Exodus 20 - KJV(i)
And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
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.
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;
And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
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.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:
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:
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.
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar,
that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
Ten Commandments Exodus 20
Shortly after God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, they traveled through the desert to Sinai where they camped in front of Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai, also called Mount Horeb, is a very significant place. There God met and spoke with Moses, telling him why he had rescued Israel from Egypt. For God had chosen these people to be made into a holy nation of priests for God, his treasured possession.
One day God called Moses to the top of the mountain and he gave him the first part of his new system of laws for his people - the Ten Commandments. (These Ten Commandments summarized the absolutes of spiritual and moral living that God intended for his people. For a modern-day paraphrase of the Ten Commandments visit: Ten Commandments - Paraphrase.)
God continued to give direction to his people through Moses, including the civil and ceremonial laws for managing their lives and their worship. Eventually God called Moses to the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. During this time he gave him instructions for the tabernacle and the offerings. When God finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him two tablets of stone inscribed by the very finger of God. They contained the Ten Commandments.
Meanwhile, the people of Israel had become impatient while waiting for Moses to return with a message from God. Moses had been gone for so long that the people gave up on him and begged Aaron (Moses' brother) to build them an altar so they could worship.
So Aaron collected offerings of gold from all the people and built an idol cast in the shape of a calf. Then they held a festival and bowed down to worship their idol. So quickly they had fallen back into the idolatry they were accustomed to in Egypt and disobeyed God's new commands.
When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone, his anger burned when he saw the people given over to idolatry. He threw down the two tablets, smashing them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. Then Moses destroyed the golden calf, burning it in the fire.
Moses and God proceeded to discipline the people for their sin. Later God instructed Moses to chisel two new stone tablets, just like the ones he had written with his own finger.
Points of Interest from the Story:
The Ten Commandments were spoken to Moses in God's own voice and then later written on two tablets of stone by the very finger of God and recorded in Exodus 20. They are extremely important to God. After Moses destroyed the tablets inscribed by God, he made Moses write new ones, just like the ones he had written himself.
The Ten Commandments are the first part of God's law system. In essence, they are a summary of the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament Law, and many are listed after Exodus 20. They offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living. They were designed to guide Israel into a life of practical holiness. These laws still instruct us today and have not been done away, for they expose sin and show us God's standard. Without the sacrifice of Christ we are utterly helpless to live up to God's holy standard.
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