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.
K.J.V. Bible Text
The Lord God first identified himself to Moses then delivered a series of commandments, those we now refer to as “The Ten Commandments.” Although you can read them for yourself, I am going to reprint them here in a shortened form. Many people think they know these commandments but might find it hard to recite them all. Perhaps by writing them for you in a “shortened version” you will be helped to memorize them more easily. However, I hope you will also read today’s text which writes them out as they were given to Moses.
- Thou shalt have no gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make any graven images of anything on heaven, earth or in the water and thou shalt not bow down to such images.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
- Honour they father and mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness.
- Thou shalt not covet what is thy neighbor’s.
I have never heard it said before, but it seems to me as if the Lord began with the greatest sin, the most grievous of evil deeds, that of having another god before him. In fact, all the first three commandments deal with our relationship with God. The next two commandments are positive orders (Keep the Sabbath, Honor thy parents). The next 4 commandments are prohibitions against evil actions we could take against our fellow human beings and the final commandment is that we not covet what is our neighbors. To my mind this final commandment is one that would affect our own inner feelings, our relationship with our neighbors and even our relationship with God. Wanting what we do not have may lead us away from obedience to the other commandments.
In my mind, in the Ten Commandments, God not only laid out perfect rules for living, he also put together a perfect document that led logically from one carefully considered necessity for living to the next.
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