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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Exodus 20

 

 

Verse 1-2

Introduction to the Ten Commandments - Exodus 20:1-2 records God's introductory remarks to the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,

Exodus 20:1Comments- Did God speak to Moses and Aaron only ( Exodus 19:24), or to all of the people? See Exodus 20:19-20.

Exodus 19:24, "And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them."

Exodus 20:19-20,"And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not."

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Exodus 20:2Comments- The Israelites had lived in Egypt, a land of many gods. The Lord identifies Himself here as their true Deliverer among the many gods of Egypt.


Verses 1-17

The Ten Commandments (Introduction) - Exodus 1:1-17 records the Ten Commandments that Moses received on Mount Sinai. The heart of these laws serve as the foundation of the man's faith in God in both the old and new covenants. They establish the divine principles by which man should live throughout the ages, from Genesis to Revelations.

The major theme of the Pentateuch is the delivering of the Mosaic Law to the children of Israel. On Mount Sinai, Moses gave the people the Ten Commandments, which can be referred to as the "Moral Law." He then delivered to them many statutes and ordinances regarding daily living and service in the Tabernacle. This set of rules and regulations can be referred to as the "Civil Laws." The Ten Commandments became the foundation for the Jewish civil laws. Thus, the Ten Commandments dealt with a man's heart, while the civil laws dealt with a man's actions. When a man held the moral laws within his heart, he would then be willing to follow the civil laws. Moses repeats the giving of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:1-22 to the new generation of people who will go in to possess the Promised Land.

When questioned by the Jews about the greatest commandment, Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments into two great commandments, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." ( Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28) Thus, we can understand that the first four commandments deal with our relationship to God. Jesus summed these four up with the statement that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

1Commandment ( Exodus 20:3) - No other Gods before Me. Love God with all your heart.

2Commandment ( Exodus 20:4-6) - No worship of graven images. Love God with all your soul.

3Commandment ( Exodus 20:7) - Do not take God"s name in vain. Love God with all your mind.

4th Commandment ( Exodus 20:8-11) - Keep the Sabbath. Love God with all your strength.

This order of heart, soul, mind, and strength helps us to understand our make-up. When we set our heart on something or someone (1st commandment), we begin to think about it (2nd commandment), our thoughts lead us to speak about it (3rd commandment), and our words direct our actions (4th commandment). The last six commandments deal with man's relationship with his fellow man:

5th Commandment ( Exodus 20:12) - Honour father and mother.

6th Commandment ( Exodus 20:13) - Do not murder.

7th Commandment ( Exodus 20:14) - Do not commit adultery.

8th Commandment ( Exodus 20:15) - Do not steal.

9th Commandment ( Exodus 20:16) - Do not bear false witness.

10th Commandment ( Exodus 20:17) - Do not covet.

Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments in Matthew 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." He made a similar statement in Luke 6:31, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

In Romans 13:9-10 Paul summed up the last six commandments with the same statement that Jesus had taught, which says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Romans 13:9-10, "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

James describes the Ten Commandments as the "royal law" ( James 2:8-11).

James 2:8, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"


Verses 3-11

The First Four Commandments - Jesus revealed that the first four commandments deal with our relationship to God.

Mark 12:30-32, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

They teach us to serve the Lord with our heart, soul, mind and strength:

1Commandment ( Exodus 20:3) - No other Gods before Me. Love God with all your heart.

2Commandment ( Exodus 20:4-6) - No worship of graven images. Love God with all your soul.

3Commandment ( Exodus 20:7) - Do not take God"s name in vain. Love God with all your mind.

4th Commandment ( Exodus 20:8-11) - Keep the Sabbath. Love God with all your strength.

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3Comments- The First Commandment - Exodus 20:3 records the first commandment, which tells us to have no other gods before the Lord God. This commandment teaches us to serve the Lord with all of our heart. We serve a jealous God.

Exodus 20:5, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"

Deuteronomy 4:24, "For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God."

Deuteronomy 5:9, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,"

Deuteronomy 6:15, "(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth."

Joshua 24:19, "And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins."

The New Testament Perspective:

Matthew 4:10, "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Matthew 19:16-22

Matthew 22:34-46

Mark 12:28-34

Luke 10:25-37

Romans 13:10, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Philippians 3:19, "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)"

2 Timothy 3:4, "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"

Your God is who you serve and try to please the most, or above all else. Illustration:

Galatians 1:10, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

Your God is who you believe in and serve. Illustration:

1 Samuel 8:1-9; 1 Samuel 10:17 f

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 20:5 — "I the LORD thy God am a jealous God" - Comments- The title "a jealous God" was used frequently by Moses and Joshua:

Exodus 34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"

Deuteronomy 4:24, "For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God."

Deuteronomy 5:9, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,"

Deuteronomy 6:15, "(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth."

Joshua 24:19, "And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins."

Exodus 20:5 — "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children" - Word Study on "visiting" - Strong says the Hebrew word "visiting" "paqad" ( פָּקַד) (H 6485) is a primitive root that literally means, "to visit (with friendly or hostile intent)." This word carries a wide use of meanings in the Old Testament, such as "to attend to, muster, number, reckon, visit, punish, appoint, look after, care for." The Enhance Strong says it is used 305 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "number 119, visit 59, punish 31, appoint 14, commit 6, miss 6, set 6, charge 5, governor 5, lack 4, oversight 4, officers 4, counted 3, empty 3, ruler 3, overseer 3, judgment 2, misc 28".

Exodus 20:5 — "unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" - Comments- Why three or four generations? Because it is possible for the third and fourth generations to live during the time of the aged head of the family, and to be influenced towards either bad or good. In many societies, the aged head is considered the one who has the wisdom the lead the family and make all major decisions for his offspring.

It appears that God"s judgment ends or culminates in the third and fourth generations. We find this stated a number of times in Scriptures.

Exodus 20:5, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

Exodus 34:7, "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children"s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

Numbers 14:18, "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."

Deuteronomy 5:9, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,"

Deuteronomy 23:7-8, "Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation."

We have examples in the Scriptures of God"s judgment taking place or culminating in the fourth generation. Remember that God gave several kings of Israel four generations to rule and He gave them time to correct themselves before he would destroy their lineage of kingship. For example, God judged the fourth generation of Jehu by cutting off his seed from being king.

2 Kings 10:30, "And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."

2 Kings 15:12, "This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass."

Exodus 20:5Comments- We may ask the question of how God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children. One interesting newspaper article suggests that some diseases can be passed down to at least four generations of offspring.

"Toxic chemicals that poisoned your grandparents, or even great-grandparents, may also affect your health, US researchers suggested on Thursday. A study in rats shows the effects of certain toxic chemicals were passed on for four generations of males. The finding, published in the journal Science, suggests that toxins may play a role in inherited diseases now blamed on genetic mutations. ‘It's a new way to think about disease,' said Michael Skinner, director of the Centre for Reproductive Biology at Washington State University. ‘We believe this phenomenon will be widespread and be a major factor in understanding how disease develops.' For their study, Skinner and colleagues injected pregnant rats with vinclozolin, a fungicide commonly used in vineyards, and methoxychlor, a pesticide that replaced DDT. Both are endocrine disrupters - synthetic chemicals that interfere with the normal function of reproductive hormones, notably testosterone and oestrogen.

"Characteristics - Animal studies have shown they can affect fertility and the development of genitals, for example. Scientists knew that treating pregnant rats with high doses of vinclozolin every day produces sterile male pups. Skinner's team injected vinclozolin into pregnant rats during a specific time during gestation when the developing embryos take on sexual characteristics. ‘It is when either an ovary or testes develop,' Skinner said in a telephone interview. The time was comparable to mid-gestation in humans. Male rat pups born to these mothers had a 20 percent lower than normal sperm count, their sperm were less motile, meaning they did not swim as well, and they were less fertile. There were similar results with methoxychlor. When these male offspring were mated with females that had not been exposed to the toxins, 90 percent of the new male offspring had similar problems. The effect held for a fourth generation. That has never been seen before, although radiation and chemotherapy are known to affect fertility and the children of people affected." 85]

85] Tests Show Poisoning May Last Four Generations: Result of toxin exposure could pass through male descendants, (Washington: Reuters), in Gulf News (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Saturday, June 4, 2005.

Exodus 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:4-6Comments- The Second Commandment - Exodus 20:4-6 records the second commandment, which tells us not to make graven idols nor bow down to worship them. The ancient world was full of idolatry. Practically every culture had their own set of idols and temples dedicated to their idols. This commandment teaches us to serve the Lord with all of our soul and places emphasis upon our thoughts and attitudes. In contrast, the third commandment emphasizes the words that we speak. Thus, our soulish realm has a two-fold aspect of thoughts and confession, or our soul and our mind.

We are to worship God in spirit and truth ( John 4:24).

John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Note other passages that talk about the evils of idolatry:

Romans 1:23-25

Ephesians 5:5, "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

Colossians 3:5, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:"

The Lord told Joshua and the children of Israel not to make any carvings of images. In the crossing of the Jordan River, they took twelve uncarved stones to make a memorial ( Joshua 4:1-3; Joshua 4:19-24). Note how the brasen serpent so easily became an idol to the children of Israel and Hezekiah had it destroyed ( Numbers 21:8-9, 2 Kings 18:1-5). Also, Gideon made a golden ephod, which became a snare unto the children of Israel ( Judges 8:24-27).

Judges 8:27, "And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house."

Being superstitious of objects and "good lack charms" would be a form of idolatry and of breaking this commandment.

Note other passages regarding Exodus 20:5 (visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the third and fourth generations):

Exodus 34:6-7, "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children"s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

Leviticus 20:4-5, "And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the Prayer of Manasseh , when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that Prayer of Manasseh , and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."

Note illustrations of Exodus 20:5 :

The Amalekite were killed for fighting with Israel.

1 Samuel 15:1-3, "Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

Saul's sons killed because Saul killed the Gibeonites.

2 Samuel 21:1 f

God judged the children of Israel because of their years of idolatry.

2 Kings 23:24-26

Note other verses.

1 John 5:21, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."

Sacrilege is to appropriate to your own use what is consecrated to God.

Romans 2:22, "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?"

The blessings of the righteous will forever be handed down to his descendents as it brings never-ending blessings from one generation to the next. But the punishment that God hands down to the wicked will cut off their seed after the fourth generation and thus, purge the world of this wickedness. For example, Jesus Christ gave His blessings to twelve apostles. The blessings from the Gospel of Jesus has been handed down for thousands of years, and even into eternity. In contrast, the Lord cut off Ahab and other wicked leaders in Israel in their fourth generation.

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Exodus 20:7Comments- The Third Commandment (Do Not Take God's Name in Vain) - Exodus 20:7 records the third commandment, which tells us not to take God's name in vain. This commandment teaches us to serve the Lord with all of our minds. It places emphasis upon our words rather than our thoughts as seen in the second commandment. Thus, our soulish realm has a two-fold aspect of thoughts and confession.

The Old Testament prophets delivered oracles from the Lord and swore by His name. However, when a person swears by the Lord that he will go and do this or that in his life, he is in sin because he does not have power over the future to ensure something will happen. Only God in Heaven can know and determine the future. He wants our lives and destiny to be in His hands. He wants His children to look to Him daily for guidance and direction, rather than a person deciding his own destiny by swearing that something will happen. We have a clear example of this commandment in James 4:13-15, in which James condemns those who say they will go into a city, work for a year and gain prosperity. The truth is that they do not know what the future holds for them. He refers to such boastful acts in Exodus 5:12 by saying, "Swear not."

James 4:13-15, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

James 5:12, "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:8Word Study on "Sabbath" - Strong says Hebrew word "Sabbath" ( שַׁבָּת) (H 7676) comes from the primitive root ( שָׁבַת) (H 7673), which means, "to repose, i.e. desist from exertion." The Enhanced Strong says the word "Sabbath" is used 108 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV, "sabbath 107, another 1."

Exodus 20:8"Remember the Sabbath day" - Comments- See Isaiah 58:13 for insight into the true purpose and meaning of the Sabbath day rest:

Isaiah 58:13, "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words."

Exodus 20:8Comments - Hughes Old says the fourth commandment found in Exodus 20:8 involves the concept of "holding the memorial appropriate to the Sabbath day." He believes this memorial event involves remembering the Creation Story, Salvation history, the words of the prophets, etc, so that this is a time for the Jews to recite their redemptive history and pass it on to the next generation. 86]

86] Hughes Oliphant Old, "The Reading and Preaching of Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church," Expository Homiletical Conference, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, Massachusetts, 14October 2011.

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy Song of Solomon , nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them Isaiah , and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 20:8-11Comments- The Fourth Commandment (Honour the Sabbath Day) - Exodus 20:8-11 records the fourth commandment, which is to honour the Sabbath Day. This commandment tells us to serve the Lord with all of our strength. This would include our material wealth as well. Under the Mosaic Law, the breaking of the Sabbath was a sin into death ( Exodus 31:15).

Exodus 31:15, "Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

Illustration:

Numbers 15:32-36

We see in Leviticus 25:1-7; Leviticus 25:18-22 how the land was also to observe a Sabbath rest. Note that in the Garden of Eden, the land had rest. Man was to eat of the trees' fruit, and herbs, what grew of itself and he was to tend the Garden. Now ground is cursed and must be cultivated, so the land needs rest from this toil.

Psalm 92is a song for the Sabbath day to give God thanks on that day.

Isaiah 58:13-14 is a prophecy for us today on how to keep the Sabbath day.

Isaiah 58:13-14, "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

Jesus explains the Sabbath in the Gospels.

Matthew 12:5, "Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?"

Mark 2:27, "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for Prayer of Manasseh , and not man for the sabbath:"

John 7:20-24

When Jesus healed on the Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders were angered.

Luke 13:14, "And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day."

When a man works six days, it represents his way of doing things in order to prosper. The Sabbath day was symbolic of how man was to enter into God's life of faith and rest and trust Him.

Hebrews 4:9, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."

Therefore, healing and the Sabbath Day go together. However, the world wants to prosper by their worldly ways, not by God's way of faith.

According to Hebrews 4, we enter God's Sabbath rest by ceasing from walking in flesh and living by faith.

In Job 1:5 Job prayed for his children at the end of each cycle of feasting, praying for God's healing and sanctification. This was a type of Sabbath rest.

Job 1:5, "And it was Song of Solomon , when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually."

In the New Testament we attend Church on Sunday as a biblical New Testament pattern.

Acts 20:7, "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."

1 Corinthians 16:2, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

Paul taught the believers that there was no need to observe particular days under the New Covenant.

Romans 14:5-6, "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

Galatians 4:9-11, "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

Colossians 2:16-17, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

According to Malachi 3, tithing is a way of healing finances.

Exodus 20:8-11Comments- The Fourth Commandment (The Sabbath and the New Covenant) - Under the new covenant of the New Testament Church, we also are to bear no burden on the Sabbath because we have entered in a Sabbath rest ( Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 4:9-10). This means that we are to cease from our own works in the flesh and to be led by the Spirit of God.

Matthew 11:28-30, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Hebrews 4:9-10, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his."


Verses 12-17

The Last Six Commandments - Jesus teaches that the last six commandments deal with our relationship with our fellow man:

Mark 12:30-32, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

They teach us how to serve the Lord in our relationships with our family and society.

5th Commandment ( Exodus 20:12) - Honour father and mother.

6th Commandment ( Exodus 20:13) - Do not murder.

7th Commandment ( Exodus 20:14) - Do not commit adultery.

8th Commandment ( Exodus 20:15) - Do not steal.

9th Commandment ( Exodus 20:16) - Do not bear false witness.

10th Commandment ( Exodus 20:17) - Do not covet.

Note New Testament references to these last six commandments:

Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 - The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 19:18-19, "He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Mark 10:19, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother."

Luke 18:20, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother."

Romans 13:9-10, "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exodus 20:12Word Study on "Honour" - Strong says the Hebrew word "honour" "kabad" ( כָּבֵד) (H 3513) literally means, "to be heavy, be insensible, be dull," and used figuratively it means, "to honour, to glorify."

Exodus 20:12Comments- The Fifth Commandment - The fifth commandment teaches us to honour our parents.

The Old Testament Perspective- Honouring our parents brings long life and a life where things go well, that Isaiah , a life of blessings and not curses.

Deuteronomy 5:16, "Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

The Law warned the Israelites against striking one's parents or curse them.

Exodus 21:15, "And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death."

Exodus 21:17, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."

Leviticus 20:9, "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him."

Deuteronomy 27:16, "Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen."

The Law commanded children to fear their parents.

Leviticus 19:3, "Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God."

The Law commanded children to respect elders.

Leviticus 19:32, "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old Prayer of Manasseh , and fear thy God: I am the LORD."

Illustration: In 1 Kings 2:19 King Solomon bows to his mother Bathsheba.

1 Kings 2:19, "Bathsheba therefore went unto king Song of Solomon , to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king"s mother; and she sat on his right hand."

The Law judged those children who were stubborn and rebellious.

Deuteronomy 21:18-20, "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious Song of Solomon , which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard."

Other verses in the Old Testament:

Proverbs 1:8-9, "My Song of Solomon , hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

Proverbs 15:5, "A fool despiseth his father"s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent."

Proverbs 20:20, "Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness."

Proverbs 23:22-25

Proverbs 28:24, "Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer."

Proverbs 30:11, "There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother."

Proverbs 30:17, "The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."

The New Testament Perspective - Note the New Testament perspective of honouring our parents.

Matthew 15:4, "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death."

Mark 7:9-16

Mark 7:10, "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:"

Luke 18:20, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother."

Romans 1:30, "Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,"

Ephesians 6:1-3

Ephesians 6:2-3, "Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

Colossians 3:20, "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord."

1 Timothy 5:4, "But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God."

2 Timothy 3:1-2, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

Exodus 20:13Word Study on "kill" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( רָצַח) (H 7523) is a primitive root that means, "to dash in pieces, i.e. kill (a human being), especially to murder."

Exodus 20:13Comments- The Sixth Commandment - Exodus 20:13 records the sixth commandment, which teaches us not to kill. Murder here is defined as the intentional, pre-meditated act of taking another human life. It also includes the thoughts of a man"s heart. This commandment is not talking about accidental killings, wartime killings, or capital punishment. These other three types of killing are clearly dealt with in the Mosaic Law. One of the clearest definitions of murder is found in Numbers 35:16-21 and Deuteronomy 19:11-13.

Jesus Himself defined murder as an evil attitude of the heart, an attitude that leads from anger to premeditated murder. This definition excludes the other types of killings. Note:

Matthew 5:21-22, "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: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

This commandment is demonstrating the value of human life in the eyes of God.

We know that God has ordained governments to punish evildoers. One of these types of punishment is to kill the evildoer. We see this in the Scriptures. In Romans 13:4, the sword represents this type of judgment upon the evildoers.

Romans 13:4, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

The Old Testament Perspective- The Law made provision for acts of murder in Numbers 35:9-34. Wrath is the source of anger.

Illustrations of wrath:

1. Genesis 32-33 - Jacob meets Esau.

2. 1 Samuel 25 - Abigail intercedes to David for Nabal.

3. Moses" problem with anger:

He left Pharaoh"s presence in great anger before the ten plagues ( Exodus 11:8)

He slew an Egyptian

He broke the stone tablets

He struck the rock twice

Wrath in the tongue:

Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

James 1:19-21, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

A man must rule his own spirit.

Proverbs 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."

Proverbs 14:17, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated."

Proverbs 16:32, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

Ecclesiastes 7:9, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

Have no fellowship with an angry person.

Proverbs 22:24, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:"

Why?

Proverbs 29:22, "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression."

Wrath is the source of murder:

Proverbs 27:4, "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?"

Wrath is a work of the flesh:

Romans 12:19, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Galatians 5:20, "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,"

Ephesians 4:31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"

Just as justice was to be carried out under the Old Testament law, so also under the New Testament covenant. God has made a way to bring about justice.

The New Testament Perspective

Matthew 5:21-26, "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: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the Judges , and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."

Matthew 18:15-20 - Illustration: 1 Corinthians 5:4-6, 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Matthew 16:19, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Luke 6:28-29, "Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also."

Romans 12:19-21, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Proverbs 25:21-22, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee."

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14Word Study on "adultery" - Strong says the Hebrew word for "adultery" ( נָאַף) (H 5003) means, "to commit adultery." He said this word is used figuratively to means, "to apostatize."

Exodus 20:14Comments- The Seventh Commandment - Exodus 20:14 records the seventh commandment. It tells us not to commit adultery. Adultery here can mean any form of unfaithfulness. While aimed at keeping the marriage sacred, it also includes the concept of a pure relationship between single people, toward God, and even the thoughts of a man"s heart.

Matthew 5:27-28, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

James 4:4, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

The Old Testament Perspective

The adulterer loves darkness and hides his sin.

Job 24:15, "The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face."

Proverbs 6:20-35

The adulteress denies her sin.

Proverbs 30:20, "Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness."

Jeremiah 3:6-11

Jeremiah 5:7, "How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots" houses."

Jeremiah 7:8-15

The New Testament Perspective

Matthew 5:27-30

James 2:11, "For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."

James 4:4-10

Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

Exodus 20:15Comments- The Eighth Commandment - Exodus 20:15 gives us the eighth commandment, which tells us not to steal.

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Exodus 20:16Comments- The Ninth Commandment - Exodus 20:16 gives us the ninth commandment, which tells us not to bear false witness against our neighbour.

The Old Testament Perspective

Leviticus 19:11, "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another."

Leviticus 19:16, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD."

Deuteronomy 19:15-21

Psalm 15:3, "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour."

Psalm 101:5, "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer."

Psalm 101:7, "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight."

The New Testament Perspective

Evil speaking

Ephesians 4:31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"

Liars

1 Timothy 1:10, "For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"

False accusers

2 Timothy 3:3, "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"

Do not speak evil of the brethren

James 4:11, "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."

Illustrations

1. Jezebeel"s false witness for Naboth- 1 Kings 21:1-29 (this story also illustrates covetousness).

1 Kings 21:13, "And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died."

2. Against Jesus.

Matthew 26:59, "Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;"

3. Against Stephen.

Acts 6:11, "Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God."

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour"s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour"s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour"s.

Exodus 20:17Comments- The Tenth Commandment - Exodus 20:17 records the tenth commandment, which tells us not to covet anything that belongs to our neighbour. To covet means to earnestly desire something. It is when a man makes decisions based on earthly, material gain or not based on God's Word.

Ephesians 5:5, "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous Prayer of Manasseh , who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

Colossians 3:5, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:"

1 Timothy 6:10-11, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."

Note a New Testament reference to Exodus 20:17 :

Romans 7:7, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."


Verses 18-21

The People Cry Out in Fear - From the description of thunder and lightening given in Exodus 20:18 it seems that the voice of God speaking to Moses and Aaron was heard as thunder by the people. This scene and its noise overwhelmed the people and they asked Moses to speak to them directly rather than letting God speak in such awesome power and demonstration.

God answered the prayer of the people when they cried out in fear at Mount Sinai by raising up both Moses and later, Jesus Christ as the prophet who would speak to them in God's behalf. This is explained in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and Acts 3:22.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

Acts 3:22, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you."


Verses 22-26

Exodus 20:24Scripture References - See:

1 Kings 8:33-34, "When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers."

2 Chronicles 20:9, "If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help."

Exodus 20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

Exodus 20:25Comments- The carving of the stones of an altar could easily lead to the carving of graven images. Therefore, God commanded that men us raw stones if the altar is dedicated to Him.

Exodus 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 20:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/exodus-20.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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