What does the 2nd commandment forbid? On the Puritan view, it forbids manmade images of Yahweh. But that’s not clear from the actual wording of the text, or syntactical relationship between the 1st and 2nd commandments.
What’s the intended referent of idols or images in the 2nd commandment? Which “God” is represented? Whose image is proscribed? Puritans think it refers to Yahweh. That’s what is prohibited.
Maybe so. But if we consider the flow of the passage, coming right on the heels of the 1st commandment, that isn’t obvious. The 1st commandment forbids the worship of deities other than Yahweh. So it would be logical if the 2nd commandment continues that train of thought. The 2nd commandment might be epexegetical, amplifying the 1st commandment, viz.
1st commandment: Don’t worship deities other than Yahweh
2nd commandment: Don’t worship other deities by means of using idols of other deities
Or it might distinguish between mediate and immediate pagan worship. Don’t worship heathen deities directly–or indirectly via physical representations of heathen deities.
This interpretation also makes sense of the divine jealousy motif. Yahweh is “jealous” of worship directed at other “gods.” That’s the nature of “jealousy.” It’s directed at a third-party.
It makes less sense to say Yahweh is jealous of images of himself. For that still takes Yahweh as the object of religious devotion.
Of course, it might be objectionable on other grounds, but the jealousy motif makes less sense on the Puritan view.