EJ&T: Other gods
Every Jot and Tittle: All the commandments in the Bible

Introduction

  1. Commandments about the Commandments
  2. Commandments about God
  3. Other Gods and Beliefs
  4. Holy Things and Holy Days
  5. Priests, Levites, Nazarites, and Prophets
  6. Business, Law, and Government
  7. Slavery, War, and Genocide
  8. Crime and Punishment
  9. Sex, Homosexuality, and Circumcision
  10. Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Human Life
  11. Women
  12. Animals, Agriculture, and the Environment
  13. Animal Sacrifice
  14. Health, Diet, Alcohol, Clothing, and Personal Hygiene
  15. Jesus's Commandments
  16. Just for Christians
  17. Good Rules
  18. Fortune Cookie Commandments

Maimonides's List
-248 Positive Mitzvot
-365 Negative Mitvot

List of all the commandments in the order of their occurrence in the Bible



Every Jot and Tittle: All the Commandments in the Bible



Chapter 3: Other Gods and Beliefs

In the last chapter, we saw that the biblical god is a jealous god who wants all the attention. So what does he think about the other gods?

Well, the short answer is that he doesn't like them very much. He commands us not to serve them, bow down to them, sacrifice to them, make images of them (or anything else), or even to mention their names. If we do any of these things, it makes him crazy.

And yet there are people who believe in other gods. What should we do with them?

God's answer to that is clear: don't follow them, make treaties with them, or let them live in your land. Rather, you should conquer them and destroy their religious property; kill them, all of them, including their children and animals. Then burn their cities and never rebuild them.

What about heathens, unbelievers, and people who hate the Lord?

Well, there are certain thing that you should not do. Don't love them, help them, seek their well-being, or pray for them. Shun them instead. If that doesn't work, break them with a rod and smash them to pieces. And watch out for the evil heart of unbelief.

What about witches, and wizards, and people with familiar spirits?

First of all don't use enchantment or observe times. And don't go a whoring after people who do. Don't allow any of these people to live in your community. If they try to do so (as we'll see later in the chapter on crime and punishment) kill them.

How about abominations and cursed things?

Don't touch them or bring them into your house. Rather, you should detest, abhor, and destroy them.


Gods, idols, and graven images
What to do with people who believe in other gods
Heathens and Unbelievers
Witchcraft and Magic
Abominations and Cursed Things

(Numbered P and N links are to the positive and negative commandments on Maimonides's list.)

Gods, idols, and graven images

  1. Have no other gods before Yahweh.
  2. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

    Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Deuteronomy 5:7

    Maimonides N1: Don't believe in other gods besides Him - Ex 20:3

  3. Don't make any graven images.
  4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Exodus 20:4a

    Ye shall make you no ... graven image. Leviticus 26:1

    Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image. Deuteronomy 4:23

    Thou shalt not make thee any graven imaage. Deuteronomy 5:8a

    Cursed be the man that maketh any graven ... image. Deuteronomy 27:15

    Maimonides N2: Don't make images for the purpose of worship - Ex 20:4
    Punishment: Whipping

  5. Don't make an artistic representation of anything.
  6. Thou shalt not make ... any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Exodus 20:4b

    Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make ... the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth. Deuteronomy 4:16-18

    Thou shalt not make ... any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth. Deuteronomy 5:8b

    An abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman. Deuteronomy 27:15

  7. Don't bow down to other gods.
  8. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them. Exodus 20:5a, Deuteronomy 5:9

    Thou shalt not bow down to their gods. Exodus 23:24

    Neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it. Leviticus 26:1

    Maimonides
    N5: Don't bow down to an idol - Ex 20:5
    N6: Don't worship idols - Ex 20:5
    Punishment: Stoning

  9. Don't serve other gods.
  10. Thou shalt not ... serve them [other gods]. Exodus 20:5b, Deuteronomy 5:9

    Thou shalt not ... serve them. Deuteronomy 28:14

  11. Don't make gods of silver or gold.
  12. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. Exodus 20:23
    Maimonides N4: Don't make figures of human beings - Ex 20:23
    Exodus 20:23 forbids making gods of silver or gold, not making images of human beings.
    Punishment: Whipping

  13. Don't revile the gods.
  14. Thou shalt not revile the gods. Exodus 22:28
    Maimonides N315: Don't curse a judge - Ex 22:28
    Maimonides quotes Ex:22:28 as, "Thou shalt not curse Elohim [gods]," which says nothing about cursing judges.
    Punishment: Whipping

  15. Don't mention the names of other gods.
  16. Make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. Exodus 23:13

    Neither make mention of the name of their gods. Joshua 23:7

    Maimonides N14: Don't swear by an idol - Ex 23:13
    Ex 23:13 says nothing about swearing to idols; it says not to mention the names of other gods.
    Punishment: Whipping

  17. Don't make treaties with other gods.
  18. Thou shalt make no covenant ... with their gods. Exodus 23:32

  19. Don't make any molten gods.
  20. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. Exodus 34:17

    Nor make to yourselves molten gods. Leviticus 19:4

    Maimonides N3: Don't make an idol for others to worship - Lev 19:4
    Punishment: Double whippping (Once for making an idol, another for having others worship it.)

  21. Don't turn to idols.
  22. Turn ye not unto idols. Leviticus 19:4
    Maimonides N10: Don't study idolatrous practices - Lev 19:4
    Punishment: Whipping

  23. Don't make idols.
  24. Ye shall make you no idols. Leviticus 26:1a

  25. Don't rear up a standing image.
  26. Neither rear you up a standing image. Leviticus 26:1b

  27. Don't set up an image of a stone.
  28. Neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land. Leviticus 26:1c
    Maimonides N12: Don't make figured stones on which to prostrate ourselves - Lev 26:1
    Punishment: Whipping

  29. Don't go after other gods.
  30. Ye shall not go after other gods. Deuteronomy 6:14

    Thou shalt not ... go after other gods. Deuteronomy 28:14

  31. Don't desire the silver and gold on the graven images of other gods.
  32. The graven images of their gods ... thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 7:25
    Maimonides N22: Don't benefit from ornaments which have adorned an idol - Dt 7:25
    Punishment: Whipping

  33. Don't set up an image that God hates.
  34. Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth. Deuteronomy 16:22
    Maimonides N11: Don't erect a pillar which people will assemble to honor - Dt 16:22
    Punishment: Whipping

  35. Don't make a molten image.
  36. Cursed be the man that maketh any ... molten image. Deuteronomy 27:15

  37. Don't eat the fat or drink the wine of offerings made to other gods.
  38. And he [God] shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. Deuteronomy 32:37-38
    Maimonides N194: Don't drink yayin nesach (libation wine for idol worship)
    Punishment: Whipping

  39. Don't serve Baalim
  40. The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim. Judges 2:11

    And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim. Judges 3:7

  41. Don't sacrifice or burn incense in high places, on hills, or under green trees.
  42. He [Ahaz] sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him. 2 Chronicles 28:4-5

    In every several city of Judah he [Ahaz] made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers. 2 Chronicles 28:25

  43. Don't build high places.
  44. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down. 2 Chronicles 33:1-3

  45. Don't rear up altars for Baalim.
  46. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... reared up altars for Baalim. 2 Chronicles 33:1-3

  47. Don't make groves.
  48. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... made groves. 2 Chronicles 33:1-3

  49. Don't worship the host of heaven.
  50. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... worshipped all the host of heaven. 2 Chronicles 33:1-3

  51. Don't serve the host of heaven.
  52. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... served them [all the host of heaven]. 2 Chronicles 33:1-3

  53. Don't build altars for the host of heaven in the house of the Lord.
  54. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 33:1-5

  55. Don't set a carved image in the house of God.
  56. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God. 2 Chronicles 33:1-7

  57. Don't walk after other gods.
  58. Neither walk after other gods. Jeremiah 7:6

  59. Don't lift up your eyes to Israel's idols.
  60. If a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, and ... neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. Ezekiel 18:5-6

  61. Don't defile yourself with Egyptian idols.
  62. Defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt. Ezekiel 20:7

  63. Don't be idolaters.
  64. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 1 Corinthians 10:7

    Flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14

  65. Don't blaspheme.
  66. Put off all these ... blasphemy.... Colossians 3:8

  67. Keep away from idols.
  68. Keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:32

    What to do with people who believe in other gods

  69. Don't serve or follow people who believe in other gods.
  70. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works. Exodus 23:24a

  71. Conquer people who believe in other gods and destroy their religious property.
  72. But thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. Exodus 23:24b

    Ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves. Exodus 34:13

    Ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein ... But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them. Numbers 33:52-56

    Thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. Deuteronomy 7:5

    The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire ... for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 7:25

    Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Deuteronomy 12:2-3

    Maimonides P185: Destroy all idol ­worship - Ex 34:13; Dt 7:5, 12:2

  73. Don't make treaties with people who believe in other gods.
  74. (Don't make any treaties with their gods either.)
    Thou shalt make no covenant with them. Exodus 23:32

    Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee. Exodus 34:12

  75. Don't let people who believe in other gods live in your land.
  76. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee. Exodus 23:33
    Maimonides N51: Don't suffer idolaters to dwell in our land - Ex 23:33

  77. If you hear about a city in which some of the inhabitants are encouraging others to believe in other gods, find out if it is true.
  78. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently. Deuteronomy 13:12-14a
    Maimonides P179: Inquire into the testimony of witnesses - Dt 13:15

  79. If you find that it is true, kill all the people in the city, along with the animals.
  80. And, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. Deuteronomy 13:14b-15
    Maimonides
    N15: Don't summon people to idolatry - Dt 13:14
    N16: Don't seek to persuade an Israelite to worship idols - Dt 13:12
    Punishment: Stoning

  81. Then burn the city along with the spoil, and never rebuild it again.
  82. And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. Deuteronomy 13:16
    Maimonides
    P186: The law of the apostate city - Dt 13:17
    N23: Don't rebuild an apostate city - Dt 13:17
    Punishment: Whipping

  83. Take away the groves out of the land.
  84. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee [Jehoshaphat], in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land. 2 Chronicles 19:3

    Heathens and Unbelievers

  85. Don't do after the doings of the Egyptians and Canaanites.
  86. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Leviticus 18:3
    Maimonides N30: Don't adopt the habits and customs of unbelievers - Lev 18:3
    Punishment: Whipping

  87. Don't be afraid of heathens.
  88. (God is mighty and terrible and will send hornets to destroy them.)
    The LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. Deuteronomy 7:20-21

    Be not afraid of them [heathens]; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Jeremiah 10:5

    Maimonides N58: Don't fear heretics in time of war - Dt 7:21

  89. Don't help the ungodly.
  90. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly? ... Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. 2 Chronicles 19:2a

  91. Don't love those that hate the Lord.
  92. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou ... love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. 2 Chronicles 19:2b

    See: Love your enemies

  93. Don't seek the peace and wealth of filthy, abominable people.
  94. The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. Now therefore [do not] seek their peace or their wealth for ever. Ezra 9:11-12

  95. Break heathen with a rod of iron and smash them into little pieces.
  96. Thou shalt break them [the heathen] with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Pslams 2:9

  97. Don't pray for certain people.
  98. Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Jeremiah 7:16

    Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. Jeremiah 11:14

    Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. Jeremiah 14:11

  99. Don't learn the way of the heathen.
  100. Learn not the way of the heathen. Jeremiah 10:2

  101. Shun unbelievers.
  102. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 2 John 1:9-10

  103. Watch out for the evil heart of unbelief.
  104. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Hebrews 3:12

    Witchcraft and Magic

  105. Don't use enchantment.
  106. Neither shall ye use enchantment. Leviticus 19:26a

    Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... used enchantments. 2 Chronicles 22:1-6

  107. Don't observe times.
  108. Neither shall ye ... observe times. Leviticus 19:26b

    Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... observed times. 2 Chronicles 33:1-6

  109. Don't go a whoring after people with familiar spirits.
  110. Regard not them that have familiar spirits ... to be defiled by them. Leviticus 19:31a

    And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits ... to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Leviticus 20:6

    Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit. 1 Chronicles 10:13

    Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... dealt with a familiar spirit. 2 Chronicles 33:1-6

    Maimonides N8: Don't practice sorcery of the ob - Lev 19:31
    Punishment: Stoning

  111. Don't seek after wizards.
  112. Neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them. Leviticus 19:31b

    And the soul that turneth after ... wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Leviticus 20:6

    Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... dealt with ... wizards. 2 Chronicles 33:1-6

    Maimonides N9: Don't practice sorcery of the yidde'oni (sorcerer) - Lev 19:31
    Punishment: Stoning

  113. Don't allow anyone who uses divination to live in your community.
  114. There shall not be found among you any one ... that useth divination. Deuteronomy 18:10a
    Maimonides
    N31: Don't practice divination - Dt 18:10
    N32: Don't regulate one's conduct by the stars - Dt 18:10, Lev 19:26
    Punishment: Whipping

  115. Don't allow anyone who observes times to live in your community.
  116. There shall not be found among you ... an observer of times. Deuteronomy 18:10b

  117. Don't allow any enchanters to live in your community.
  118. There shall not be found among you ... an enchanter. Deuteronomy 18:10c
    Maimonides N34: Don't practice sorcery - Dt 18:10
    Punishment: Stoning

  119. Don't allow any witches to live in your community.
  120. There shall not be found among you ... a witch. Deuteronomy 18:10d
    Maimonides N33: Don't practice the art of the soothsayer - Dt 18:10, Lev 19:26
    Punishment: Whipping

  121. Don't allow any charmers to live in your community.
  122. There shall not be found among you ... a charmer. Deuteronomy 18:10-11a
    Maimonides N35: Don't practice the art of the charmer - Dt 18:10
    Punishment: Whipping

  123. Don't don't allow any consulters with familiar spirits to live in your community.
  124. There shall not be found among you ... a consulter with familiar spirits. Deuteronomy 18:10-11b

  125. Don't allow any wizards to live in your community.
  126. There shall not be found among you ... a wizard. Deuteronomy 18:10-11c
    Maimonides N37: Don't consult a sorcerer who uses the yido'a (familiar spirit) - Dt 18:10
    Punishment: Stoning for sorcerers who use the yido’a, whipping for those who consult them.

  127. Don't allow any necromancers to live in your community.
  128. There shall not be found among you ... a necromancer. Deuteronomy 18:10-11d
    Maimonides
    N36: Don't consult a necromancer who uses the ob (ghost) - Dt 18:10-11
    N38: Don't seek information from the dead - Dt 18:10-11
    Punishment: Whipping

  129. Don't use witchcraft.
  130. Manasseh ... did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. ... For he ... used witchcraft. 2 Chronicles 33:1-6

    Abominations and Cursed Things

  131. Don't bring an abomination into your house.
  132. (Lest you become a cursed thing like it.)
    Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it. Deuteronomy 7:26a
    Maimonides N25: Don't increase wealth from anything connected with idolatry - Dt 7:26
    Punishment: Whipping

  133. Detest and abhor an abomination.
  134. (For it is a cursed thing.)
    But thou shalt utterly detest it [an abomination], and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. Deuteronomy 7:26b

  135. Don't cleave to the cursed thing.
  136. And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee. Deuteronomy 13:17
    Maimonides N24: Don't derive benefit from property of an apostate city - Dt 13:17
    Punishment: Whipping

  137. Stay away from the cursed thing.
  138. (Lest you become accrused.)
    Keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed. Joshua 6:18

  139. Destroy the accursed thing.
  140. Destroy the accursed from among you. Joshua 7:12

See Also:

Commandments about God
Worship the god whose name is "Jealous".

Crime and Punishment
Kill anyone who sacrifices to another god.
Kill witches
Stone to death wizards and people with familiar spirits.


Chapter 4: Holy Things and Holy Days