Jan 11

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The Ten Commandments

The “Ten Commandments,” as they are commonly called, are in the news from time to time, as lawyers fight in court, over the legality of having them on government owned property. It is not the purpose of this article to cover in anyway this subject, but to make the point the Ten Commandments are Jewish in origin and nature. God, the Hebrew el-o-hee-m, gave these laws to Moses on Mount Sinai; who then delivered them to the new nation of Israel; thus, they are uniquely Jewish!

Many do not know, or else just ignore the fact, that the Jews hold that God gave to Moses, not just ten commandments, but 613 commandments. Each of these 613 commandments is given explicitly, or implicitly, though there is some disagreement whether certain commandments are independent commandments. (They may be found on the internet.). The words ,“Ten commandments,” in Hebrew is “Aseret ha-Dibrot,” and may be translated, as one Jewish writer put it, “Ten Sayings, the Ten Statements, the Ten Declarations, the Ten Words, or even the Ten Things, but not as the Ten Commandments, which would be Aseret ha-Mitzvot.” Whatever they are called, not one commandment is any less than the other, as all were given by God! However, they are Jewish in origin and nature, in that it is written: “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb (Sinai, FRW). (Deut. 5:1-2).
Now turning attention to the heart of the matter? The commandments, better known as the “Ten Commandments,” are Jewish, not Christian! Never in the New Testament, (the teaching of Christ) are the “Ten Commandments” found. It is true that most of the “ten” commandments may be found within “the teaching of Christ.” But, never are they found as a body of teaching, as they are in Exodus 20:3-17. In fact, the commandment: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work …” (Ex. 20:9-10), is not found as a commandment in “the teaching of Christ.”
Some may object to this conclusion, but a few questions might help in understanding the truth. Question number one, how many of those who object, worship on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week? Question number two, how many of those who object, work on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week? Now turning attention to the New Testament and Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, and those who “… gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Thus, being saved, what did they do first? Luke wrote: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Verse 42). Yes, they worshiped God! What day is the first worship done under “the teaching of Christ?” Pentecost is always the first day of the week, not the Sabbath! But, looking farther, Luke wrote of Paul’s visit with the church in Troas: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Yes, once more God’s people worshipped, not on the Sabbath, but on “the first day of the week!” It must be understood, Christians do not worship on the Sabbath, per the “Ten Commandments,” but on “the first day of the week.”
So, what does this mean? It means that the “Ten Commandments” as given by Moses in Exodus chapter twenty, are Jewish and not Christian! Does this mean that it is lawful to murder, because we are not under the law which said: “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13)? It does not! It was wrong, sin, to murder before the “Ten Commandments” were given to Moses and it is wrong, sin, to murder according to “the teaching of Christ.” When Paul listed the works of the flesh, “murders” are in the list; and says: “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21).
As a matter of fact, Christianity is more demanding that the “Ten Commandments!” Here is what Jesus said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:…” (Matt. 5:21-22).

— Frank R. Williams

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