The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments

Yahweh said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready at dawn; at dawn come up Mount Sinai and wait for me there at the top of the mountain. No one may come up with you, no one may be seen anywhere on the mountain; the flocks and herds may not even graze in front of this mountain.”

So he cut two tablets of stone like the first and, with the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up Mount Sinai in the early morning as Yahweh had ordered. And Yahweh descended in a cloud and stood with him there and pronounced the name Yahweh. Then Yahweh passed before him and called out, “Yahweh, Yahweh, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy, maintaining his faithful love to thousands, forgiving fault, crime and sin, yet letting nothing go unchecked, and punishing the parent’s fault in the children and in the grandchildren to the third and fourth generation!”

Moses immediately bowed to the ground in worship, then he said, “If indeed I do enjoy your favour, please, my Lord, come with us, although they are an obstinate people; and forgive our faults and sins, and adopt us as your heritage.”

He then said, “Behold, I am now making a covenant: I shall work such wonders at the head of your whole people as have never been worked in any other country or nation, and all the people round you will see what Yahweh can do, for what I shall do through you will be awe-inspiring. Mark, then, what I command you today. I am going to drive out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites before you.

  1. “Take care you make no pact with the inhabitants of the country which you are about to enter, or they will prove a snare in your community. You will tear down their altars, smash their cultic stones and cut down their sacred poles, for you will worship no other god, since Yahweh’s name is the Jealous One; he is a jealous God. Make no pact with the inhabitants of the country or, when they prostitute themselves to their own gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will partake of their sacrifice, and then you will choose wives for your sons from among their daughters, and their daughters, prostituting themselves to their own gods, will induce your sons to prostitute themselves to their gods.
  2. “You will not cast metal gods for yourself.
  3. “You will observe the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you will eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
  4. “All that first issues from the womb belongs to me: every male, every first-born of flock or herd. But the first-born donkey you will redeem with an animal from the flock; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you will redeem, and no one will appear before me empty-handed.
  5. “For six days you will labour, but on the seventh day you will rest; you will stop work even during ploughing and harvesting.
  6. “You will observe the feast of Weeks, of the first-fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of Ingathering at the close of the year.
  7. “Three times a year all your menfolk will appear before Lord Yahweh, God of Israel, for I shall dispossess the nations before you and extend your frontiers, and no one will set his heart on your territory when you go away to appear before Yahweh your God three times a year.
  8. “You will not offer the blood of my sacrificial victim with leavened bread, nor is the victim offered at the feast of Passover to be left until the following day.
  9. “You will bring the best of the first-fruits of your soil to the house of Yahweh your God.
  10. “You will not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

Yahweh then said to Moses, “Put these words in writing, for they are the terms of the covenant which I have made with you and with Israel.”

He stayed there with Yahweh for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing, and on the tablets he wrote the words of the covenant — the Ten Words.

Exodus 34: 1-28

These two tablets were carried in the ark of the covenant and placed in the holy of holies.
These the two tablets were carried in the ark of the covenant and placed in the holy of holies.


Note: Jesus does not ask us to follow these ten commandments, or any of the old law in the old testament. He asks us to love God with all our heart and mind and soul; and to love our neighbor as ourself. Everything else comes from this.