What's with the 10 Commandments?


#1

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbours.” Exodus 20:17

We get our ninth and 10th commandments from this verse.
It seems really difficult here to see two clear separate commandments being presented. Obviously a wife is not property like a donkey or an ox so I can see obviously why the separation.
However are their any sins that are covered by the ninth commandment which aren’t already covered by the 6th? It seems to make more sense to talk of the 6th commandment as the one dealing with lust issues but Exodus 20:17 with all kinds of coveting. It seems to read much more naturally as one commandment.

Also we normally think of the 9th commandment as to do with lusting (you shall not covet your neighbours wife) But where does the coveting of the servant fit in? If we separate the wife because she is not property a “servant” is not property either as he/she is made in the image and likeness of God with dignity. But coveting someone’s servant is not likely to be lust.

When I read this passage it simply doesn’t seem to be referring to two seperate commands, but one command: “you shall not covet”.

Anyone have any insight here?


#2

i think 6 talks about sexual purity, and sin-ises homosexuality,masturbation,etc. 9 emphasises marital discipline.


#3

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm for 6th commandment

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a9.htm for 9th


#4

The Decalogue actually consists of 14 imperative statements. That is to say that “Thou shalt” appears 14 times in the passage. The problem is that we’re told they split into 10, but aren’t told how.

Most of them are fairly obvious. A lot of statements stand on their own. And some are obviously grouped, like the 3 that make up “Keep holy the Sabbath” or the two that for “Thou shalt not make a graven image”. But even with that, we’re left with enough material for 4 more commandments with only 3 slots left.

*No false gods
*No idols
*Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife
*Don’t covet your neighbor’s goods

Historically, Catholics and Lutherans have grouped the first two, and split the covets. On the other hand, Orthodox and most Protestants split the first two and have a single “Thou shalt not covet”. Judaism does neither and both. They group both pairs, and instead make “I am the LORD your God” its own commandment. Personally, I like their way the best.

An argument for grouping the first two: To the Ancient Israelites, they were the same concept. You didn’t have a false god without idols, and you didn’t make idols without worshiping them as gods. Also, it’s clear that graven images are fine, as seen with the bronze serpent and the cherubim on the Ark. The prohibition is against the worship of idols as other gods, which would conflict with the first part of the commandment.

An argument for grouping the second two is what you pointed out. They seem so closely intertwined.


#5

The numbering of commandments is purely for catechetical reasons. I think Pope St John Paul II said this in one of his encyclicals on catechesis.

Being one of the small minority here who reads Jewish commentaries, I would point out that Judaism generally (there is no official interpretation of any scripture in Judaism) divides the decalogue (ten words) into two groups of five.

This can be easily understood in a Catholic Bible, in Deuteronomy, if you notice that there are a groups that contain the phrase “the Lord your God” and the latter group that does not contain that phrase.

The former group has to do with loving God and the latter group has to do with loving one’s neighbor.

This is in sharp contrast to let’s say the old Baltimore Catechism approach that there are three commandments that have to do with God and seven with humans, our “neighbors” let say.

But, commentators in Judaism have connected honoring one’s parents with honoring God, because of the easy-to-read wording of the first group of commandments.

The first grouping would fall under the generalization to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and all our strength. The second grouping goes along with the general commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.


#6

But at the same time, 3 and 7 are both fairly important numbers in the Bible. You have three commandments about God, which is fitting since God is triune. And you have 7 other commandments, which is also a nice number because 7 represents perfection in the Bible.


#7

The 10 Commandments are found in two separate passages in the Bible:

Ex 20:2-17 and Dt 5:6-21.

The importance of the 10 Commandments is shown by the fact that, unlike other parts of the Law given by God through Moses, they are written by God Himself on two stone tablets (Ex 24:12; 31:18; rewritten 34:1; Dt 4:13; 5:22; rewritten 10:2). There is no numerical division of the Commandments in either passage above, however the total of ten is given in several places (Ex 34:28; Dt 4:13; 10:4).

Differences in enumeration of the 10 Commandments arise from differences in their formulation in Exodus as opposed to Deuteronomy. The single last commandment in Exodus (20:17) against “coveting” a neighbor’s possessions (included among which is his wife) is divided into two in Deuteronomy (5:21) against “coveting” his wife and then “desiring” his possessions. The use of two different verbs in the Hebrew text and placing the wife first suggests two different commandments.

The division used by Roman Catholics and Lutherans today draws on Deuteronomy and goes back to Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine and was adopted by the Council of Trent.
(1) No false gods or idols. (2) No vain use of divine Name. (3) Sabbath.
(4) Parents. (5) Murder. (6) Adultery. (7) Theft. (8) False Witness. (9) Coveting wife.
(10) Coveting goods.] {Lutherans reverse the order of (9) and (10).}
In this arrangement the First Commandment groups the worship of false gods and false worship under a single class–the prohibition of idols being regarded as an application of the precept to adore one God. From a Roman Catholic point of view, it also seems as logical to separate the last two as to group the first two, for while one single object is aimed at under worship, two specifically different sins are forbidden under covetousness: if adultery and theft are two distinct types of moral wrong with two separate commandments, the same must be said of the desire to commit them.


#8

If you read the 20th chapter of Exodus, nowhere does God say “I give you these TEN Commandments to obey for all time!”

It is not important how we group the commandments to make 10, or how we order them, or number them 1 through 10, or anything of the sort. What is important is that the entirety of Exodus 20 is God’s message to us as to how to live our lives in accordance with His way.

Because of the importance of the numbers 3 and 7 throughout the Biblical age, people grouped the teachings dealing with how to treat God into 3 Commandments, and those dealing with how we treat each other into 7 Commandments, making 10.

Jesus said there are only 2 Commandments. Love the Lord God with all your being, and love each other as yourself. He clearly did not go against the Father’s will by chopping out 8 of the 10 Commandments, right?

If someone says that Exodus actually contains 13 Commandments, would it be considered heresy? “Thou Shall” appears 13 times in the chapter, not 10, after all.


#9

So he was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Ex 34:28

And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments,[a] and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.
Deuteronomy 4:13

So, yeah the number is 10, though perhaps numbering them is not all that important.


#10

The ten commandments arose out of a population of people who were living tribally in the desert. There was not much to do but look around and see what you might not have and wish to have. Not surprising that the central message spills over into two commandments.


#11

Not exactly… While He does say these are the two things we must do to cover all of the commandments, He specifically identifies commandments from the scripture several times such as in Matthew 19:16-21:
16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”…


#12

I believe we group them as 10 because we have 10 digits on our hands.


#13

Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, **the ten commandments. **
Also Deut 4:13 and 10:4


#14

Exodus 31:16 ‘So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;

  Psalm 105:9 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
        And His oath to Isaac.
  10 Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
        To Israel as an **everlasting covenant,**

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


#15

It is interesting to compare the phrase (red) above to Our Lord’s final words before dying on the cross:
John 19:30 30 When Jesus, therefore, had taken the vinegar, he said; It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.


#16

If everything is accomplished then why the commandments at all? If the Jewish sabbath is not necessary why replace it with Sunday and create a Christian sabbath?


#17

If everything is accomplished then why the commandments at all? If the Jewish sabbath is not necessary why replace it with Sunday and create a Christian sabbath?


#18

=SirEwenii;12327746]“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbours.” Exodus 20:17

We get our ninth and 10th commandments from this verse.
It seems really difficult here to see two clear separate commandments being presented. Obviously a wife is not property like a donkey or an ox so I can see obviously why the separation.
However are their any sins that are covered by the ninth commandment which aren’t already covered by the 6th? It seems to make more sense to talk of the 6th commandment as the one dealing with lust issues but Exodus 20:17 with all kinds of coveting. It seems to read much more naturally as one commandment.

Also we normally think of the 9th commandment as to do with lusting (you shall not covet your neighbours wife) But where does the coveting of the servant fit in? If we separate the wife because she is not property a “servant” is not property either as he/she is made in the image and likeness of God with dignity. But coveting someone’s servant is not likely to be lust.

When I read this passage it simply doesn’t seem to be referring to two seperate commands, but one command: “you shall not covet”.

Anyone have any insight here?

The Original Commandments are approximately 4,000 YEARS OLD:)

But still necessary
Still Valid’ & still Licit today

The message is in Moral Code: settle for what God permits YOU to have and don’t COVET stuff you don’t have. Amen!:thumbsup:


#19

“Everything”** in the Old Covenant was fulfilled, including the O.T. promise of a New Covenant
Jeremiah 31:31-33 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place
my law **within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jesus instituted that New Covenant. (cf Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Heb 8:6-7)
There will still be God’s “law” in the New Covenant. - “my law”.

If the Jewish sabbath is not necessary why replace it with Sunday and create a Christian Sabbath?

As to replacing the Saturday Sabbath (day of rest) with Sunday Sabbath (day of rest), it was primarily to honor Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead - His conquering of human death.

You might think of it as Sunday being Jesus’ day of rest; His Sabbath! (This is my personal thought - how I like to think of it.)


#20

That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that but “thou shalt keep holy the Lord’s Day” which is a man-made commandment, is joined to the other commandments and taught as if it were equally ordained by God. There’s something unscrupulous about that. It’s being passed off as the word of God but really it’s the word of man. Being straightforward about that would be more acceptable. Not being straightforward causes suspicion because now it looks as though one of the commandments were changed from “sabbath” to “Lord’s Day” and really the fourth commandment was changed.


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