Do not entice an individual to idol worship

The Literal Commandment

If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom you have not known), then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. (Deuteronomy 13:12-15)

 

The literal commandment is that we should not seduce or entice others to go and serve other gods.

 

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)

 

He also provided this dire warning for anyone who would cause a child to stumble in their faith in Him:

And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks!" (Matthew 18:5-6)

 

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)

When we are commanded not to entice others into idol worship it is because such a pursuit is fruitless and only serves to turn us towards falsehood and away from the G-d who is the Truth.

Idols are nothing. Scripture describes idols in this way:

Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good." (Jeremiah 10:2-5)

 

If anyone would turn to idolatry (or turn others to idolatry) then they are denying the truth of G-d's Word and Who He declares Himself to be.

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 enticing an individual to idol worship.

 

Traditional Observance

Tradition considers an invitation to attend any activity (wedding, church service, funeral) that is centered on any god other than the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be an attempt to entice an individual to idolatry.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should not entice an individual into idol worship.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 36
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Deuteronomy 13:12-15
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 13
  • Verse 12
  • English If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that
  • Hebrew יג כִּי-תִשְׁמַע בְּאַחַת עָרֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ לָשֶׁבֶת שָׁם--לֵאמֹר.
  • Greek (13:13) Ἐὰν δὲ ἀκούσῃς ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεών σου, ὧν κύριος ὁ θεός σου δίδωσίν σοι κατοικεῖν σε ἐκεῖ, λεγόντων
  • Parashah 47- Re'eh
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 462
  • Sef. Hach. Command Not to entice an Israelite toward idol-worship
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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