The Meaning of Exodus 20:1 Explained

Exodus 20:1

KJV: And God spake all these words, saying,

YLT: 'And God speaketh all these words, saying,

Darby: And God spoke all these words, saying,

ASV: And God spake all these words, saying,

What does Exodus 20:1 Mean?

Study Notes

So Moses
The Mosaic Covenant,
(1) given to Israel
(2) in three divisions, each essential to the others, and together forming the Mosaic Covenant, viz.: the Commandments, expressing the righteous will of God Exodus 20:1-26 the "judgments," governing the social life of Israel; Exodus 21:1 to Exodus 24:11 and the "ordinances," governing the religious life of Israel; Exodus 24:12 to Exodus 31:18 . These three elements form "the law," as that phrase is generically used in the New Testament (e.g.) Matthew 5:17 ; Matthew 5:18 . The Commandments and the ordinances formed one religious system. The Commandments were a "ministry of condemnation" and of "death" 2 Corinthians 3:7-9 the ordinances gave, in the high priest, a representative of the people with Jehovah; and in the sacrifices a "cover" for their sins in anticipation of the Cross; Hebrews 5:1-3 ; Hebrews 9:6-9 ; Romans 3:25 ; Romans 3:26 . The Christian is not under the conditional Mosaic Covenant of works, the law, but under the unconditional New Covenant of grace.; Romans 3:21-27 ; Romans 6:14 ; Romans 6:15 ; Galatians 2:16 ; Galatians 3:10-14 ; Galatians 3:16-18 ; Galatians 3:24-26 ; Galatians 4:21-31 ; Hebrews 10:11-17 . See NEW COVENANT.
See,for the other seven covenants:
EDENIC ; ADAMIC See Scofield " Genesis 3:15 "; NOAHIC See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 "; ABRAHAMIC See Scofield " Genesis 15:18 "; PALESTINIAN See Scofield " Deuteronomy 30:3 "; DAVIDIC See Scofield " 2 Samuel 7:16 "; NEW See Scofield " Hebrews 8:8 ".
Atonement
Atonement. The biblical use and meaning of the word must be sharply distinguished from its use in theology. In theology it is term which covers the whole sacrificial and redemptive work of Christ. In the O.T. atonement is the English word used to translate the Hebrew words which mean "cover," "coverings," or "to cover." Atonement (at-one-ment) is, therefore, not a translation of the hebrew, but a purely theologic concept. The Levitical offerings "covered" the sins of Israel until, and in anticipation of the Cross, but did not "take away" Hebrews 10:4 those sins. These were the "sins done aforetime" ("covered" meantime by the Levitical sacrifices), which God "passed over" Romans 3:25 for which "passing over" God's righteousness was never vindicated until, in the Cross, Jesus Christ was "set forth a propitiation." See "Propitiation," (See Scofield " Galatians 3:10-13 ") . It was the Cross, not the Levitical sacrifices which made "at-one-ment." The O.T. sacrifices enabled God to go on with a guilty people because they typified the Cross. To the offerer they were the confession of his desert of death, and the expression of his faith; to God they were the "shadows" Hebrews 10:1 of which Christ was the reality.
atonement (See Scofield " Exodus 29:33 ") .
Covenant
I. The Eight Covenants, Summary:
(1) The Edenic Covenant (See Scofield " Genesis 1:26 ") conditioned the life of man in innocency.
(2) The Adamic Covenant (See Scofield " Genesis 3:14 ") conditions the life of fallen man and gives promise of a Redeemer.
(3) The Noahic Covenant (See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 ") . establishes the principle of human government.
(4) The Abrahamic Covenant (See Scofield " Genesis 15:18 ") founds the nation of Israel, and confirms, with specific additions, the Adamic promise of redemption.
(5) The Mosaic Covenant (See Scofield " Exodus 19:25 ") . condemns all men, "for that all have sinned."
(6) The Palestinian Covenant (See Scofield " Deuteronomy 30:3 ") secures the final restoration and conversion of Israel.
(7) The Davidic Covenant (See Scofield " 2 Samuel 7:16 ") establishes the perpetuity of the Davidic family (fulfilled in Christ), Matthew 1:1 ; Luke 1:31-33 ,; Romans 1:3 and of the Davidic kingdom, over Israel, and over the whole earth; to be fulfilled in and by Christ; 2 Samuel 7:8-17 ; Zechariah 12:8 ; Luke 1:31-33 ; Acts 15:14-17 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24 .
(8) The New covenant rests upon the sacrifice of Christ, and secures the eternal blessedness, under the Abrahamic Covenant Galatians 3:13-29 of all who believe. It is absolutely unconditional, and, since no responsibility is by it committed to man, it is final and irreversible.
II. The relation of Christ to the eight covenants is as follows:
(1) To the Edenic Covenant, Christ, as the "second Man," the "last Adam" 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 takes the place over all things which the first Adam lost; Colossians 2:10 ; Hebrews 2:7-8 .
(2) He is the "Seed of the woman" of the Adamic Covenant Genesis 3:15 ; John 12:31 ; 1 John 3:8 ; Galatians 4:4 ; Revelation 20:10 and fulfilled its conditions of toil Mark 6:3 and obedience.
(3) As the greatest son of Shem, in Him was fulfilled supremely the promise to Shem in the Noahic Covenant. (See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 ") Colossians 2:9 .
(4) He is the "Seed to whom the promises were made" in the Abrahamic Covenant; the son of Abraham obedient unto death Genesis 22:18 ; Galatians 3:16 ; Philippians 2:8 .
(5) He lived sinlessly under the Mosaic covenant and bore for us its curse. Romans 3:25 .
(6) He lived obediently as a Jew in the land under the Palestinian Covenant, and will yet perform it gracious promises Deuteronomy 28:1 to Deuteronomy 30:9 .
(7) He is the "Seed," "Heir," and "King" under the Davidic Covenant Matthew 1:1 ; Luke 1:31-33 .
(8) His sacrifice is the foundation of the New Covenant Matthew 26:28 ; 1 Corinthians 11:25 .
Be fruitful
The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:
(1) To replenish the earth with a new order--man;
(2) to subdue the earth to human uses;
(3) to have dominion over the animal creation;
(4) to eat herbs and fruits;
(5) to till and keep the garden;
(6) to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
(7) the penalty--death. See, for the other seven covenants:
ADAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 3:14 ")
NOAHIC (See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 ")
ABRAHAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 15:18 ")
MOSAIC (See Scofield " Exodus 19:25 ")
PALESTINIAN (See Scofield " Deuteronomy 30:3 ")
DAVIDIC (See Scofield " 2 Samuel 7:16 ")
NEW (See Scofield " Hebrews 8:8 ")
DISPENSATION
A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. (See Scofield " Genesis 1:28 ") , note 5.
And God blessed them
The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1 Timothy 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Genesis 3:24 See, for the other dispensations;
Conscience (See Scofield " Genesis 3:23 ")
Human Government (See Scofield " Genesis 8:21 ")
Promise (See Scofield " Genesis 12:1 ")
Law (See Scofield " Exodus 19:8 ")
Grace (See Scofield " John 1:17 ")
Kingdom (See Scofield " Ephesians 1:10 ")
Be fruitful
The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:
(1) To replenish the earth with a new order--man;
(2) to subdue the earth to human uses;
(3) to have dominion over the animal creation;
(4) to eat herbs and fruits;
(5) to till and keep the garden;
(6) to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
(7) the penalty--death. See, for the other seven covenants:
ADAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 3:14 ")
NOAHIC (See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 ")
ABRAHAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 15:18 ")
MOSAIC (See Scofield " Exodus 19:25 ")
PALESTINIAN (See Scofield " Deuteronomy 30:3 ")
DAVIDIC (See Scofield " 2 Samuel 7:16 ")
NEW (See Scofield " Hebrews 8:8 ")
And God blessed them
The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1 Timothy 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Genesis 3:24 See, for the other dispensations;
Conscience (See Scofield " Genesis 3:23 ")
Human Government (See Scofield " Genesis 8:21 ")
Promise (See Scofield " Genesis 12:1 ")
Law (See Scofield " Exodus 19:8 ")
Grace (See Scofield " John 1:17 ")
Kingdom (See Scofield " Ephesians 1:10 ")
Be fruitful
The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible:
(1) To replenish the earth with a new order--man;
(2) to subdue the earth to human uses;
(3) to have dominion over the animal creation;
(4) to eat herbs and fruits;
(5) to till and keep the garden;
(6) to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
(7) the penalty--death. See, for the other seven covenants:
ADAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 3:14 ")
NOAHIC (See Scofield " Genesis 9:1 ")
ABRAHAMIC (See Scofield " Genesis 15:18 ")
MOSAIC (See Scofield " Exodus 19:25 ")
PALESTINIAN (See Scofield " Deuteronomy 30:3 ")
DAVIDIC (See Scofield " 2 Samuel 7:16 ")
NEW (See Scofield " Hebrews 8:8 ")

Context Summary

Exodus 20:1-17 - The "ten Words" Spoken At Sinai
The Law was given by the disposition of angels, through the medium of Moses. See John 1:17; Acts 7:53. It tells us, not what God is, for that is only shown in Jesus Christ, but what man should be. It combines in a concise form that moral code which is part of the nature of things, and is written on man's conscience. See Romans 2:5. Even the Fourth Commandment is deeply graven on our physical nature. These laws are mostly negative, but their positive side is stated in Matthew 5:1-48. For practical purposes this divine code consists of two divisions or tables; the first, of our duties toward God; the second, of those to man; but these are summed up in the one great law of love. See Mark 12:29-31; Romans 13:8-10 and Galatians 5:14. Our Lord Jesus stands surety for us at the bar of Sinai. By His righteousness imputed and imparted, by His obedience and death, by the gracious indwelling of His Spirit, He comes "not to destroy, but to fulfill." See Matthew 5:17; Romans 8:4. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 20

1  The ten commandments are spoken by Jehovah
18  The people are afraid, but Moses comforts them
21  Idolatry is forbidden
23  Of what sort the altar should be

What do the individual words in Exodus 20:1 mean?

And spoke God - all words these saying -
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֵ֛ת כָּל־ הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לֵאמֹֽר ס

וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר  And  spoke 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
אֱלֹהִ֔ים  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
אֵ֛ת  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הַדְּבָרִ֥ים  words 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: דָּבָר  
Sense: speech, word, speaking, thing.
הָאֵ֖לֶּה  these 
Parse: Article, Pronoun, common plural
Root: אֵהֶל 
Sense: these.
לֵאמֹֽר  saying 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation