Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or 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. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6
So this one is bit longer than the first one. It also contains some rather interesting lines.
This one, like number 1, was very literal, but was not necessarily a commandment against any form of art. Almost all art at the time was religious in nature, so it was a warning make idols and then worship them and serve them. In many ways it is a rather similar command to the first one. God seemed to want to make sure people were paying attention to him and not a statue.
As an aside this particular command resulted in the destruction of quite a bit of catholic art work during the protestant reformation. Many protestant groups decided that all the art the Catholic church had commissioned counted as graven images.
Wow, where to begin. If commandment #1 made god sound like a bit of a narcissist, then he openly admits in in this commandment when he points out that he is “a jealous God.” He then follows it by a threat to punish the children of anyone who dares not love him. It is one of the many places in the bible where god sounds like an abusive prick. Oh of course he loves you if you do what he says…but its a rather conditional love, rather like the love of a husband who gives his wife a black eye when she burns his dinner.
Once again, I see nothing the U.S. constitution which would mirror this command. In fact I noticed a rather strange while reading this. People like Roy Moore, or Rep. Patrick Williams (D-Shreveport) consistently try to push for large displays of the the 10 commandments to be placed in public places, in an action that, ironically, seems to go against this very command. Am I the only one that finds it odd that these people demand the right to put up a large stone plaque of rules they think everyone should obey, which specifically tells them not to build monuments?