Sacred Texts  Christianity  Calvin  Index  Previous  Next 

Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 4: Harmony of the Law, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

Deuteronomy 16

Deuteronomy 16:22

22. Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.

22. Non eriges tibi statuam: quod odio habet Jehova Deus tuus.


22. Neither shalt thou set thee up. Hence also it more clearly appears what is the meaning and tendency of the Second Commandment. God elsewhere commands,  100 (as we have seen,) that statues  101 should be erected on the borders of the land, on which the sum of the Law should be inscribed. At first sight this prohibition seems to be contradictory; and indeed it would be so, unless you understand “statue” to be a false image of God, in which men set Him before them in bodily form; and, therefore, it is added, that He hates such statues. But I have preferred translating  102 the relative in the neuter gender, that the sentence might be fuller; i.e., that the erecting of statues is an abomination to the Lord; because in this way His glory is dishonored, when He is transfigured into a body, or when anything corporeal is mixed with His spiritual nature.



Deuteronomy 27:2-3. See vol. 1, p. 369.


A.V, image. Margin, statue, or pillar.


C makes the relative refer, not to the image set up, but to the act of setting it up. So also V. and Dathe, though the relative is plural with them.

Next: Exodus 23:24