Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:1-21, NRSV)
The 10 Commandments.
Are there actually 10?
And how are they numbered?
You see there are at least 2 different numberings of the 10 Commandments, as you see in the 2 pictures on this post. The one on the left is the Lutheran/Catholic numbering and the one on the right is most others and the more widely accepted numbering. Why 2 different numberings? Probably because the commandments are found in Exodus (as seen above) and in Deuteronomy 5:4-20.
When I count in the reading above I get 13 things we are supposed to or not supposed to do. So why 10?
I honestly don’t know why. It is interesting though to see the emphasis put on these. They are a lifestyle that God invites all of us into. God gives the guidelines of a grace-filled life to Moses on 2 stone tablets. One laid out the way we are to interact with God and one the way we are to interact with our brothers and sisters here.
So follow 10 or 13 and use whatever numbering you like, but know these are rules we can not possibly keep, in their simplest form or the expanded form that Jesus gives us later, but are a lifestyle for us to live into to be in the right relationship with God and each other.
Love the Lord your God and Your Neighbor as yourself!