The first commandment and the second commandment are completely different
Here is my translation, on Wikisource
I am Yahweh your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the slave-house. You will have no other Gods in my presence.
You will make for yourself no statue and no image of that in the skies above and that in the land below, and that in the water underneath the land. You will not bow to them, and you will not worship them, because I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god, commanding blight, from fathers to sons to the third generation and the fourth generation, to my detesters. And I will have kindness on the thousands, to those that love me, and that keep my commandments.
The first commandment states that you will not worship other Gods. The second commandment requires the Jews to abolish any figurative art, even that which is dedicated to Yahweh, or just secular art. So no scenes of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, no pictures of Noah's ark, no statues of Moses, no paintings of Jewish Kings, no coins with representations of Jews, nothing. This law essentially made ancient Judea and Samaria the most barren of wastelands for figurative art in the entire ancient world.
The second commandment has been interpreted in different ways:
- Jewish/Muslim: no representational art whatsoever (at the very least, no religious art)
- Christian: Worship is not to be directed at objects, nor to any Earthly representation, but to the Heavenly realm. A figurative statue is not a problem.
I should point out in this context that it is a monotheistic smear that Pagans generally believe that statues are alive and respond to prayers. Generally, the statues are representations of the Gods, and only serve as an Earthly work in which to present a heavenly form. So Pagan worship is generally not as ridiculous as Jews, Christians, and Muslims make it out to be.
But the original phrasing of the injunction is against figurative art. Good visual artists in particular, are able to embue their work with spirituality and virtual life, and their spiritual message is often in conflict with the established orthodoxy, in all times. So this injunction is designed to prevent challenge to the priesthood from artists, by prohibiting figurative art entirely.
It should be noted that the Cherubs on the "Ark of the Covenant" (the crate of the testimony) are Griffin-like creatures, they violate this commandment. But they are hidden behind a curtain, so that only the priests see them. I suppose these are allowed because God commanded they be made.
On a personal note, I do not respect the second commandment. I think it is criminal in the original interpretation (see Buddhas of Bamiyan for why). The Christian intepretation thankfully renders it harmless.