commandments

This edition of "Did You Know?" is a three-for-one special! 

 

Number One

Scripture never mentions "The Ten Commandments".  Oh, sure, the commandments themselves are in the Bible, true.  But the phrase "the ten commandments" is never found.

"Aha!", some of you will say.  "I have finally found something those heretics can't back out of!"

Oh, ye of little faith... :)

 

If you have a bit of Bible knowledge or a good Bible search tool, you will quickly find three passages that use the phrase "the Ten Commandments" (capitalized or not): Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, and Deuteronomy 10:4.  Unfortunately, our translators have bowed to a tradition dating to the middle-ages and have not provided an accurate translation.

The Hebrew words used in those verses (aseret hadevarim) are more accurately translated as "the Ten Words"... not "the Ten Commandments".  The Septuagint accurately translates the Hebrew and uses the Greek equivalent of "the Ten Words", deka logous.

So in actual fact, Scripture never mentions the phrase "The Ten Commandments". (And for all of you eagle-eyed grammar gurus out there, that is the reason why the article is entitled "The Ten Commandments Is Not in the Bible" instead of the more grammatically expected "The Ten Commandments Are Not in the Bible".)  ;)

 

Number Two

Some of you with more than a cursory knowledge of Scripture may be quick to point out that the list of the Ten Comma... uh, Ten Words is given in two places: Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-21. 

Did You Know... that there are three different sets of ten commandments that people have extracted from those passages?

The first century Greek historian, Philo, presented a certain list of these commandments.  His Jewish contemporary, Josephus, provided the same list in his own writings.

Jewish scholars in the third-century CE recorded their order of commandments in the writings of the Talmud.

Catholic bishop, Augustine of Hippo, recorded his view of the commandments in the fifth century CE.

The chart below shows the differences in the way these three viewed the commandments.

 

Number Three

The third "Did You Know..." observation is found in the chart below as well.  We have included the traditional "Noachide laws" next to their counterparts within the Ten Comma... Ten Words.  You know what we mean!  You will notice that, according to Jewish tradition, non-Jews do not have to "honor father and mother" or "keep the Sabbath day holy".  Did you know?

 

 

The Commandments Chart 

Philo

Talmud

Augustine

Exodus 20:1-17

Deuteronomy 5:4-21

Noachide Laws

-

1

-

1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

4-5 The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said,

 

Pre

1

-

2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

6 'I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

 

1

2

1

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

7 'You shall have no other gods before Me.

included in #1

2

2

1

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

8 'You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

#1 Prohibition of idolatry

2

2

1

5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,

9 'You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,

included in #1

2

2

1

6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

included in #1

3

3

2

7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

11 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

#5 Prohibition of blasphemy

4

4

3

8 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

12 'Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.

not applicable?

4

4

3

9 "Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

13 'Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

not applicable?

4

4

3

10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

not applicable?

4

4

3

11 "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

15 'You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

not applicable?

5

5

4

12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

16 'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

not applicable?

6

6

5

13 "You shall not murder.

17 'You shall not murder.

#2 Prohibition of murder

7

7

6

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

18 'You shall not commit adultery.

#4 Prohibition of sexual immorality

8

8

7

15 "You shall not steal.

19 'You shall not steal.

#3 Prohibition of theft

9

9

8

16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

20 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

included in #7?

10

10

9

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house;

21 'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife,

not applicable?

10

10

10

you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.'

not applicable?

         

#6 Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive

         

#7 Establishment of courts of law

 

 

Torah Portion

נח (Noach)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Shabbat, 1 Cheshvan, 5778

Saturday, October 21, 2017

 

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