20:4 carved image. The term means something hewn from wood or stone. The prohibited image may be that of the Lord, since other deities have been excluded by v. 2, though the qualifying words “any likeness of anything” suggest that pagan idols are in view. Israel was to be distinguished from the nations by her imageless worship. Images are forbidden, not because there could be none, since God made mankind in His own image (Gen. 1:26, 27), but because God must reveal Himself, not be subject to human imagination. In His own time, God did provide His own image—Jesus Christ is the true image of the Godhead in bodily form (Col. 1:15; 2:19). See “Syncretism and Idolatry” at Hos. 2:13.