[Issue] Enticing visual learners to study biblical text, did the 1866 La Grande Bible de Tours may correctly interpret Exodus 20:4-5 to justify depictions of angelic figures as helpful illustrations of scripture.
[Scripture] We read in Shemot (Exodus) 20:4 [MT] : "You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth." (לֹ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ֣לֹ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ֣ פֶ֣סֶל | וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם | מִמַּ֡עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁר֩ בָּאָ֨רֶץ מִתַּ֜חַת וַֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּמַּ֣יִם | מִתַּ֣חַת לָאָ֗רֶץ)
The Hebrew word "Pesel" (פֶ֣סֶל) could simply mean a "sculpture" but the Tanakh considers Pesel to mean any engraved / carved image used as a god.
The wood-etchings illustrated by Gustave Dore for his images of angels in the 1866 La Grande Bible de Tours could be considered a "Pesel" in regards to Exodus 20:4. - However, Gustave Dore carved the angelic illustrations to depict messengers of God.
- "The Torah prohibits constructing replicas of angelic beings such as Malachei HaSharet, Ofanim, Serafim, and Chayot HaKodesh (the four faces - a human, eagle, bull, and lion). Some argue that the prohibition not only includes constructing these entities, but possessing them, as well, but others disagree.The Ramban and others hold that it is prohibited to construct replicas of upper heavenly entities even if they are two-dimensional, but many disagree. Nevertheless, one should be strict on the matter. If one finds such an object, he may benefit from it but not keep it."
[The Point in Question]