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Book of Exodus
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Exodus 20

King James Version
The Ten Commandments
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.
18 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.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 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.
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Idols and Altars
22 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.
23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
24 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.
25 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.
26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

References and notes
1.  King James Authorized Version
2.  Author Exodus -
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -




Learn More About ...
Exodus 20
The Decalogue
Ten Terms
Ethical Decalogue

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Bible Author

Moses is the human author to the book of Exodus. The book of Exodus states that Moses wrote it. (Exodus 17:14; 24:4; 34:27) Also the Ten Commandments are said to be in the “Book of the Law of Moses.” The New Testament also holds to what is called Mosaic authorship. (Mark 7:10; Luke 2:22-23). What is meant by Mosaic authorship is that Moses was the fundamental or real author. In compiling it Moses may have used parts of already existing written documents. However under divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) Moses was led by God the Holy Spirit to deliver to us the book of Exodus.2


Division of Exodus 20

The preface to the ten commandments, 1, 2.
The FIRST commandment, against mental or theoretic idolatry, 3.
The SECOND, against making and worshipping images, or practical idolatry, 4-6.
The THIRD, against false swearing, blasphemy, and irreverent use of the name of God, 7.
The FOURTH, against profanation of the Sabbath, and idleness on the other days of the week, 8-11.
The FIFTH, against disrespect and disobedience to parents, 12.
The SIXTH, against murder and cruelty, 13.
The SEVENTH, against adultery and uncleanness, 14.
The EIGHTH, against stealing and dishonesty, 15.
The NINTH, against false testimony, perjury, &c., 16.
The TENTH, against covetousness, 17.
The people are alarmed at the awful appearance of God on the mount, and stand afar off, 18.
They pray that Moses may be mediator between God and them, 19.
Moses encourages them, 20.
He draws near to the thick darkness, and God communes with him, 21, 22.
Farther directions against idolatry, 23.
Directions concerning making an altar of earth, 24;
and an altar of hewn stone, 25.
None of these to be ascended by steps, and the reason given, 26.3


The Decalogue

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 feature prominently in Judaism and Christianity.4


Ten Terms

In Biblical Hebrew, the commandments are called עשרת הדברים (translit. Aseret ha-Dvarîm) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (translit. Aseret ha-Dibrot), both translatable as "the ten terms." The English name "Decalogue" is derived from the Greek translation δεκάλογος dekalogos "ten terms", found in the Septuagint at Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 10:4.4


Ethical Decalogue

The phrase "Ten Commandments" is generally used to refer to similar passages in Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. Some scholars distinguish between this "Ethical Decalogue" and a different series of ten commandments in Exodus 34:11–27 that they call the "Ritual Decalogue". Although Exodus 34 contains ten imperative statements, the passages in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 contain fourteen or fifteen. However, the Bible assigns the count of ten to both lists. Various denominations divide these statements into ten in different ways, and may also translate the Commandments differently.4

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