Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Exodus 20- Commandment #2: Don't Worship Idols



4 Don't make any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Commandment 2: Don’t make idols.

Most people throughout history have wanted some kind of physical image to look at when they pray; something that they can picture. God is forbidding this practice.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."

Colossians 3:5 "Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."

1 John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."

Psalm 16:4 "The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips."

Leviticus 19:4 "Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God."

Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Psalm 135:15-18 "The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them!"
 

Deuteronomy 12:32-13:18 "Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. ...

1 Corinthians 10:14 "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry."
 

Isaiah 45:20 "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save."

Galatians 4:8 "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods."

Revelation 9:20 "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,

Exodus 23:13 "Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips."
Don't even speak the name of other gods.

1 Corinthians 10:7 "Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

Romans 1:23 "And exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man (ourselves?) and birds and animals and creeping things."

1 Corinthians 6:9 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,"

Acts 17:29 "Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man."

Deuteronomy 27:15 "Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’"

1 Corinthians 10:20-22 "No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"

Habakkuk 2:19 "Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it."

Acts 15:29 "That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”"


The authors of the New Testament made sure the new converts understood that this Law was still in effect.

(The Jews call these "The Ten Statements" and count the the opening, "The Lord they God is one Lord" as the first, the next two, "Thou shalt have no other god before Me" and "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..." as one commandment/statement.)

5 Thou shall not bow down to them, nor serve them. For I the I AM thy God am a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers on the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.

God does not punish children for their parent’s sin. Other places in the Bible make this plain. But the consequences of sin will often last for up to four generations. This is a rule created by God.

Idol worship simply isn’t allowed; not even of “lesser gods” that aren’t held to be as important as the real God. And, yes, this means the common practice of using statues and icons in prayer that some denominations have is very much forbidden by God.

6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.

The consequences of serving God also last up to four generations. I am still reaping the benefits of my God-fearing great-grandparents, in fact.

It is interesting that in my nutrition class in college the teacher told us that a mother’s nutrition before she ever even got pregnant would affect her grandchildren! How healthy a woman is when she gets pregnant determines how healthy her child will be, if that child will have the basic building blocks she needs to in turn produce a healthy child. I find it interesting that science is reaffirming God’s statement here that what we choose now will affect up to four generations later, and how much more affect spiritual things will have than merely physical!