What does Ten Commandments mean in the Bible?


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ten Commandments
1. The traditional history of the Decalogue . The ‘ten words’ were, according to Exodus 20:1-26 , proclaimed vocally by God on Mt. Sinai, and written by Him on two stones, and given to Moses ( Exodus 24:12 ; Exodus 31:13 ; Exodus 32:15-16 ; cf. Deuteronomy 5:22 ; Deuteronomy 9:10-11 ). When these were broken by Moses on his descent from the mount ( Exodus 32:19 , Deuteronomy 9:17 ), he was commanded to prepare two fresh stones like the first, on which God re-wrote the ‘ten words’ ( Exodus 34:4 ; Exodus 34:28 , Exodus 23:1-33 ; Deuteronomy 10:4 ). This is clearly the meaning of Ex. as the text now stands. But many critics think that Exodus 10:28 b originally referred not to the ‘ten words’ of Exodus 20:1-26 , but to the laws of Exodus 34:11-26 , and that these laws were J [1] ’s version of the Decalogue. It must suffice to say here that if, as on the whole seems likely, Exodus 34:28 b refers to our Decalogue, we must distinguish the command to write the covenant laws in Exodus 34:27 , and the words ‘he wrote’ in Exodus 34:28 b, in which case the subject of the latter will be God, as required by Exodus 34:1 . The two stones were immediately placed in the ark, which had been prepared by Moses specially for that purpose ( Deuteronomy 10:1-5 [2] ]). There they were believed to have permanently remained ( 1 Kings 8:9 , Deuteronomy 10:5 ) until the ark was, according to Rabbinical tradition, hidden by Jeremiah, when Jerusalem was finally taken by Nehuchadrezzar.
2. The documentary history of the Decalogue . A comparison of the Decalogue in Exodus 20:1-26 with that of Deuteronomy 5:1-33 renders it probable that both are later recensions of a much shorter original. The phrases peculiar to Deuteronomy 5:1-33 are in most cases obviously characteristic of D [3] , and must be regarded as later expansions. Such are ‘as the Lord thy God commanded thee’ in the 4th and 5th ‘word,’ and ‘that it may go well with thee’ in the 5th. In the last commandment the first two clauses are transposed, and a more appropriate word (‘desire’) is used for coveting a neighbour’s wife. Here evidently we have also a later correction. Curiously enough Exodus 20:1-26 , while thus generally more primitive than Deut., shows signs of an even later recension. The reason for keeping the Sabbath, God’s rest after creation, is clearly based on Genesis 2:1-3 , which belongs to the post-exilic Priestly Code (P [4] ). The question is further complicated by the fact that several phrases in what is common to Exodus 20:1-26 and Deut. are of a distinctly Deuteronomic character, as ‘that is within thy gates’ in the 4th commandment, ‘that thy days may be long’ ‘upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee’ in the 5th. We see, then, that the Decalogue of Ex. is in all probability the result of a double revision (a Deuteronomic and a Priestly) of a much more simple original. It has been suggested that originally all the commandments consisted of a single clause, and that the name ‘word’ could be more naturally applied to such. In favour of this view, beyond what has been already said, it is argued that this short form would he more suitable for inscription on stone.
3. How were the ‘ten words’ divided ? The question turns on the beginning and the end of the Decalogue. Are what we know as the First and Second, and again what we know as the Tenth, one or two commandments? The arrangement which treats the First and Second as one, and the Tenth as two, is that of the Massoretic Hebrew text both in Ex. and Dt., and was that of the whole Western Church from the time of St. Augustine to the Reformation, and is still that of the Roman and Lutheran Churches. Moreover, it may seem to have some support from the Deuteronomic version of the Tenth Commandment. Our present arrangement, however, is that of the early Jewish and early Christian Churches, and seems on the whole more probable in itself. A wife, being regarded as a chattel, would naturally come under the general prohibition against coveting a neighbour’s goods. If, as already suggested, the original form of the commandment was a single clause, it would have run, ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house’ (see 8 (x.)).
4. The contents of each table . If, as suggested, the original commandments were single clauses, it is most natural to suppose that they were evenly divided between the two tables five in each. This view is adopted without hesitation by Philo, and it is not contradicted by our Lord’s division of the Law into the love of God and the love of one’s neighbour. It would be difficult to class parents in the category of neighbour, whereas the reverence due to them was by the ancients regarded as a specially sacred obligation, and was included, by both Greeks and Romans at any rate, under the notion of piety.
5. Order of the Decalogue . The Hebrew texts of Exodus 20:1-26 and Deuteronomy 5:1-33 agree in the order murder, adultery, theft as the subjects of the 6th, 7th, and 8th Commandments. The LXX [5] (best MSS) in Ex. have the order adultery, theft, murder; in Dt. adultery, murder, theft. This last is borne out by Romans 13:9 and by Philo, and may possibly have been original.
6. Mosaic origin of the Decalogue . The chief difficulty arises out of the Second Commandment. There can be little doubt that from primitive times the Israelites were monolatrous, worshipping J″ [1] as their national God. But it is argued that this does not appear to have prevented them from recognizing to some extent inferior divine beings, such as those represented by teraphim , or even from representing their God under visible symbols. Thus in Judges 17:3 we find Micah making an image of Jahweh, without any disapproval by the writer. David himself had teraphim in his house ( 1 Samuel 19:13-16 ); Isaiah speaks of a pillar as a natural and suitable symbol of worship ( Isaiah 19:19 ); Hosea classes pillar, ephod, and teraphim with sacrifices as means of worship, of which Israel would be deprived for a while as a punishment ( Hosea 3:4 ). The frequent condemnation of ashçroth (sacred tree-images, AV [7] ‘groves’) suggests that they too were common features of Semitic worship, and not confined to the worship of heathen gods. But it may reasonably be doubted whether these religious symbols were always regarded as themselves objects of worship, though tending to become so. Again, it may well have been the case that under the deteriorating Influences of surrounding Semitic worship, the people, without generally worshipping heathen gods, failed to reach the high ideal of their traditional religion and worship. We may fairly say, then, that the Decalogue in its earliest form, if not actually Mosaic, represents in all probability the earliest religious tradition of Israel.
7. Object of the Decalogue . Looking from a Christian point of view, we are apt to regard the Decalogue as at any rate an incomplete code of religion and morality. More probably the ‘ten words’ should be regarded as a few easily remembered rules necessary for a half-civilized agricultural people, who owed allegiance to a national God, and were required to live at peace with each other. They stand evidently in close relation to the Book of the Covenant ( Exodus 21:1-36 ; Exodus 22:1-31 ; Deuteronomy 10:2 ), of which they may be regarded as either a summary or the kernel. With one exception (the Fifth, see below, 8 (v.)) they are, like most rules given to children, of a negative character ‘thou shalt not,’ etc.
8. Interpretation of the Decalogue . There are a few obscure phrases, or other matters which call for comment.
(i.) ‘before me’ may mean either ‘in my presence,’ condemning the eclectic worship of many gods, or ‘in preference to me.’ Neither interpretation would necessarily exclude the belief that other gods were suitable objects of worship for other peoples (cf. Judges 11:24 ).
(ii.) ‘the water under the earth.’ The Israelites conceived of the sea as extending under the whole land (hence the springs). This, being in their view the larger part, might be used to express the whole. Fish and other marine animals are, of course, intended.
‘unto thousands,’ better ‘a thousand generations,’ as in RVm [8] . The punishment by God of children for the faults of parents was felt to be a moral difficulty, and was denied by Ezekiel (ch. 18). Similar action by judicial authorities was forbidden by Deut. (Deuteronomy 24:16 ; cf. 2 Kings 14:6 ). But the words show that if evil actions influence for evil the descendants of the evil-doer either by heredity or by imitation, the influence of good actions for good is far more potent.
(iii.) ‘Thou … in vain,’ i.e. ‘for falsehood.’ This may mean ‘Thou shalt not perjure thyself’ or ‘Thou shalt not swear and then not keep thy oath.’ The latter seems to be the current Jewish interpretation (see Matthew 5:33 ). Philo takes it in both senses.
(iv.) ‘within thy gates,’ i.e. ‘thy cities’ (see 2 ).
‘for in six days,’ etc. We find in OT three distinct reasons for the observance of the Sabbath. (1) The oldest is that of the Book of the Covenant in Exodus 23:12 , ‘that thine ox and thine ass may have rest, and the son of thine handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed.’ In Exodus 20:1-26 and Deuteronomy 5:1-33 the rest of the domestic animals and servants appears as part of the injunction itself. (2) In Deuteronomy 5:1-33 there is added as a secondary purpose, ‘that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou’; whereas the chief purpose of the observaoce is as a commemoration of the Exodus. (3) Exodus 20:1-26 , revised after the Exile at or after the time that the Priestly Code was published, bases the observance on the Sabbatical rest of God after the Creation ( Genesis 2:1-3 P [4] ).
(v.) ‘Honour thy Father,’ etc. It is not improbable that this commandment has been modified in form, and was originally negative like all the rest, and referred like them to a prohibited action rather than to a correct feeling, as, very possibly,’ Thou shalt not smite,’ etc. (cf. Exodus 21:15 ; Exodus 21:17 ). At a later time such an outrage would have been hardly contemplated, and would naturally have given way to the present commandment. The word ‘honour’ seems, according to current Jewish teaching (see Lightfoot on Matthew 15:5 ), to have specially included feeding and clothing, and Christ assumes rather than inculcates as new this application of the commandment. The Rabbinical teachers had encouraged men in evading a recognized law by their quibbles.
(x.) ‘Thou shalt not … house.’ Deut. transposes the first two clauses, and reads ‘desire’ with wife. The teaching of Exodus 20:1-26 is, beyond question, relatively the earliest. The wife was originally regarded as one of the chattels, though undoubtedly the most important chattel, of the house, or general establishment.
On the Decalogue in the NT see art. Law (in nt).
F. H. Woods.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Ten Commandments
The popular name in this, as in so many instances,is not that of Scripture. There we have the "TEN WORDS," (Exodus 34:28 ; 4:13; 10:4) the "COVENANT ," Ex., Deuteronomy 11 . cc.; (1 Kings 8:21 ; 2 Chronicles 6:11 ) etc., or, very often as the solemn attestation of the divine will, the "TESTIMONY." (Exodus 25:16,21 ; 31:18 ) etc. The circumstances in which the Ten great Words were first given to the people surrounded them with an awe which attached to no other precept. In the midst of the cloud and the darkness and the flashing lightning and the fiery smoke and the thunder like the voice of a trumpet, Moses was called to Mount Sinai to receive the law without which the people would cease to be a holy nation. ( Exodus 19:20 ) Here, as elsewhere, Scripture unites two facts which men separate. God, and not man was speaking to the Israelites in those terrors, and yet, in the language of later inspired teachers, other instrumentality was not excluded. No other words were proclaimed in like manner. And the record was as exceptional as the original revelation. Of no other words could it be said that they were written as these were written, engraved on the Tables of Stone, not as originating in man's contrivance or sagacity, but by the power of the Eternal Spirit, by the "finger of God." (Exodus 31:18 ; 32:16 ) The number Ten was, we can hardly doubt, itself significant to Moses and the Israelites. The received symbol, then and at all times, of completeness, it taught the people that the law of Jehovah was perfect. (Psalm 19:7 ) The term "Commandments" had come into use in the time of Christ. (Luke 18:20 ) Their division into two tables is not only expressly mentioned but the stress is upon the two leaves no doubt that the distinction was important, and that answered to that summary of the law which was made both by Moses and by Christ into two precepts; so that the first table contained Duties to God , and the second, Duties to our Neighbor . There are three principal divisions of the two tables:
That of the Roman Catholic Church, making the first table contain three commandments and the second the other seven.
The familiar division, referring the first four to our duty toward God and the six remaining to our duty toward man.
The division recognized by the old Jewish writers, Josephus and Philo, which places five commandments in each table. It has been maintained that the law of filial duty, being a close consequence of God's fatherly relation to us, maybe referred to the first table. But this is to place human parents on a level with God, and, by purity of reasoning the Sixth Commandment might be added to the first table, as murder is the destruction of God's image in man. Far more reasonable is the view which regards the authority of parents as heading the second table, as the earthly reflex of that authority of the Father of his people and of all men which heads the first, and as the first principle of the whole law of love to our neighbor; because we are all brethren and the family is, for good and ill the model of the state. "The Decalogue differs from all the other legislation of Moses: (1) It was proclaimed by God himself in a most public and solemn manner. (2) It was given under circumstances of most appalling majesty and sublimity. (3) It was written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. (5:22) (4) It differed from any and all other laws given to Israel in that it was comprehensive and general rather than specific and particular. (6) It was complete, being one finished whole to which nothing was to be added, from which nothing was ever taken away. (6) The law of the Ten Commandments was honored by Jesus Christ as embodying the substance of the law of God enjoined upon man. (7) It can scarcely be doubted that Jesus had his eye specially if not exclusively on this law, (5:18) as one never to be repealed from which not one jot or tittle should ever pass away. (8) It is marked by wonderful simplicity and brevity such a contrast to our human legislation, our British statute-book for instance, which it would need an elephant to carry and an OEdipus to interpret."
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ten Commandments
See LAW.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Ten Commandments
See Law, Ten Commandments, Torah .
Holman Bible Dictionary - Law, Ten Commandments, Torah
Law refers both to the revelation of the will of God in the Old Testament and to the later elaboration on the law referred to as the “traditions of the elders” in the New Testament (for example, Mark 7:5 ).
Law is one of the primary concepts in the Bible. The specific translation of the term law is varied. It may be used for a commandment, a word, a decree, a judgment, a custom, or a prohibition. The first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) are known as books of the Law because they are based on the commandments which God revealed to Moses.
The Hebrew term most frequently translated “law” in the Old Testament is torah , used more than 200 times. The central idea of torah is that of instruction received from a superior authority on how to live. Torah in the Old Testament came to mean the way of life for faithful Israelites. The Torah is more than just “laws”; it includes the story of God's dealing with humankind and with Israel.
The concept of torah is closely linked to that of covenant in the Old Testament. The covenant agreement between God and His people at Mount Sinai provided the foundation for all of Israel's laws. God, the deliverer of the Israelites from Egypt, set forth His instructions for His people. They were to obey God's laws because of what He had done for them in saving them from Egypt ( Exodus 20:2 ). The laws found in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, and Leviticus cover all areas of community life. The Torah is a gift of God to His people. Obeying the Torah would result in His blessing (Exodus 19:5-6 ). Following the Law would provide for the health and wholeness of the covenant community. The Ten Commandments are a summary of the Law (Exodus 20:2-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ).
Later development in Israel's history gave an expanded meaning to torah . By New Testament times torah meant not only the Old Testament Scriptures (the written Law), but also the oral law (unwritten law) of Israel as well. The religious leaders developed in applying the written Law to new life situations. This oral law is sometimes referred to as “the tradition of the elders” in the New Testament (compare Matthew 15:2 ; Mark 7:5 ; Galatians 1:14 ).
Two kinds of laws can be found in the Old Testament. First are broad categorical laws which set forth general principles. These laws do not specify how they are to be enforced or what penalties are to be invoked. The Ten Commandments are representative of this kind of law. They are basic policy statements for life in a covenant community with God.
Second are case laws. These laws often begin with an “if” or a “when,” usually deal with very specific situations. Many times they indicate a punishment for breaking the law (e.g., Exodus 21:2-3 ,Exodus 21:2-3,21:4 ; Exodus 22:1-2 ,Exodus 22:1-2,22:4-5 ,Exodus 22:4-5,22:25 ).
The Ten Commandments are prohibitions (except for Commandments 4,5 in Exodus 20:8-11 ,Exodus 20:8-11,20:12 ). These ten laws define negatively the heart of the covenant relationship between God and Israel. The first four Commandments are related to one's relationship with God. The next six Commandments have to do with human relationships. It is important to note that right relationships with others follow being rightly related to God. Being rightly related to God compels one towards right relationships to one's neighbors. Here one can see the wonderful balance that is maintained in the Law. Duties to God and to other human beings are not separated.
The Ten Commandments were not given only for the Hebrew people but are abiding laws for all people. Some of the laws of the Bible seem to apply only to specific times, places, and persons, but the Ten Commandments have an abiding quality about them. They convey duties for everyone and reveal to us the basic morality required by God. While the Ten Commandments have universal validity, they are truly significant only when persons are committed to the God behind them. What makes the Ten Commandments unique is the character of the God who gave them. Without God, the Commandments lose their distinctiveness.
Jesus certainly knew the Law and often referred to it. It is possible to say that Jesus was both a critic of the Law and a supporter of it. He was critical of the law of one means “the tradition of the elders” or the oral laws that had grown up around the written Law. The enemies of Jesus frequently accused Him of violating the Law. It is clear that keeping the letter of the Law had become more important to some of the Jews than the purpose behind the Law.
On several occasions Jesus set His own teachings over against those of the elders (Matthew 5:21-6:48 ). The Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of not following the law with regard to “unclean” things (Matthew 15:1-20 ), and they accused Him of eating with tax-gatherers and sinners (Matthew 9:11 ). Jesus' greatest conflict came over the sabbath. He rejected their interpretation of the sabbath Law and said that the Son of man is Lord of the sabbath (Matthew 12:8 ); that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27 ); and He taught that it was permissible to do good on the sabbath (Mark 3:4 ).
Jesus inaugurated a new era in which the Law as understood by the Jews of His day would no longer be the guiding principle for the Kingdom of God (Luke 16:16 ). Nevertheless, Jesus claimed not to have come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-20 ). That is, Jesus moved the understanding of the Law from its external, legalistic meaning to its spiritual one. Moving from outward observance to inward motivation and intention is Jesus' concern (Matthew 5:21-22 ,Matthew 5:21-22,5:27-28 ). He pushes the Law out to its ultimate meaning (thus filling it full). In this sense Jesus affirmed the heart and the spirit of the Law. He moved to a deeper level of meaning, to the spirit behind the Law which God had intended from the beginning.
Jesus did not give us a new law. When Jesus was asked which commandment is the greatest, He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind,” (Matthew 22:36-37 ). Jesus said the second commandment is like the first, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39 ). Then He said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40 ). Incredibly, Jesus summed up the whole Law and the teaching of the prophets with these two commandments. Behind all of the Law had stood these two great principles of love for God and neighbor. It is important for us to remember that love can never be adequately portrayed in rules or in teachings. It can be seen in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The commandments to love had been there all along; Jesus simply emphasized them in a way that would forever change how we should look at them.
Paul had a lifelong struggle with the Law. By the term “law,” Paul meant the Law of God as contained in the Old Testament. He also spoke of a kind of natural law which existed in human beings (Romans 7:23 ,Romans 7:23,7:25 ). The “law of sin” meant conduct determined by sin. Paul also used law in this sense when he referred to the “law of faith”—that is, conduct determined by faith in God (Romans 3:27-28 ).
Paul's attitude toward the Mosaic Law can be summarized under several main points. First of all, he recognized that the Law had been given for a good purpose; it was holy, just and good (Romans 7:12 ,Romans 7:12,7:14 ; 1 Timothy 1:8 ). The demands of the Law were not evil, but had the effect of pointing out the sin of human beings (Romans 7:7 ). Because of man's sinfulness, the Law became a curse instead of a blessing (Galatians 3:10-13 ).
Second, Paul believed the Law was given for a good purpose, but it could not save (Galatians 3:11 ; Romans 3:20 ). If persons were to become children of God, it would be by means other than keeping the Law. The third theme we find in Paul is that Christ freed us from the requirements of the Law by His death and resurrection (Romans 8:3-4 ). Therefore, Christ has become the end of the Law for Christians (Romans 10:4 ), and it is faith that saves and not Law (Ephesians 2:8-9 ).
Paul, like Jesus, saw the Law fulfilled in the command to love (Romans 13:8 ; Galatians 5:13 ). Only with the aid of the Spirit of God can we meet the requirement to love which fulfills the Law (Galatians 5:16 ; Romans 8:1 ). Paul saw the Law as no longer to be viewed legalistically. Nevertheless, it is still the revelation of God, and it helps us to understand the nature of our life in Christ (Romans 8:3 ; Romans 13:8-10 ; Galatians 3:24 ).
D. Glenn Saul
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Ten Commandments
The portion of Scripture known as the "Ten Commandments" (Exodus 20:3-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:7-21 ) is a key segment of the Sinai covenant, which was entered into by God and the people of Israel. This covenant was modeled on the political treaties of that day between a great king and a subject people. In these treaties the king offered certain benefits and, in turn, called for certain behaviors from the people. All these treaties followed the same basic format, which the Sinai covenant, both in Exodus and in its restatement in Deuteronomy, also adheres to closely.
In both Exodus and Deuteronomy, the Ten Commandments are a brief summary of the more detailed covenantal requirements that follow them. These requirements relate to the whole of life: ceremonial, civil, and moral. Many of the commands are very similar to those found in the law codes that have been discovered in the ancient Near East. But it is very significant that the biblical commands have been placed in the context of covenant. In the rest of the ancient law codes, the commands are simply presented as givens, dropped from heaven by the gods. There is no real motive for obeying the commands except the avoidance of punishment. But in the Old Testament, the inclusion of the laws within the covenant puts the motivation on a whole new level. Why should I treat my fellow Israelites in a certain way? Because God has said that is the way in which I can express my covenant loyalty to him. Thus obedience is an expression of grateful appreciation for what God has done for us and what we know he will do. Ethics is not about what will advance one's self-interest, but about maintaining an all-important relationship with God.
A further implication of putting the commandments in the covenant context is the aspect of character. It is apparent from a study of the ancient treaties that many of the stipulations that the kings put upon subject peoples were an expression of the various kings' characters and preferences. Thus, the carrying out of the biblical commandments is a means of learning and replicating the character of God. It is here that the continuing significance of the Ten Commandments is found: they reveal the character and will of the unchanging Creator of the universe. Thus, even though the Sinai covenant is not binding on Christians, the moral truths revealed in it are.
A final important implication of the covenant form is especially significant for the Ten Commandments. In the ancient law codes, the laws are always stated in terms of cases ("If such and such infraction occurs, then such and such a punishment shall be meted out"). There are no statements of absolute prohibition. It is easy to understand why this is the case. A polytheistic setting cannot know of an absolute right or wrong. What is right for one god will be wrong for another. But in the political treaties, since there was only one king to whom the covenanters were professing loyalty, that king could indeed make absolute prohibitions. Thus it is in the biblical covenant that the One God can summarize his stipulations for his people in a series of absolute statements, the Ten Commandments. This shows that the succeeding commands, many of which are stated in terms of cases, are nevertheless based on principles inherent in God's creation, and not simply situationally derived attempts to promote social harmony.
One of the features that marks the Ten Commandments is also typical of the stipulations as a whole. That is the wholistic character of the subject matter. Social behavior and religious behavior are treated together. This is not found elsewhere in the ancient Near East. There is mythological and ritual material, and there are social prescriptions, but the two are never related. The Old Testament insists that the ways in which we treat each other are inseparable from our relationship to God. Ethics are a religious matter, and worship of the true God is the foundation of all nonmanipulative ethics. Thus the first four commandments are primarily in relation to God while the remaining six have to do with human relationships. But it is clear that the four cannot be separated from the six, nor vice-versa.
Although the commandments are, with the exception of the fifth, all prohibitive, they are not negative. They speak about love: love of God and love of others. But what is it to love? If it were necessary to prescribe every loving act and attitude, there would not be enough books in the world. What the commands do is to define the parameters beyond which love cannot exist. This much is then clear: if I love my neighbor I will not steal what belongs to him.
The first commandment is typical of the covenantal stipulations: no other king, or in this case, god, is to be recognized. This feature of the covenants was a marvelous tool for beginning to teach the truth of monotheism. Instead of going into philosophical arguments about unity and origins, God merely tells his people that if they wish to be in covenant with him, they must refuse to recognize any other god. Eventually, having accepted this stipulation and having sought to live it out, they would be in a position to accept Isaiah's insistence that there are no other gods (46:9).
The second command has no analogue in the ancient Near Eastern covenants, but its truth was just as vital as the first for God's education of his people. Around the world, religions that have arisen from human reflection agree upon one fundamental principle: the unseen, divine realm is one with, continuous with, the visible world of nature. Above everything else, this principle suggests that it is possible to manipulate the divine world and to appropriate its power through manipulation of the visible world. In short, it pretends to make it possible for humans to take control of their destinies. This principle is everywhere expressed through the practice of idolatry. By making the god or goddess in the shape of something in nature, preferably a human shape, we both express our conviction about reality and create a mechanism for influencing that god or goddess.
Unfortunately, according to the Bible, that principle is absolutely wrong. The one God is not continuous with the natural world, or with anything in it. He created the world and everything in it as something other than himself. To be sure, he is everywhere present in the world, and no part of it can escape his power. But he is not the world and cannot be manipulated by means of any activity in the world.
How is God to teach his people a truth that is at odds with everything they have learned for four hundred years, and at odds with everything the fallen human heart wants to believe? Once again, he does not enter into a philosophical argument. He simply makes it a requirement for a covenantal relationship with himself that they never try to make an idol of him. As with monotheism, when they have lived with the requirement long enough, they will eventually be ready to draw the right conclusions about God's transcendent nature (Isaiah 40:21-26 ).
The third commandment also strikes at the magical view of reality. Because of the principle of continuity, it was common to believe that a person's name was identical with the person himself or herself. Thus, simply by invoking a powerful person's name, and especially a god's name, in connection with something that one wanted to happen, it was possible to make the thing happen. God says that this is a vain, or empty, use of his name. It is an attempt to use his power without submitting to him, or living in trusting relation with him.
Instead of emptying God of significance by an attempt to use his name magically for our own ends, we are called upon to "hallow" his name, that is, to show the true perfection of his character and power by the quality of our lives (Leviticus 22:31-33 ). We cannot manipulate him, but through faith and trust we can receive power from him to live lives of integrity, purity, and love.
The fourth commandment is the only one of the ten that has to do with matters of worship. There is no absolute statement given with regard to worship practices, such as sacrifices, or festivals, or clean and unclean food. Those matters had to do with a particular era, and would serve their purpose and pass away. What this one summary statement regarding worship does treat is a matter of underlying attitude. What does our use of time say about our estimate of who supplies our needs? When we work seven days a week we surely say that our needs are met through our efforts alone. But the commandment requires persons to stop their work one day out of seven and to remind themselves that it is God who supplies our needs every day of the week (Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ). Furthermore, if God rested after his labors, who are we that we think we can outdo God (Exodus 20:9-11 )? The manner or way a Sabbath is kept is not important, but it is important that we consciously set aside one day in seven, filling it with worshipful rest, to remind ourselves to whom all our time belongs.
The fifth commandment is transitional. From one point of view it is the first of the commandments to deal with human relations. But from another point of view it continues the theme of acceptance of dependence that is at the heart of the fourth command. To honor one's parents is fundamental to any healthy personality. It is the best antidote to the foolish arrogance of "the self-made man." It recognizes that someone else gave me life and took care of me when I could not take care of myself. On the other hand, honor implies honesty. It is impossible to honor someone whom we constantly blame for our faults and failures. To honor them recognizes their faults and failures, and forgives. The person who refuses to honor his parents cuts himself off from his roots and almost certainly from his posterity. If a culture is to survive "long in the land" (Exodus 20:12 ) it must have a glad connection between the generations.
The five remaining commands all have to do with the self in relation to others. As noted above, they specify where the limits are beyond which healthy relations become impossible. We may not abuse the physical life, the sexual life, the possessions, or the reputation of those around us if we are to remain in covenant with God. Nor dare we allow ourselves to think that if we were just in someone else's shoes, enjoying what they possess, we would be happy. These brief statements, hardly more than fifty words in English, speak volumes about the character of the God who made them. They also explain some of the high value that has been put on individual worth in Western thought. To God, the boundaries around an individual's life are sacred. The insistence that all persons are to be able to hold their physical life, their sexual fidelity, their possessions, and their reputation inviolate shows that no one is a faceless molecule in some larger entity. Each one is a distinctive combination of these features, which comprise his or her identity, and they must be guarded for each person.
If we claim to be in relationship with God, we must see persons in the same way he does. Their lives are not ours to take for our purposes. Human sexuality is to be expressed in heterosexual commitment and we may not do anything that would lead someone to break those commitments. There is a boundary drawn around a person's possessions, and we may not cross that boundary to satisfy our own desires. A person's reputation is an extension of himself or herself, and we may not violate it, particularly to make ourselves look better.
What is involved here is a statement about dependence upon God. Those who depend upon themselves make themselves the center of the universe; they have broken the first two commandments. For such persons, anything is permissible in the attempt to supply their needs. Others are either enemies or slaves, in any case to be dominated, used up, and cast aside. But obviously if humans are to live together in any kind of harmony these rapacious instincts must be moderated in some way. Thus human laws. But God seeks to strike at the heart of the issue. If persons can ever realize that they are not the suppliers of their needs, but that God is, and surrender those needs to him, then ethics will move to a new plane.
Some of these commands deserve further comment. As several modern versions indicate, the King James Version's "Thou shalt not kill" is too broad to convey the sense of the Hebrew of the sixth command. The word used is harag [1], which does not refer to killing in general, but to the premeditated murder of one person by another. Thus, it is not proper to build a case against war or capital punishment upon the basis of this verse. These activities may indeed be condemned on biblical grounds, but this verse should only be a tertiary part of the evidence.
It is significant that all of the sexual sins that the Bible prohibits are summarized by the command against adultery. There are very important implications to be drawn from this fact. The clearest is that sexuality is to be expressed only in the context of heterosexual fidelity. It is for this reason that all other expressions of sexuality are condemned in Leviticus 18,20 and elsewhere. Without diminishing the seriousness of those aberrations, it is apparent that the most serious sexual sin is to break faith with one's spouse and the spouse of another, a breach of covenant.
The ninth commandment continues the emphasis upon ethical relationships. The command does not confine itself to prohibiting the telling of untruths, but speaks particularly about telling untruths concerning others. Congratulating oneself upon one's honesty is to miss the point of the commandment. Integrity is not for oneself, but for the sake of others; it is that they may live in security, knowing that we will treasure their reputation above our own.
The tenth command is in some ways merely a continuation of the previous four concerning love of one's neighbor. To love one's neighbor is to refuse to surrender to the sin of envy. It is to rejoice in the neighbor's good fortune, knowing that one's own fortune is in the good hands of God. In this sense it is the climax of the previous four commands. They only spoke about not abusing the neighbor. This one speaks about a deeper issue: guarding those springs of desire from which the abuses would arise. If we are to keep the commands not to abuse our neighbors, it will be because we have made a prior surrender of all our wants and needs to the covenant God.
It is at this point that the command begins to assume a larger function than merely the fifth of a series on nonabuse of neighbors. The Pentateuch, if not the entire Bible, is clear that the root of all evil is the human attempt to meet our needs for ourselves. From Genesis 3 on the issue is the same: Will we allow God to satisfy our desires in his way, or will we insist on trying to satisfy them in our own strength? This is where idolatry comes from; it is an attempt to manipulate the divine in order to satisfy the human desires for power, security, comfort, and pleasure. Thus it is that Paul makes the remarkable identification of covetousness with idolatry ( Ephesians 5:5 ; see also Isaiah 57:13-17 , where the same connection is implied ).
The covenant is designed as a teaching device: there is only one God who is not a part of this world; he is utterly holy, just, and faithful, and it is he who supplies our needs not we ourselves. Knowing that fact, we do not have to see others as rivals and enemies; instead we can treasure their individuality as God does. But if we give assent to all that and then succumb to the sin of covetousness, believing that happiness consists in getting hold of something that we have seen in the possession of another, we will have missed the whole point of God's instruction and be in dire peril of falling back into the very pit from which we have been lifted.
John N. Oswalt
See also Exodus, Theology of ; Israel
Bibliography . W. Barclay, The Ten Commandments for Today ; J. Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain ; W. Harrelson, The Ten Commandments and Human Rights ; G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology .
Chabad Knowledge Base - Ten Commandments
the Ten Commandments
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ten Commandments
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments, the. Deuteronomy 4:13. Or, more exactly, the Ten Words. Exodus 34:28, margin; Deuteronomy 10:4, margin. They were proclaimed from Sinai, amid mighty thunderings and lightnings, Exodus 20:1-22, and were graven on tablets of stone by the finger of God. Exodus 31:18; Exodus 32:15-16; Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:28. Ten was a significant number, the symbol of completeness; and in these ten words was comprised that moral law to which obedience forever was to be paid. On these, summed up as our Lord summed them up, hung all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40. There were two tables, the commandments of the one more especially respecting God, those of the other, man. These are usually divided into four and six. Perhaps they might better be distributed into five and five. The honor to parents enjoined by the fifth commandment is based on the service due to God, the Father of his people. Paul, enumerating those which respect our neighbor, includes but the last five. Romans 13:9.
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - Ten Commandments

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Decalogue - See Ten Commandments
Decalog - See Ten Commandments ...
Ten commandments - the Ten Commandments ...
Commandments, Ten - See Ten Commandments
Asseret hadibrot - the Ten Commandments ...
Commandments - See Ten Commandments
Decalogue - See Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments - See Law, Ten Commandments, Torah
Thief - See Crimes and Punishment; Law, Ten Commandments, Torah
Theft - See Crimes and Punishment; Ethics ; Law, Ten Commandments, Torah
Anochi - �I am�); the first word of the Ten Commandments, a reference to G-d�s essence...
Decalogue - The Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:1-26
Decalogue - ) The Ten Commandments or precepts given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and originally written on two tables of stone
Decalogue - The Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The Ten Commandments were engraved by God on two tables of stone
Decalogue - The usual division of the Ten Commandments among Protestants is that which Josephus tells us was employed by the Jews in his day
Decalogue - The name given to the Ten Commandments and derived fromthe Greek word, dekalogos, meaning the Ten Words or discourses. The reading of the Ten Commandments in the Communion Office ispeculiar to our Liturgy and were added in the year 1552, togetherwith the response after each commandment, "Lord, have mercy upon usand incline our hearts to keep this law
Commandment - By way of eminence, a precept of the decalogue, or moral law, written on tables of stone, at Mount Sinai one of the Ten Commandments
Catechism, Westminster - Both contain an exposition of the Ten Commandments and of the Lord's Prayer
Westminster Catechism - Both contain an exposition of the Ten Commandments and of the Lord's Prayer
Decalogue - (Greek: deka, ten; logos, word) ...
An extra-biblical term which is a literal translation of the phrase "ten words" (Exodus 34); it designates the Ten Commandments which God imposed on His people in the desert of Sinai
Ark - In it Moses placed the two tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments
Testimony - The two tables of stone on which the law or Ten Commandments were written, which were witnesses of that covenant made between God and his people, and testified what it was that God had required of them, have the same title, Exodus 25:16 ; Exodus 25:21 ; Exodus 31:18
Finger of God - The finger of God writing the Ten Commandments illustrated God's giving the law without any mediation (Exodus 31:18 ; Deuteronomy 9:10 )
Vain - We are warned not to take God's name in vain (as though it were nothing) in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1 : 7 ; Deuteronomy 5:11 )
Idol, Idolatry - Idolatry is denounced by God at the beginning of the Ten Commandments and is considered a form of spiritual fornication
Murder - ...
The prohibition against murder is found in the Ten Commandments, the heart of Hebrew law (Exodus 20:13 ; Deuteronomy 5:17 ). See Image of God , Ten Commandments
Tables of the Law - Those that were given to Moses upon Mount Sinai were written by the finger of God, and contained the decalogue or Ten Commandments of the law, as they are rehearsed in Exodus 20. Some think that the same Ten Commandments were written on each of the two tables, others that the ten were divided, and only five on one table, and five on the other
Discretion, Years of - " The phrase "years of discretion"is defined in the Rubric at the end of The Catechism, as follows,"So soon as children are come to a competent age and can say theCreed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and can answerthe other questions of this Short Catechism, they shall be broughtto the Bishop
Washing - '" To neglect to do this had come to be regarded as a great sin, a sin equal to the breach of any of the Ten Commandments
Decalogue - The name given by the Greek fathers to the Ten Commandments; "the ten words," as the original is more literally rendered (Exodus 20:3-17 )
Ark of the Covenant - Inside of the Ark were the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron's Rod that budded (Hebrews 9:4)
Ten Commandments - Ten Commandments, the
Law, Ten Commandments, Torah - The Ten Commandments are a summary of the Law (Exodus 20:2-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ). The Ten Commandments are representative of this kind of law. ...
The Ten Commandments are prohibitions (except for Commandments 4,5 in Exodus 20:8-11 ,Exodus 20:8-11,20:12 ). ...
The Ten Commandments were not given only for the Hebrew people but are abiding laws for all people. Some of the laws of the Bible seem to apply only to specific times, places, and persons, but the Ten Commandments have an abiding quality about them. While the Ten Commandments have universal validity, they are truly significant only when persons are committed to the God behind them. What makes the Ten Commandments unique is the character of the God who gave them
Mosiac Law - The moral law, or Ten Commandments, for instance, was delivered on the top of the mountain, in the face of the whole world, as being of universal influence, and obligatory on all mankind
Robbery - The basic biblical law concerning robbery is the prohibition of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15 ; Deuteronomy 5:19 )
Covetousness - In the Ten Commandments it is put under the ban along with murder, adultery, theft, and slander ( Exodus 20:17 , Deuteronomy 5:21 )
Commandments, the Ten - It was after hearing these Ten Commandments rehearsed by Moses that the Israelites said to him, "Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say; and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it
Law - The civil laws, Acts 23:2 24:6 , were for the government of the Jews as a nation, and included the Ten Commandments. It was more fully taught to the Hebrews, especially at Mount Sinai, in the Ten Commandments, and is summed up by Christ in loving God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, Matthew 22:37-40
Sina, Sinai - Moses and the elders went up into the mountain, and Moses there received the Ten Commandments written on two stones
Testimony - ...
This word refers to the Ten Commandments as a solemn divine charge or duty
Write - The Ten Commandments were written with the finger of God on tables of stone
Covet - ...
Among the Ten Commandments is one that forbids covetousness
Table - The Ten Commandments were written on two tables of stone. A division of the Ten Commandments as the first and second tables
Ten Commandments - The portion of Scripture known as the "Ten Commandments" (Exodus 20:3-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:7-21 ) is a key segment of the Sinai covenant, which was entered into by God and the people of Israel. ...
In both Exodus and Deuteronomy, the Ten Commandments are a brief summary of the more detailed covenantal requirements that follow them. It is here that the continuing significance of the Ten Commandments is found: they reveal the character and will of the unchanging Creator of the universe. ...
A final important implication of the covenant form is especially significant for the Ten Commandments. Thus it is in the biblical covenant that the One God can summarize his stipulations for his people in a series of absolute statements, the Ten Commandments. ...
One of the features that marks the Ten Commandments is also typical of the stipulations as a whole. Barclay, The Ten Commandments for Today ; J. Harrelson, The Ten Commandments and Human Rights ; G
Table - Paul contrasts the tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written by the ‘finger of God’ with the tables that are not of stone but are ‘hearts of flesh,’ whereon the Holy Spirit writes the laws of the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:3)
Stone - The most obvious example is the writing of the Ten Commandments on stone by the Spirit of God when Moses went up on Mount Sinai
Office - The Lord's prayer, the Ten Commandments and the creed, is a very good office for children if they are not fitted for more regular offices
Adultery - This was forbidden in the Ten Commandments; but neither there nor anywhere else is the sin defined
Book, Book of Life - He used writing to communicate directly in specific instances, such as the Ten Commandments and at Balthasar's feast
Witness - ...
The law of Israel...
When God established his covenant with Israel at Mt Sinai, he gave the Ten Commandments as the basis of the covenant requirements laid upon his people. The two tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments were a witness, or testimony, to God’s demands and to Israel’s acceptance of them (Exodus 24:3; Exodus 24:12)
Cocceians - In consequence of this general principle, he maintained that the Ten Commandments were promulgated by Moses, not as a rule of obedience, but as a representation of the covenant of grace...
that when the Jews had provoked the Deity by their various transgressions, particularly by the worship of the golden calf, the severe and servile yoke of the ceremonial law was added to the decalogue, as a punishment inflicted on them by the Supreme Being in his righteous displeasure...
that this yoke, which was painful in itself, became doubly so on account of its typical signification; since it admonished the Israelites from day to day of the imperfection and uncertainty of their state, filled them with anxiety, and was a perpetual proof that they had merited the righteous displeasure of God, and could not expect before the coming of the Messiah the entire remission of their iniquities...
that indeed good men, even under the Mosaic dispensation, were immediately after death made partakers of everlasting glory; but that they were nevertheless, during the whole course of their lives, far removed from that firm hope and assurance of salvation, which rejoices the faithful under the dispensation of the Gospel...
and that their anxiety flowed naturally from this consideration, that their sins, though they remained unpunished were not pardoned; because Christ had not as yet offered himself up a sacrifice to the Father, to make an entire atonement for them
Mountain - There God gave the Law including the Ten Commandments to Moses
Law of Moses - The heading of the Ten Commandments is "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage," and this could apply only to the Israelites. ' The law engraven on stones (the Ten Commandments) is called "the ministration of death ," not the law of life to a Christian
Sabbath - The Sabbath was soon after definitely enacted in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:8-11 , and reference is there made to God having rested on the seventh day after the work of creation as the basis of the institution
Exodus, Book of - God gave the Ten Commandments and other laws central to the covenant (Exodus 19-23 ), and then confirmed the covenant in a mysterious ceremony (Exodus 24:1 ). This way centered on life guided by the Ten Commandments. ...
God expected His people to live the way of holiness, the way of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are God's covenant ground rules for life with Him (Exodus 20:1-17 )
Sermon on the Mount - During the Roman Catholic church's history in the Middle Ages, only those living within the monastery were held responsible for keeping the ethics of the sermon; everyone else was bound only to keep the Ten Commandments. Martin Luther proposed the doctrine of the two kingdoms: Christians in their private lives were bound to keep the ethical standards of the sermon, but in their public and professional lives were bound only to keep the standards of the Ten Commandments
Ark of the Covenant - names the original container for the Ten Commandments and the central symbol of God's presence with the people of Israel. The word “covenant” in the name defines the ark from its original purpose as a container for the stone tablets upon which the Ten Commandments (sometimes called the “testimony”) were inscribed
Tabernacle - In the Holy of Holies was the ark of the covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16)
Sabbath - Both reports of the Ten Commandments stated that the Sabbath belonged to the Lord
Acceptance - This included ethical actions (Ten Commandments) as well as sacrifices (Leviticus)
Liturgy - Some alterations were made in it, which consisted in adding the general confession and absolution, and the communion to begin with the Ten Commandments
Number - many) ways, (28:25) ...
Ten as a preferential number is exemplified in the Ten Commandments and the law of tithe
Command, Commandment - Sprinkle...
See also Decrees ; Law ; Requirement ; Statute ; Ten Commandments ...
Ark - As such, the ark contained the memorials of God's great redemptive acts—the tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments, an omer or two quarts of manna, and Aaron's rod
Motives - This corresponds to the climax of the Ten Commandments, which, unlike the preceding forbidden actions, prohibits an attitude: "You shall not covet" (Exodus 20:17 ). Meier...
See also Ethics ; Heart ; Ten Commandments ...
False Witness - Originally it dealt, not with lying in general, but with lying against one’s neighbour, perhaps because this is the most frequent form of falsehood (see Dale, Ten Commandments, p
Ten Commandments - (6) The law of the Ten Commandments was honored by Jesus Christ as embodying the substance of the law of God enjoined upon man
Altar - Immediately after giving the Ten Commandments, the Lord requested that this altar be built at once
Deuteronomy - For Israel the basic principles were in the form of Ten Commandments (4:44-5:33)
Exodus, Book of - " The Ten Commandments and various laws followed until Exodus 24 when the covenant was ratified by blood and inaugurated
Ethics - The major example is the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ). A few observations may help in interpreting these Ten Commandments. Practically every one of the Ten Commandments is raised in the most amazing nineteenth chapter of Leviticus
Poverty - the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17 , and the ‘Book of the Covenant,’ Exodus 20:23 to Exodus 23:33 ) the few references that do occur ( e
Bible, Inspiration of the - The plainest passage is Exodus 20 , in which the Ten Commandments are recorded; we later learn (31:18; 32:15-16) that they were written on two tablets of stone, "inscribed on both sides, front and back
Monotheism - To support the accuracy of this statement, they examine the central text in the Old Testament for defining Israel's belief about God: the Ten Commandments
Law - The moral law is summarily contained in the decalogue or Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on mount Sinai
Leviticus - The division into Decalogues is frequent throughout the Mosaic code, based no doubt upon the model of the Ten Commandments, each subject being set forth in ten ordinances, as Bertheau has observed (for details see his Commentary)
Abstain, Abstinence - God's moral law, characterized in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 ), expects his people to abstain from whatever he identifies as evil or out of bounds
Covenant - While Moses climbed the mountain and stayed in God's presence to receive the Ten Commandments, the people worshiped golden calves (Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ). See Ten Commandments
Woman - ...
The subordination of woman appears more clearly in a close reading the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments cite a son's duty to honor both his father and mother (Exodus 20:12 )
Obedience (2) - —If we test this by the Ten Commandments as substantially embracing the whole moral law, we find His obedience complete. He refers to the Ten Commandments when the young man asks what he shall do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16); but when the young man is not satisfied, He gives him a test which was not in any of the Commandments nor of any general application to men, ‘Go, sell, and give to the poor’ (Matthew 19:21)
Tradition (2) - ’ The ‘tables of stone’ were understood to mean the Ten Commandments; ‘the law,’ the written prescriptions of the Pentateuch; ‘the commandments,’ the Mishna; ‘which I have written,’ the prophets and Hagiographa; ‘that thou mayest teach them,’ the Talmud (Berakh
Lie, Lying - The Mosaic Law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, presents the bearing of false witness as a malicious sin against one's fellow man (Exodus 20:16 ; Deuteronomy 5:20 ; 19:18-19 ; cf
Numbers as Symbols - Exodus 7 — Exodus 12 The Ten Commandments
Pentateuch - The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1 : 2-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ) are frequently called law, but they are not law in the technical sense because no penalties or sanctions are connected with them. Apodictic refers to those authoritative, unconditional laws such as the Ten Commandments which begin, “Thou shalt not,” “You shall,” or laws calling for the death penalty
Punishment - ...
See also Eternal Punishment ; Judgment ; Ten Commandments ...
Moses - God also called Moses up into the mount, dictated to him the law, gave him the Ten Commandments written on stone by the finger of God, and showed him the pattern of the tabernacle
Covenant - First the Ten Commandments were spoken; these were inclusive principles governing all aspects of kingdom living. ...
The speaking of the Ten Commandments was followed by explication and application. The ratification of the covenant was finalized by Yahweh writing the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone and giving them to Moses
Ethics - The ground of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ) is what God has already done for Israel. White...
See also Deuteronomy, Theology of ; Jesus Christ ; Law ; Salvation ; Sanctification ; Sermon on the Mount ; Ten Commandments ...
Moses - ...
Dramatic though the crossing of the Re(e)d Sea is for the destiny of the Hebrews, the peak of Moses' career is attained on Mount Sinai, when God appears to him and delivers the celebrated Ten Commandments as the basis of Israel's covenant law
Sabbath - If it were so, its obligation is precisely the same, in all cases where God himself has not relaxed it; and if a positive precept only, it has surely a special eminence given to it, by being placed in the list of the Ten Commandments, and being capable, with them, of an epitome which resolves them into the love of God and our neighbour. ...
Another explicit proof that the law of the Ten Commandments, and, consequently, the law of the Sabbath, is obligatory upon Christians, is found in the answer of the Apostle to an objection to the doctrine of justification by faith: "Do we then make void the law through faith?"...
Romans 3:31 ; which is equivalent to asking, Does Christianity teach that the law is no longer obligatory on Christians, because it teaches that no man can be justified by it? To this he answers, in the most solemn form of expression, "God forbid; yea, we establish the law
Idolatry - There is good reason for thinking that the Second of the Ten Commandments is not in its earliest form; and it is probable that Exodus 34:10-28 (from the document J Freedom - also Exodus 20:2 ; as the introduction to the Ten Commandments )
Evil - Cultic values are addressed in the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-11 ; Deuteronomy 5:7-15 ) and by the first of Jesus' "Great Commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40 ; Mark 12:30 ; Luke 10:27 ; cf. Deuteronomy 6:5 ); ethics are considered in the last six of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12-17 ; Deuteronomy 5:16-21 ) and by the second "Great Commandment" (Leviticus 19:18 )
Law of Moses - (22:18,19) A fuller consideration of the tables of the Ten Commandments is given elsewhere
Ten Commandments - Ten Commandments...
Elijah - The king was indicted for infringing on two of the Ten Commandments that were recognized as the basis for society: murder and forcible appropriation, both capital offenses
Names of God - The Ten Commandments prohibited the violation of God's name (Exodus 20:7 ; Deuteronomy 5:11 )
Deuteronomy, the Book of - It shows the Ten Commandments as the center of the covenant relationship for believers
Commandments - Thus in our Lord’s summary of the Law we have more than a resolution of the Ten Commandments into two, corresponding broadly to the two divisions of the Decalogue
Profaning, Profanity - Dale, Ten Commandments, p
Law - The Ten Commandments were the principles by which the nation was to live, and formed the basis on which all Israel’s other laws were built (Exodus 20:1-17)
Moses - And when Moses drew nigh, and saw their proceedings, his anger waxed hot, and he cast away the tables of the covenant, or stone tablets on which were engraven the Ten Commandments by the finger of God himself, and brake them beneath the mount, in the presence of the people; in token that the covenant between God and them was now rescinded on his part, in consequence of their transgression. ...
When the Lord had pardoned the people, and taken them again into favour, he commanded Moses to hew two tablets of stone, like the former which were broken, and to present them to him on the top of the mount; and on these the Lord wrote again the Ten Commandments, for a renewal of the covenant between him and his people
Scripture, Unity And Diversity of - The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, James, and 1John present a harmonious voice for what constitutes godly character
Bible, Authority of the - In Exodus this narrative leads to the giving of the law on Sinai, and alongside the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God, we read the mass of first-person instruction that became the basis of the civil and ceremonial practice of the Hebrews
Tabernacle - [2] ...
In the holy of holies, within the veil, and shrouded in darkness, there was but one object, the ark of the covenant, containing the two tables of stone, inscribed with the Ten Commandments
Revelation, Idea of - His lengthy interviews with God are followed by the giving of the law, the most sustained and formal example of the divine speech in Holy Scripture which offers usin the Ten Commandments, but also in the whole of the extensive Mosaic legislationthe paradigm of divine speech issuing in divine writingof, precisely, inscripturation
Tabernacle - Aaron's rod represents the delivering grace of God, both in the exodus events and in God's selection of the priests as mediators; the manna represents God's sustaining grace; and the tablets of the Ten Commandments summarize the terms of the relationship
Sanctify - ” A related meaning of the word appears in the Ten Commandments: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” ( Parables - Daniel 4:1 proclaims the divine sovereignty over the secular kingdoms, and the Ten Commandments require full obedience to God
Deuteronomy, the Book of - The second discourse begins with the Ten Commandments, the basis of the law, and develops and applies the first table; next declares special statutes as to:...
(1) religion,...
(2) administration of justice and public officers,...
(3) private and social duties
Law - "The Ten Commandments" (Hebrew words, Exodus 34:28) are frequently called "the testimony," namely, of Jehovah against all who should transgress (Deuteronomy 31:26-27)
Testimony - ...
Concerning God's special revelation of himself to Old Testament Israel, the Ten Commandments are called the Testimony (Exodus 31:8 ); as the revelation of God's legislation, they testify to his person and work and to his expectations for Israel
Law - The topical units of chapters 12-25 are arranged according to the order of the Ten Commandments
Pentateuch - Also Exodus 24:4, "Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah"; (Exodus 34:27) "Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words" distinguished from Exodus 34:28, "He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments" (Exodus 34:1)
Roman Catholics - And then, to prevent alarm, as every body must know there should be Ten Commandments, the last is divided into two, to make up the number
Exodus, Theology of - Michael Hagan...
See also Covenant ; Egypt ; Moses ; Ten Commandments ...
Bible - ...
The Bible, with its old law of the Ten Commandments, gives the most perfect manifestation of the divine character and requirements from man, and this at a time when the human legislator, Moses, had just come from a nation sunk in the most debasing pollution and superstition
War, Holy War - Ahab grew up in a society where the Ten Commandments were an important standard
Immorality, Sexual - These "Ten Commandments, " as they are styled, contain certain injunctions of a moral character dealing with adultery, theft, false witness, and covetous behavior (Exodus 20:14-19 )
Jeremiah, Theology of - Back of the indictments of adultery (lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife, 5:8; 3:2-3; 7:9), stealing, and murder (7:9), lie the Ten Commandments
Word - The Ten Commandments were called "the word of the covenant" (Exodus 34:27-28 ); all of God's revelation to Moses was called "the words [8] of the law" (Deuteronomy 28:58 ; 31:24 ; Joshua 8:34 ; 2 Kings 22:13 ), "word of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 34:21 ), and "word of truth" (Psalm 119:43 )
Logia - In particular the Ten Words (English ‘Ten Commandments’) are called by Philo τὰ δἑκα λόλια (ed
Papyri And Ostraca - ...
Beginning then with Biblical MSS, and first of all MSS of the Hebrew Bible, we have in the Nash Papyrus a very ancient copy of the Ten Commandments
Biblical Theology - This instruction, epitomized by the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, does not set aside, but rather, gives a vehicle for living within the Abrahamic covenant
God - " This "trustworthiness" or "loyalty" that characterized God is set down in the ethical centerpiece of the law, the Ten Commandments, where God declares that he will show hesed "to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:6 )
Old Testament (i. Christ as Fulfilment of) - He also referred to the Ten Commandments as specific directions for conduct (Matthew 15:4, Mark 7:10 a; Matthew 19:18-19 a, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20)
Text, Versions, And Languages of ot - ; and it contains the Ten Commandments and Deuteronomy 6:4 f
Law - No final solution has yet been reached; but we may hold with confidence that the traditional account of the Decalogue is correct, and that the Ten Commandments in their original and shorter form were promulgated by Moses himself
Law - ...
It is an obvious, but it is not therefore a less important remark, that to the Jewish religion we owe that admirable summary of moral duty, contained in the Ten Commandments
Law (2) - Paul quotes one of the Ten Commandments (Romans 7:7)