The Nature of Israel’s God
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 4:20 You, however, the Lord has selected and brought from Egypt, that iron-smelting furnace, 12 to be his special people 13 as you are today. 4:21 But the Lord became angry with me because of you and vowed that I would never cross the Jordan nor enter the good land that he 14 is about to give you. 15 4:22 So I must die here in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. But you are going over and will possess that 16 good land. 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 17 has forbidden 18 you. 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God. 19
Threat and Blessing following Covenant Disobedience
4:25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, 20 if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind 21 and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 22 4:26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you 23 today that you will surely and swiftly be removed 24 from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be 25 annihilated. 4:27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you 26 among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 4:28 There you will worship gods made by human hands – wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell.