The 4th prohibition is that we are forbidden from making an image of a human being from metal, stone, wood or anything similar,1 even though it was not made in order to be worshipped.2 The reason for this is to keep us from making any images whatsoever, so that we should not entertain the false belief held by the masses — i.e. the idol worshippers — that these images have supernatural powers.

The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement (exalted be He),3 "Do not make a representation of anything that is with me. Do not make for yourselves silver or gold gods."

The Mechilta explains the prohibition conveyed in the verse, "Do not make for yourselves silver or gold gods," as follows: "A person may not say, 'I will make them for ornamentation, as others do in their lands.' The Torah therefore says, 'Do not make for yourselves.'"

One who transgresses this prohibition is punished by lashes.

The details of this mitzvah — which images are permissible to create and which are forbidden,4 and in which manner5 — are explained in the third chapter of Avodah Zarah.

It is explained in Sanhedrin6 that this prohibition, "Do not make a representation of anything is with me. [Do not make for yourselves] silver gods [or gold gods]," includes other matters as well,7 but the literal meaning of the verse is as we have explained, from the Mechilta.