"Last Two Precepts of the Decalogue"


Hello all! I was reading through the Catechism and in the section about confession it mentioned the “last two precepts of the Decalogue”. From what I found, the Decalogue and the Ten Commandments are the same thing, right?

But what does it mean by the “last two precepts”? I can’t seem to find an answer to that.

Thank you in advance.


Yes the Decalogue are the Ten Commandments. The last tow precepts deal with sins of thought/desire not action.


There are traditional ways of numbering the commandments, but as you can see in the Bible, the commandments are not numbered.

So, when you ask about the last two commandments, I presume you are referring to the Catholic numeration – the two commandments about coveting.

Not for the sake of argument, but just for observation, Judaism divides the commandments into groups of five. When you read the actual text, five commandments have the words “the LORD your God” in them. So, that occurs five times, and then the remaining commandments shake out to the final five, where the coveting commandments are combined into one.

my point: the first five commandments that have that wording “the Lord your God” refer to God. The last five refer to commandments about people. The commandment about honoring our father and mother is, in this perspective, one that refers to God – we are to honor our parents second only to God Himself.

Traditionally, catholics say that the first 3 refer to God and the remaining 7 to mankind. but, the wording of those commandments suggests a new perspective. 5 commandments refer to God, 5 to man.


Sinful thoughts, primarily.

Baltimore Catechism

Q. 1317. What is forbidden by the ninth Commandment?
A. The ninth Commandment forbids unchaste thoughts, desires of another’s wife or husband, and all other unlawful impure thoughts and desires.

Q. 1323. What is forbidden by the tenth Commandment?
A. The tenth Commandment forbids all desires to take or keep wrongfully what belongs to another.

Q. 1324. In what does the sixth commandment differ from the ninth, and the seventh differ from the tenth?
A. The sixth commandment differs from the ninth in this, that the sixth refers chiefly to external acts of impurity, while the ninth refers more to sins of thought against purity. The seventh commandment refers chiefly to external acts of dishonesty, while the tenth refers more to thoughts against honesty.


Precepts are commandments of the CHURCH, which all Catholics are expected to obey:

  1. Sunday Duty and Days of Obligation

  2. Confession at least once a year, pref. at Easter time.

  3. Sacrament of Holy Communion at least 1 X per year.

  4. Fasting and Abstinence…
    Ash Wednesday
    Good Friday
    Abstain from meat every Friday of lent.

  5. Support the church.

(I’m new here and am used to giving the source which is a link, but I’m not allowed to. The above is from the CCC)

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