Do not bow down on smooth stone

The Literal Commandment

You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

 

The literal commandment is that we should not place a figured stone in our land to bow down to it.

The Hebrew of this verse can alternately be translated and understood to mean that we should not prostrate ourselves on a figured/carved/worked stone.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

Messiah declares "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

We are commanded not to bow down to (or on) a smoothed stone because these were often used in the worship of false gods. The worship of false gods and even the manner in which they are worshipped is fruitless and only serves to turn us towards falsehood and away from the G-d who is the Truth.

If anyone would worship the One, True G-d in a manner that is used in the worship of false g-ds d then they are denying the truth of G-d's Word and Who He declares Himself to be and what He desires from us.

These commandments prohibiting idolatry picture Messiah by pointing to idols and telling us He is not like them.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not bowing down on (or to) a smoothed stone.

 

Traditional Observance

Traditional observance of this commandment is a literal fulfillment: do not bow down on a smoothed stone (or bow down to a figured stone). This usually involves setting down a stone on top of the ground or on top of the floor within a building for the purpose of bowing down on it. This commandment is not intended to prohibit a person from worshiping in a building with a stone floor.

The central issue of this commandment is a prohibition of being involved in forms of false worship.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should not bow down on a smoothed stone (or bow down to a figured stone) as an intentional part of our worship of the One, True G-d.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 51
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Leviticus 26:1
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 26
  • Verse 1
  • English You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.
  • Hebrew א לֹא-תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם אֱלִילִם, וּפֶסֶל וּמַצֵּבָה לֹא-תָקִימוּ לָכֶם, וְאֶבֶן מַשְׂכִּית לֹא תִתְּנוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם, לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת עָלֶיהָ: כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, אֱלֹהֵיכֶם.
  • Greek 1 Οὐ ποιήσετε ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς χειροποίητα οὐδὲ γλυπτὰ οὐδὲ στήλην ἀναστήσετε ὑμῖν οὐδὲ λίθον σκοπὸν θήσετε ἐν τῇ γῇ ὑμῶν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ· ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν.
  • Parashah 32- B''har
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 349
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against prostrating ourselves on a figured stone
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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