Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments

English: The Ten Commandments, illustration fr...

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The ten commandments that are given in this chapter begin with the lord reminding His people who He is that has delivered them, and that they are to revere Him as the holy one that He is.  The covenant that He makes with them demands that they worship only Him – the one true and living God.  The command not to make any idols or images for worship extends both to those representing other “gods” as well as any to Him.  This is because any image meant to reflect Him would never be sufficient to adequately represent the Lord, and man’s imperfections would only reflect badly on His perfection.

In verse 5, the reference to visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children of other generations is a reminder to us that it is our sin that causes pain and suffering, and those consequences can often be more far-reaching than we ever imagined.  god prepared them for his command in verse 8 about the Sabbath with the introduction of the manna in chapter 16, and now shows its relation to His work in the creation.  Verse 12’s command to honor your mother and father goes far beyond simply respectful children.  It extends to how the way we live our lives reflects on them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), as well as how we care for them as they age (Mark 7:1-13).   Verse 13 is clearly about murder and the unjust taking of life, thought man has tried to make it into many things. We all know what adultery, theft, and bearing false witness really are.  Coveting something (verse 17) encompasses the desire for what another has that becomes so strong as to bring that person to contemplate or even do unrighteous things to obtain it.

Finally, in verses 22-26, the commands about the altars with which to worship the Lord again admonish against molding images for that purpose. No hewn (or chiseled) stones are to be used in making them; and they are not to go up by steps to it and expose their nakedness – profaning worship, as the Canaanites do.  But more than that, it show that God cares very deeply about how He is worshiped by giving commands of doing it in strict detail.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


2 comments on “Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments

  1. Pingback: You Shall Not Steal « bummyla

  2. Pingback: The Ten Commandments of Perfectionism « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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