The Ten Commandments


Command; OT:6680 [used 494 times in the OT]  tsavah (tsaw-vaw’); a primitive root; (intensively) to constitute, enjoin: KJV – appoint, (for-) bid, (give a) charge, (give a, give in, send with) command (-er, -ment), send a messenger, put, (set) in order.

Regarding the Ten Commandments, Deut. Tells us:   These are the commandments YHWH proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothingmore. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. Deut 5:22

Nothing: [#3808 used 5000 times in OT] lo’ (lo); or low’ (lo); or loh (Deut 3:11) (lo); a primitive particle; not (the simple or abs. negation); by implication, no; often used with other particles (as follows):  KJV – X before, + or else, ere, + except, ig [-norant], much, less, nay, neither, never, no ([-ne], -r, [-thing]), (X as though … [can-], for) not (out of), of nought, otherwise, out of, + surely, + as truly as, + of a truth, + verily, for want, + whether, without.

Word #3808 in Deut 5:22 would be better understood as “at the time that he spoke he said nothing more” Vs “We don’t have to keep anything else but these commandments.”

Ex 20:1 informs us that Yahweh spoke those specific commandments and in many other scriptures we are told that YHWH spoke many other words (commands/laws/decrees, etc):  3 When Moses went and told the people all YHWH’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything YHWH has said we will do.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything  YHWH had said.  Ex 24:3-4

Words [#1697 OT- used 1441 times] dabar (daw-baw’); from OT:1696; a word; by implication, a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially, a cause: KJV – act, advice, affair, answer, X any such (thing), because of, book, business, care, case, cause, certain rate, + chronicles, commandment, X commune (-ication), + concern [-ing], + confer, counsel, + dearth, decree, deed, X disease, due, duty, effect, + eloquent, errand, [evil favouredness-], + glory, + harm, hurt, + iniquity, + judgment, language, + lying, manner, matter, message, [no] thing, oracle, X ought, X parts, + pertaining, + please, portion, + power, promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request, X (as hast) said, sake, saying, sentence, + sign, + so, some [uncleanness], somewhat to say, + song, speech, X spoken, talk, task, + that, X there done, thing (concerning), thought, + thus, tidings, what [-soever], + wherewith, which, word, work.

OT:1696 dabar (daw-bar’); a primitive root; perhaps properly, to arrange; but used figuratively (of words), to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue: KJV – answer, appoint, bid, command, commune, declare, destroy, give, name, promise, pronounce, rehearse, say, speak, be spokesman, subdue, talk, teach, tell, think, use [entreaties], utter, X well, X work.

Traditional division and interpretation

The most traditional view about the Ten Commandments is that the first four concern the relationship between the people and YHWH and the last six concerns the relationship between people.

“I am YHWH your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other idols before Me…”
This commandment is to believe in the existence of Elohim and His influence on events in the world, and that the goal of the redemption from Egypt was to become His servants. It prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities.

“Do not make an image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above…”

This prohibits the construction or fashioning of “idols” in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.

“You shall not misuse the name of YHWH your Elohim, for YHWH will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name…. 

This commandment forbids for making any pointless or insincere remarks about or using the name of YHWH, it also involves making oaths using his name and not keeping them.

“Remember [zawkar] the Sabbath day and keep it holy” (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, “observe”)

The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as Elohim ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zawkar is performed by declaring or marking the greatness of the day with activities that honor our Heavenly Father not ourselves. We come together rejoicing and singing praises to his Name, engage in Scriptural studies and we partake in fellowship meals and we give thanks for our Father’s blessings. The aspect of shamoris performed by abstaining from productive (work) activity on the Shabbat.

“Honor your father and your mother…”   The obligation to honor one’s parents is an obligation that one owes to Elohim and fulfills this obligation through one’s actions towards one’s parents. YHWH promises long life for those who honor their parents; this is not just about longevity but also about having less problems in their lives through the learning of basic guidance principles.

“Do not murder” Murdering a human being is a capital sin and punishable by death; the Hebrew word for murder also involved tearing to pieces and so it may involve the idea of tearing someone down verbally, Yahshua alluded to his in Matt 5:21.

“Do not commit adultery.”  Adultery is also a capital sin and was punishable by death. Adultery between people involved to people that were married (not to each other)  that defiled themselves. Adultery with Yahweh is also described as complete and total idolatry. 

“Do not steal.” This describes the idea of taking something that does not belong to you but some sources also believe that it describes the idea of kidnapping.

“Do not bear false witness against your neighbor”  One must not bear false witness [lie] about their neighbor in any matter and/or under any condition.  

“Do not covet your neighbor’s wife”   One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which Elohim has given to another. This does not mean that you cannot admire a person’s beauty or another’s property; it involves the idea of you desiring with your mind and heart the things that other people have. It involves extensive desire and planning on the sinner’s part as to how or what they will do obtain the item. Yahshua was connecting this sin with the sin of adultery when he said: 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully(coveting) has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:27-29