Exodus 20:1-26 (The Ten Commandments)


Moses repeated the commandments to the people,...

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Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

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MOSES BREAKS THE TABLES OF THE LAW.—Exodus xxx...

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Moses speaks to the children of Israel, as in ...

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Moses mosaic on display at the Cathedral Basil...

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The Ten Commandments of the Mosaic Law on a mo...

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Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...
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Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

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Exodus 20

1And God spake all these words, saying,

2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 (1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 (2) 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.

5Thou 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;

6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 (3) 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 (4) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10But 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:

11For 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 (5) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 (6) Thou shalt not kill.

14 (7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 (8) Thou shalt not steal.

16 (9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 (10) 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.

18And 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.

19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20And 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.

21And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22And 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.

23Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24An 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.

25And 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.

26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

What was the significance of the Exodus story in the ongoing history of the people of Israel? How might this story have meaning today?

The Exodus became for the Hebrews the supreme occasion when God acted to deliver His people from harsh captivity, binding them to Himself by a solemn covenant. Even today, when the Jews celebrate the Passover, they are reminded of God’s mighty deliverance in that long-ago time.

The World Book Encyclopedia has some excellent articles on the Exodus and how it relates to the Hebrew people.

You might read the full text of the book of Exodus. The story is told there. The lessons we learn from the exodus are that God will deliver his people, but will also require a covenant relationship with his people.

A second lesson we learn is the fact that God is in control of the ultimate events of history. He may not be involved in each single activity, but overall He is in control.

There are scriptures in the New Testament which speak to the fact that those events of the exodus should be powerful lessons for people today. When people today put their trust in God and do his will, they will be blessed. When people today failed to obey God, they will suffer the consequences. The following text is a direct reference to the experiences that the children of Israel faced and what those lessons are for Christians in the present generation.

1 Corinthians 10:1-5
10:1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did-and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

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