the contrast is not between visible and invisible, or between spiritual and material, but between the visible and the audible. Idols have “form” but do not speak, Yahweh has no “form,” but he decisively speaks. Idols are visible but dumb. Yahweh is invisible but eloquent.
As we have seen, the words of Yahweh are the means by which his presence is manifest in Israel. So, making an image would be an attempt to actualize Yahweh’s presence in a manner that is, first of all, contrary to the means he desires. It would be an attempt to substitute the speaking Yahweh who confronts, rebukes, demands, and challenges. Attempting to represent Yahweh with a lifeless image would serve to ‘gag’ him.”—Vogt in Deuteronomic Theology and the Significance of Torah