The Ten Commandments

In all of Holy Scripture, the Ten Command­ments are unique.

•   They are the only passage spoken directly by God to the whole congregation of Israel: “And God spoke all these words” (Exodus 20:1).

•   They are the only passage written directly by God with His own finger: “He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).

The New Testament restates all of the principles contained in the Ten Commandments for new covenant Christians. Moral conduct for every age and nation is based on the timeless precepts given so uniquely by the God of Israel.

The Ten Commandments as they were spoken by God and recorded in Exodus 20:3-17 are given below, followed by their New Testament equivalents. This chart demonstrates that the principles of the Ten Commandments are incorporated into our new covenant relationship with God, made possible by faith in Jesus Christ.

 

I

Exodus 20:3 — “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Matthew 22:3738 — “Jesus said to him: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”

Ephesians 4:6 — “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

 

II

Exodus 20:45 — “You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth: you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”

1 John 5:21 — “Keep yourselves from idols.”

Acts 17:29 — “We ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.”

John 4:24 — “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 

III

Exodus 20:7 — “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

Matthew 5:3435 – “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool . . . .”

Matthew 6:9 — “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”

IV

Exodus 20:8-11 — “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God
. . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

Mark 2:2728 — “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Hebrews 4:4 — “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.’”

 

V

Exodus 20:12 — “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

Ephesians 6:13 — “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise; ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’”

VI

Exodus 20:13 — “You shall not murder.”

1 John 3:15 — “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

 

VII

Exodus 20:14 — “You shall not commit adultery.”

1 Corinthians 6:910 — “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Hebrews 13:4 — “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

 

VIII

Exodus 20:15 — “You shall not steal.”

Ephesians 4:28 — “Let him who stole steal no longer.”

 

IX

Exodus 20:16 — “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Colossians 3:9 — “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”

 

X

Exodus 20:17 — “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, or his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Luke 12:15 — “Then He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’”

Colossians 3:5 — “Therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

For two New Testament texts that quote several of the Ten Commandments, see Matthew 19:17-19 and Romans 13:8-10.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version, copyright © 1982, 1983, by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. Used by permission.

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