Commandment Profile:

-5) No idol-worship in four standard ways
Application to gentiles:
Mandated punishment for violation:
Death penalty
Brief description:
Not to worship any false god in any one of four standard ways: (a) bowing, (b) making sacrificial offerings, (c) burning incense, or (d) pouring libations (such as wine or water). These four ritual acts are all involved in the worship of the true G-d in the Jerusalem Temple (once it is rebuilt from its current ruins), and thus are sanctified modes of worship that are forbidden to be exercised for any false god, even if the act is not part of the customary ritual for that false religion (whereas commandment -6 deals with the established rituals specific to each false religion). Thus even if it is not an established Christian custom to offer sacrificial foods to Jesus, nor would Buddhists normally pour libations for their idol, either act would nonetheless be a capital crime.

This commandment also prohibits the verbal acceptance of any false god as one’s deity, on pain of death penalty.


  • Not to verbally accept Jesus as one’s god or “lord.”
Biblical source(s) (Rambam): Ex. 20:5; Lev. 17:7
Biblical source (Sefer HaChinuch): Ex. 20:5
Number in Sefer HaChinuch: 28
Sources explaining relevance to gentiles:

  • Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Melachim 9:2
    All idolatry-related offenses that carry death penalty for Jews also bring death penalty for gentiles.