Ten Commandments


Ten Commandments
the precepts spoken by God to Israel, delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai; the Decalogue. Ex. 20; 24:12,34; Deut. 5. Though the numbering of these commandments may differ in some religions, that which has been followed in this dictionary is based on the King James Version of the Bible.

* * *

List of religious precepts sacred in Judaism and Christianity.

They include injunctions to honour God, the Sabbath, and one's parents, as well as bans on idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, theft, false witness, and covetousness. In the book of Exodus, they are divinely revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai and engraved on two stone tablets. Most scholars propose a date between the 16th and 13th century BC for the commandments, though some date them as late as 750 BC. They were not regarded with deep reverence by Christians until the 13th century.

* * *

also called  Decalogue 

      (Greek deka logoi, “10 words”), list of religious precepts that, according to various passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy, were divinely revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai and were engraved on two tablets of stone. The Commandments are recorded virtually identically in Ex. 20: 2–17 and Deut. 5: 6–21. The rendering in Exodus (Revised Standard Version) appears as follows:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to 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; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
You shall not kill.
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 wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

      Traditions differ in numbering the Ten Commandments. In Judaism, the prologue (“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage”) constitutes the first element, and the prohibitions against false gods and idols the second. Medieval Roman (Roman Catholicism) tradition, accepted by Luther (Luther, Martin), regards all these elements as one and preserves the number 10 by separating the prohibitions against coveting another's wife and coveting another's possessions. In the Greek Orthodox and Protestant Reformed (Reformed church) traditions, the prologue and the prohibition against false gods are one commandment and the prohibition against images is the second.

      Dating the Ten Commandments involves an interpretation of their purpose. Some scholars propose a date between the 16th and 13th centuries BC because Exodus and Deuteronomy connect the Ten Commandments with Moses and the Sinai Covenant between Yahweh and Israel. For those who regard the Ten Commandments as an epitome of prophetic teachings, the date would be some time after Amos and Hosea (after 750 BC). If the Ten Commandments are simply a summary of the legal and priestly traditions of Israel, they belong to an even later period.

      The Commandments contain little that was new to the ancient world and reflect a morality common to the ancient Middle East. They are a description of the conditions accepted by the community of Israel in its relationship to Yahweh. The differences found in Exodus and Deuteronomy indicate that the process of transmission from generation to generation brought with it modifications.

      The Ten Commandments had no particular importance in Christian tradition until the 13th century, when they were incorporated into a manual of instruction for those coming to confess their sins. With the rise of Protestant churches, new manuals of instruction in the faith were made available and the Ten Commandments were incorporated into catechisms as a fundamental part of religious training, especially of the young.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ten Commandments — С …   Википедия

  • Ten Commandments — Album par Ozzy Osbourne Sortie 1990 Enregistrement 1980 à 1986 Genre Heavy metal Producteur Ozzy Osbourne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ten Commandments — n. Bible the ten laws constituting the fundamental moral code of Israel, given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai; Decalogue: Ex. 20:2 17; Deut. 5:6 22 …   English World dictionary

  • Ten Commandments — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ (in the Bible) the divine rules of conduct given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai …   English terms dictionary

  • Ten Commandments — For other uses, see Ten Commandments (disambiguation). This 1768 …   Wikipedia

  • ten-commandments — baltagyslė maranta statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Marantinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Maranta leuconeura), paplitęs Brazilijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Maranta leuconeura angl. prayerplant; ten commandments šaltinis Valstybinės lietuvių… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Ten Commandments — Ten Com|mand|ments, the according to the Old Testament of the Bible, the set of rules that God gave to ↑Moses on Mount Sinai, in order to tell people how they should behave. They are supposed to have been written on two stone ↑tablets (=flat… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Ten Commandments — Ten′ Command′ments n. pl. bib rel the precepts spoken by God to Israel, delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai; the Decalogue …   From formal English to slang

  • Ten Commandments — noun plural Date: 13th century the ethical commandments of God given according to biblical accounts to Moses by voice and by writing on stone tablets on Mount Sinai …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Ten Commandments — The Law given to Moses according to the OT at Exod. 20:1–17 and Deut. 5:6–21, though in fact developed over centuries. It served as the foundation principles for the community s life. The Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, prohibit… …   Dictionary of the Bible


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.