Copy Right 2022

Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner

IDOLATRY-17/Kingship of G-d, or of Idols?





When dealing with IDOLATRY, the concept of

G-d’s Kingship is essential.

Either we accept G-d as our KING, or accept the idols.


You can see that battle of choices in Moses’ Ten Commandments

where it says:


 First of the Ten Commandments

  1. I Am (Essence)
  2. YHVH your ELHM (Attributes)
  3. Who took you out of Egypt Land (Kingship)


Second of the Ten Commandments

  1. You shall have no other ELHM besides me
  2. You shall not carve out any image

You shall not bow to them nor serve the


In line 3 of the First Commandment, G-d’s kingship

Is defined as His Deeds or Actions in this world.

in Israel’s case: He is the One Who Took Them Out of Egypt.


You could have said: “Who Has Created the Word.”

Or “Who has brought us bread from the ground.”  


But speaking to Israel, the former Egyptian Salves,

Presenting His Kingship as their REDEEMER was

More impressive and meaningful.


Hence when we accept on ourselves G-d’s Kingship

We mean it personally.  Yes, G-d is the KING of the Universe,

But it is more meaningful for me to recognize Him

As MY PERSONAL KING who leads my life.


Unlike what many scientists believe,

G-d’s Kingship implies that He is not an aloof CREATOR

that has left CREATION alone to operate like a clock by itself


Kingship means the opposite: that He is interested in the

World, that He leads it in history to the Eternal Sabbath,

that he intermingles with our human affairs.


While it is easy to recognize G-d as a CREATOR,

it is far more difficult to recognize Him as our

personal leader, WHO LISTENS TO OUR PRAYERS.



A choice to make

Our diagram shows Man ‘standing’ between the

two Commandments of Sinai.  Man faces a choice.


Man can “look up” to the first Commandment

and accept G-d‘s Kingship

Or “look down” to the Second Commandment

and accept the Idol’s kingship,


Note that in the above diagram, Moses does not leave

a “neutral choice” of accepting no one’s kingship.


Since, according to Moses, Man is born and made

specifically to withstand that choice, that trial of IDOLATRY.


It is either we are attracted to G-d,

Or attracted to the idols

No escape from making the choice.



What are  the sorts of G-d’s Kingship?

The First Commandment presents G-d as YHVH, your ELKM.

But in fact, Chapter One in Genesis presents

three types of the CREATOR’s Kingship


  1. The Kingdom of ELHM alone, during the Six Day
  2. The Kingdom of YHVH ELHMunder which we currently live
  3. The Kingdom of YHVHalone, ruling over the Sabbath



ELKM alone:

During the Six Days, ELKM ruled the world “awesomely alone,”

as a Dictator, giving orders, tolerating no objection, consulting

no one, giving life and taking life away as His Wishes, with no MERCY




Then, before creating Adam, ELKM stepped down from His High Pedestal

and spoke in plural, becoming a King Who Consult.


Among other such consultation to make Adam,

ELKM ‘consulted’ or ‘invited’ YHVH to share with Him the

The Heavenly Court and the rule over the World.


Man was therefore created into the Kingship of YHVH ELKM,

under whom we live, who gave us the Ten Commandments

as a guide to journey towards the Eternal Sabbath



YHVH alone

Indeed, as Genesis Chapter One shows, our world is moving

in history to the next Day, the Eternal Sabbath,

where YHVH reigns alone, and where ELKM abstains

from creating and judging.

In other words: The Sabbath is the Kingdom of YHVH, with

unlimited Mercy, Joy, Holiness.




The “Shma Israel”, hear Oh Israel


While the Kingship of ELKM alone is in the past,

And the Kingship of YHVH alone is in the far future,

We live under the Kingship of YHVH our ELKM



Moses expressed that idea by saying to Israel:



  1. Hear (shma) Israel,
  2. YHVH, our ELKM,
  3. YHVH is One.



Line 1  – tells us to pay extreme attention to the ideas  that

Line 2  – currently we are under the kingship of YHVH and ELKM

Line 3  – the future Kingship is of YHVH alone

And that YHVH and ELKM are two Attributes of One,

inseparable, undivided, CREATOR


It is imperative to recite the Shma twice a day,

followed by the declaration:

 Blessed is His Kingship forever and ever.



The attraction of the various idols is so great,

Their charm and power is so awesome,

Their kingship seems to glorious,


that we must remind ourselves twice a day that

YHVH our ELKM is our personal King,