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Exhortation to Obedience

26 “‘You must not make for yourselves idols,[a] so you must not set up for yourselves a carved image or a pillar, and you must not place a sculpted stone in your land to bow down before[b] it, for I am the Lord your God. You must keep my Sabbaths and reverence[c] my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

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  1. Leviticus 26:1 sn For the literature regarding the difficult etymology and meaning of the term for “idols” (אֱלִילִם, ʾelilim), see the literature cited in the note on Lev 19:4. It appears to be a diminutive play on words with אֵל (ʾel, “god, God”) and, perhaps at the same time, recalls a common Semitic word for “worthless, weak, powerless, nothingness.” Snaith suggests a rendering of “worthless godlings.”
  2. Leviticus 26:1 tn Heb “on.” The “sculpted stone” appears to be some sort of stone with images carved into (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 181, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 449).
  3. Leviticus 26:2 tn Heb “and my sanctuary you shall fear.” Cf. NCV “respect”; CEV “honor.”