in lists of names such
as in the early chapters of 1 Chronicles. As such, it’s found within as
well as between verses.

Context is the clue as to how we should read these verses.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM, Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net> wrote:

> Exodus 3-5 are one commandment broken into three stanzas.  My interest is
> with 20:4 and 20:5.
20:4  לֹֽא תַֽעֲשֶׂה־לְךָ פֶסֶל וְכָל־תְּמוּנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם
> מִמַּעַל וַֽאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתַָּחַת וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָֽרֶץ
> Should there be conjunction understood between 4 and:
> 20:5  לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחְוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם כִּי אָֽנֹכִי יְהוָה
> אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵל קַנָּא פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבֹת עַל־בָּנִים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁים
> וְעַל־רִבֵּעִים לְשֹׂנְאָֽי׃ ........
> so the reading/intent would be :
> 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything
> that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the
> water under the earth....AND...
> 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God
> am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the
> third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,
> The intention of this single thought divided in three stanzas makes more
> sense that “you shall not make any idols AND/OR for the purpose of bowing
> down to them, etc., not necessarily prohibiting the sculpture of lions and
> wombats as long as you weren’t worshipping lions and wombats.
> Are there any other consecutive verses where a waw may be absent but
> understood?
> Jack
> Jack Kilmon
> Houston, TX
> «ἐξ ἱστορίας ἐὰν ἄρῃς τὴν ἀλήθειαν, τὸ καταλειπόμενον αὐτῆς ἀνωφελὲς
> γίνεται διήγημα»
> "if you take truth from history what is left is but an idle tale"
> Polybius [XII.12.3]
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