The 26th prohibition is that a person is forbidden to prophesize in the name of an idol, i.e. to say that G‑d commanded him to serve it1 or that [the idol] itself commanded to serve it, and promised reward and punishment, as is done by the prophets of Baal and Asheirah.2

There is no explicit verse in Scripture stating this prohibition of prophesizing in the name of an idol. There is, however, a verse stating the punishment, that one who prophesizes in its name is executed. This is G‑d's statement,3 "If he speaks in the name of other gods, then that prophet shall die." The death referred to here is execution by strangulation, in accordance with our general principle4 that when the verse does not specify the type of execution, it refers to strangulation.

You are already aware of the fundamental rule which I have explained in the Fourteenth Introductory Principle preceding this work, in the words of the Sages,5 "Whenever Scripture indicates a punishment, there must be another source indicating the actual prohibition."6 The actual prohibition is from the verse,7 "Do not mention the name of other gods."

It8 is not impossible for one verse to serve as the prohibition for a number of commandments and nevertheless not be in the category of a "general prohibition," since each one has a separate verse stating the punishment. Other examples of this principle are explained in the appropriate places.9

The details of this mitzvah have been explained in the eleventh chapter of Sanhedrin.10