Exodus 20: 1-17 The 10 “Words” Part 1

1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Almost every Bible has the heading just before this passage “The 10 Commandments” and these verses have always been symbolic of the morals of Jewish and Christian life and traditions. 

Now the formal academic name for this passage is the Greek word “Decalogue,” which means “10 Words,” and the Hebrew for “word” here in verse 1 is “Dabar,” which means “Speech, oral utterance.”

Through this we know that this was not divinely given to Moses to write down. God actually spoke these words so that all of Israel could hear. This could also give us an idea of how other groups have come to have their own version of something that resembles the ideas and the ethics that God gives here for their own society. 

This passage is what the church knows of as the Mosaic covenant and would be the 2nd of 3 major covenants that we see in the Word. The first was the covenant with Abraham and the 3rd will be the covenant with Christ. There were many other pronouncements made by God to Adam and Noah but they don’t link together as the 3 we are looking at. 

Each of these three covenants had a sign given by God for those who would participate in each covenant. 

For the Abrahamic covenant, the sign was circumcision. This was required by God for any male who expected to be part of it as an outward sign of the acceptance of the terms. 

As we will soon see, the sign for the Mosaic Covenant, was to observe the Sabbath as a partially inward as well as an outward sign of accepting Yehovahs Lordship over your life. 

The 3rd is the Covenant with Christ or the covenant of grace. The sign of this covenant is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and is an inward sign of salvation as a union with God. 

Each of these covenants share a progressive unity between them and is what ties them together. 

The sign of the first is in the flesh and you wear it on your body. The second is in the soul (mind and will) and is a sign that you do. The third is in the Spirit where God places His Spirit alongside or within ours and this is a sign that we become as in a new creation. 

About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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