The Ten Commandments or Decalogue

What Are The Moses Ten Commandments?

Tina S
Tina S
Nov 17, 2009
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The Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, are a list of religious and moral imperatives that, according to Judeo-Christian tradition, were authored by God and given to Moses on the mountain referred to as "Mount Sinai" (Exodus 19:23) or "Horeb" (Deuteronomy 5:2) in the form of two stone tablets. They are recognized as a moral foundation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

From the very first sin (Adam and Eve) God designed a plan to restore mankind to relationship and fellowship with himself (see purpose). This plan, given to Israel, was called a covenant. The covenant was originally given to Israel and in turn was to be shared with the whole world. The covenant was binding upon both parties (God and Israel). It could not be broken without severe consequences.

God's covenant was a promise that His people accepted in faith believing God would do what He said. In turn, the people promised God complete devotion and dedication to Him.

God established a spoken and written (Ten Commandments) set of obligations and responsibilities the people must obey in order to demonstrate their devotion to God and separation from sin. It was through these laws that Israel could learn the character of God and the dangers of sin.

God's chose Israel to be the messengers of God's love for all mankind through His covenant. The Ten Commandments were a key element of the covenant God made with Israel.
God called a man named Moses to deliver them from slavery and bondage. Through the miraculous delivery God again reminded Israel of His covenant with them and established their distinction from Egypt. The great exodus began with Israels' release from Egypt.
Shortly after their exodus from Egypt God gave Israel the Ten Commandments. They were originally spoken by the voice of God in the hearing of the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-20).

When Jesus was asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?” he replied: "You know the Commandments, keep these and you will live." For now, just notice that Jesus attests to the importance of the Ten Commandments. This is why Christians still accept them.

The Ten Commandments of Moses (Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Exodus 20:3-16) run as follows—

  The Commandments
The Call
1 I am the LORD your God, you shall have no other gods before me. Faith (Trust in God) All faith in God, freedom from lesser gods: wealth, power, popularity.
2           You shall not take the Name of the LORD your God in vain. Respect Holiness Respect for God and the things of God: prayer, worship, religion.
3 Keep holy the Sabbath day. Renewal Not just the Sabbath rest, but setting aside time for prayer, good recreation, and quiet reflection.
4 Honor your father and your mother. Family Loving care and respect for all family members, elders and younger siblings, too. Respect for elders in general.
5 You shall not kill.

Respect For Life Courtesy to all, speaking respectfully to all, seeking the best for all. Respecting others' freedom while still defending all human life
6 You shall not commit adultery.

Faithfulness (Fidelity)
Faithful actions beyond just abstaining from physical contact outside of marriage.
7 You shall not steal.
Justice (Honesty) Concern for the rights of others, especially when they get in the way of what we desire. A commitment to fairness and a willingness to suffer loss rather than depriving
8 You shall not bear false witness.
Truth A dedication to what is real and true, even if that reality is against our interests.
9 You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

Purity A desire to want only what God wills. A single-hearted devotion to God's way.
  You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. Generosity A cooperation in God's own generosity that sees all goods as belonging to God and freely given for the good of all.

When Jesus was asked, "What is the greatest commandment?" he responded with two:
Love God and love your neighbor. (cf. Mark 12:28-31)
In accord with this, we see the first three commandments as directed toward the first of these (love of God), and the last seven as relating to the second: love of neighbor.


Exodus 20:2-17
Deuteronomy 5:6-21
Matthew 5; 12:1-13
Mark 2:23 - 3:5; 7:8-13; 10:17-22; 12:28-31
Luke 18:18-23
John 13:34-35


Keywords: The Ten Commandments or Decalogue,Moses,Exodus 20:2-17,Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Mark 12:28-31,love of God,love of neighbor,Mount Sinai ,the greatest commandment.

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