Particulars in the Decalogue (Deuteronomy 5)

In the chapter we learn some particulars:

  1. The words are addressed to Israel (5:1)
  2. A covenant was made with Israel on Mt Horeb (5:2)
  3. This covenant was not made “with our fathers” (5:3). The meaning of this phrase is understood variously. First, the generation to whom the words were given initially (Exodus 12-24) died in the wilderness. Thus, to them it was not given, but to this current generation on the east side of the Jordan, preparing to go into the promised land. Second, based on 5:4, the words are understood to refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The latter seems to be the better interpretation.
  4. The Lord’s base “command” (not a command at all, though the rabbis believe it to be such) is the declaration that His following words are directly connected to their origin (5:6), that is, that He brought them up out of Egypt.
  5. The Sabbath command is directly related to their time of bondage in Egypt (5:15).
  6. To the “Ten Words” “He added no more” (5:22). This is the reading in the NKJV, ASV, Brenton (LXX translation), ESV, KJV, and NIV. Thus, these commands of the Lord are distinct from that which the Lord gave Moses otherwise. The NET gives a rendering that essentially says the same, but it does not have the same “pop” (if you will): “and that was all he said.” The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) reads “and it went on no more.”
  7. These commands were written on two stone tablets.
  8. The occasion at the mountain was not only the commands given, but the experience of hearing the Lord speak (5:23-27).
  9. The Lord laments that the experience and the commands adhered to will not last long (5:28-29).
  10. Moses gives some exhortations and warnings (5:31-33).

#deuteronomy, #sabbath, #ten-commandments