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1 And God spake all these words, saying,

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

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

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:

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;

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

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.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

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

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

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

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

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

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.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20 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.

21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

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.

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

Commentary for Exodus 20

The preface to the ten commandments. (1,2) The commandments of the first table. (3-11) Of the second table. (12-17) The fear of the people. (18-21) Idolatry again forbidden. (22-26)1,2 God speaks many ways to the children of men; by conscience, by providences, by his voice, to all which we ought carefully to attend; but he never spake at any time so as he spake the TEN COMMANDMENTS. This law God had given to man before; it was written in his heart; but sin so defaced it, that it was necessary to revive the knowledge of it. The law is spiritual, and takes knowledge of the secret thoughts, desires, and dispositions of the heart. Its grand demand is love, without which outward obedience is mere hypocrisy. It requires perfect, unfailing, constant obedience; no law in the world admits disobedience to itself. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, #Jas 2:10|. Whether in the heart or the conduct, in thought, word, or deed, to omit or to vary any thing, is sin, and the wages of sin is death.

3-11 The first four of the ten commandments, commonly called the FIRST table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbour to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the object of worship, JEHOVAH, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment. Whatsoever ye do, do all the glory of God. The second commandment refers to the worship we are to render to the Lord our God. It is forbidden to make any image or picture of the Deity, in any form, or for any purpose; or to worship any creature, image, or picture. But the spiritual import of this command extends much further. All kinds of superstition are here forbidden, and the using of mere human inventions in the worship of God. The third commandment concerns the manner of worship, that it be with all possible reverence and seriousness. All false oaths are forbidden. All light appealing to God, all profane cursing, is a horrid breach of this command. It matters not whether the word of God, or sacred things, all such-like things break this commandment, and there is no profit, honour, or pleasure in them. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. The form of the fourth commandment, "Remember," shows that it was not now first given, but was known by the people before. One day in seven is to be kept holy. Six days are allotted to worldly business, but not so as to neglect the service of God, and the care of our souls. On those days we must do all our work, and leave none to be done on the sabbath day. Christ allowed works of necessity, charity, and piety; for the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath, #Mr 2:27|; but all works of luxury, vanity, or self-indulgence in any form, are forbidden. Trading, paying wages, settling accounts, writing letters of business, worldly studies, trifling visits, journeys, or light conversation, are not keeping this day holy to the Lord. Sloth and indolence may be a carnal, but not a holy rest. The sabbath of the Lord should be a day of rest from worldly labour, and a rest in the service of God. The advantages from the due keeping of this holy day, were it only to the health and happiness of mankind, with the time it affords for taking care of the soul, show the excellency of this commandment. The day is blessed; men are blessed by it, and in it. The blessing and direction to keep holy are not limited to the seventh day, but are spoken of the sabbath day.

12-17 The laws of the SECOND table, that is, the last six of the ten commandments, state our duty to ourselves and to one another, and explain the great commandment, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, #Lu 10:27|. Godliness and honesty must go together. The fifth commandment concerns the duties we owe to our relations. Honour thy father and thy mother, includes esteem of them, shown in our conduct; obedience to their lawful commands; come when they call you, go where they send you, do what they bid you, refrain from what they forbid you; and this, as children, cheerfully, and from a principle of love. Also submission to their counsels and corrections. Endeavouring, in every thing, to comfort parents, and to make their old age easy; maintaining them if they need support, which our Saviour makes to be particularly intended in this commandment, #Mt 15:4-6|. Careful observers have noted a peculiar blessing in temporal things on obedient, and the reverse on disobedient children. The sixth commandment requires that we regard the life and the safety of others as we do our own. Magistrates and their officers, and witnesses testifying the truth, do not break this command. Self-defence is lawful; but much which is not deemed murder by the laws of man, is such before God. Furious passions, stirred up by anger or by drunkenness, are no excuse: more guilty is murder in duels, which is a horrible effect of a haughty, revengeful spirit. All fighting, whether for wages, for renown, or out of anger and malice, breaks this command, and the bloodshed therein is murder. To tempt men to vice and crimes which shorten life, may be included. Misconduct, such as may break the heart, or shorten the lives of parents, wives, or other relatives, is a breach of this command. This command forbids all envy, malice, hatred, or anger, all provoking or insulting language. The destruction of our own lives is here forbidden. This commandment requires a spirit of kindness, longsuffering, and forgiveness. The seventh commandment concerns chastity. We should be as much afraid of that which defiles the body, as of that which destroys it. Whatever tends to pollute the imagination, or to raise the passions, falls under this law, as impure pictures, books, conversation, or any other like matters. The eighth commandment is the law of love as it respects the property of others. The portion of worldly things allotted us, as far as it is obtained in an honest way, is the bread which God hath given us; for that we ought to be thankful, to be contented with it, and, in the use of lawful means, to trust Providence for the future. Imposing upon the ignorance, easiness, or necessity of others, and many other things, break God's law, though scarcely blamed in society. Plunderers of kingdoms though above human justice, will be included in this sentence. Defrauding the public, contracting debts without prospect of paying them, or evading payment of just debts, extravagance, all living upon charity when not needful, all squeezing the poor in their wages; these, and such things, break this command; which requires industry, frugality, and content, and to do to others, about worldly property, as we would they should do to us. The ninth commandment concerns our own and our neighbour's good name. This forbids speaking falsely on any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising or designing to deceive our neighbour. Speaking unjustly against our neighbour, to hurt his reputation. Bearing false witness against him, or in common conversation slandering, backbiting, and tale-bearing; making what is done amiss, worse than it is, and in any way endeavouring to raise our reputation upon the ruin of our neighbour's. How much this command is every day broken among persons of all ranks! The tenth commandment strikes at the root; Thou shalt not covet. The others forbid all desire of doing what will be an injury to our neighbour; this forbids all wrong desire of having what will gratify ourselves.

18-21 This law, which is so extensive that we cannot measure it, so spiritual that we cannot evade it, and so reasonable that we cannot find fault with it, will be the rule of the future judgment of God, as it is for the present conduct of man. If tried by this rule, we shall find our lives have been passed in transgressions. And with this holy law and an awful judgment before us, who can despise the gospel of Christ? And the knowledge of the law shows our need of repentance. In every believer's heart sin is dethroned and crucified, the law of God is written, and the image of God renewed. The Holy Spirit enables him to hate sin and flee from it, to love and keep this law in sincerity and truth; nor will he cease to repent.

22-26 Moses having entered into the thick darkness, God there spake in his hearing all that follows from hence to the end of chap. 23, which is mostly an exposition of the ten commandments. The laws in these verses relate to God's worship. The Israelites are assured of God's gracious acceptance of their devotions. Under the gospel, men are encouraged to pray every where, and wherever God's people meet in his name to worship him, he will be in the midst of them; there he will come unto them, and will bless them.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Exodus 20

  • Mixster on Exodus 20:7
    The phrase "full armor of God" comes from Ephesians 6:13-17: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

    Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness (the righteousness of Jesus Christ) in place,

    and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

    The sword of the Spirit is all of the scriptures you have committed to memory.

    How can we mix Holy with Profane?
  • Mishael on Exodus 20:7
    If it's not cloudy where you live, you can go outside and see Saturn with the naked eye.

    It's the red looking star.
  • Mr on Exodus 20:7
    Why are there other versions/perversions on this King James Bible site? The King James Bible is the accurate translated word of God.

    As far as the ten commandments, God is correct to have to standard of right and wrong which shows that all are lost and have the eternal wages of death in the lake of fire unless they receive the gospel which graciously shows that the son of God died in their place.
  • Other Versions of the Bible by Mishael - in Reply on Exodus 20:7
    If you find error, you can go to the Contact Us link and let them look at it.

    Everybody in here may be using their own versions of the Bible. Such as NKJV, NIV, and others. You'll have to compare one to another. I've always used KJV because that is what I memorize.

    Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. New Testament in Greek or Aramaic. Be happy that at great persecution, King James of England got the Bible translated so that regular people like us could read it themselves. Which is why he did it.

    The history before it was translated is very very humbling. People were tortured Or burned at stake for having pages of the Bible.
  • Mr - in Reply on Exodus 20:7
    If I find an error, I will contact; however that had nothing to do with my comment at all. The King James Bible is totally accurate. The singular and plural (such as thee or you) is grammatically accurate unlike all contemporary versions. Also, the base texts of Hebrew and Greek are pure. If someone uses another version they are deceived, or willing ignorant. The history from William Tyndale and friends to the King James Bible is humbling. The history of the modern perversions is abominable. Comparing the gold of the KJB with the error riddled modern perversions, should lead one to accept the gold, and reject the error. The occultic Jesuits are having a pro-Lucifer hay-day; they are vicious wolves in sheep's clothing, and are behind much of the King James battle as well as battles against received text Bibles in other languages around the world.

    Back on topic to Exodus 20, the modernist push to downplay the commandments of God is atrocious. 2 Timothy 3:16

    I wrote a long article concerning this on my website, with many scripture references. I tried to link to it, but no links are allowed. I can not post it here, because the text is too long. If you type, "what saith the scripture these three are one" you will find my youtube channel, and an introduction screen-cast to my site. On the site I list copious verses in defense of the law of Moses. The link on the left of my site is titled, "law of Moses _ validity". Jah is most high.
  • Conchita on Exodus 20:25
    I was raised in the RC tradition, and taught that the 4th Commandment is "Honor thy father and thy mother." Why, in this Bible trivia, is the 4th Commandment "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy?" In the RC tradition, that is the 3rd Commandment. I compared this chapter of the King James version, with the Douay Rheims version, and, both versions seem to state the 4th Commandment as I was taught. I am confused. Please clarify this for me. I was taught the Commandments as follows:

    1. I am the LORD thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

    2. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD, thy God in vain.

    3. Remember thou keep holy the sabbath day.

    4. Honor thy father and thy mother.

    5. Thou shalt not kill.

    6. Thou shalt not steel.

    7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    8. Thou shalt not bear false witness of thy neighbor.

    9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife.

    10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.
  • Liana - in Reply on Exodus 20:4
    The Catholic Church System, changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

    God's law never changes that's why it was written on stone. Nowhere in the bible states that God changed his day of rest from Saturday to Sunday. Do some research on the Roman Emperor Constantine. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is the only Christian organization that recognizes and keep Saturday as the Sabbath day, in fulfillment of God's commandments.
  • Conchita - in Reply on Exodus 20:23
    Thank you for your response. However, you misunderstood my question. I was not asking why it is that some religions observe the Sabbath on Sunday, rather than on Saturday. My question was regarding what, exactly, is the 4th Commandment. I was taught that it is "Honor thy father and thy mother," and, applied that answer to the question posted in the "Bible Trivia" quiz. I was surprised when my answer turned out to be incorrect. I listed the 10 Commandments in the order in which I was taught. To my understanding of the KJV, as well as the Catholic Version, it would appear that the Fourth Commandment is, "Honor thy father and thy mother," not, "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy." See rational below:


    Verses 1 - 6 (First Commandment)

    Verse 7 (Second Commandment)

    Verses 8 - 11 (Third Commandment) "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy."

    Verse 12 (Fourth Commandment) "Honor thy father and thy mother."

    Still confused.
  • Josef - in Reply on Exodus 20:23
    Hi Conchita,

    The 10 Commandments are different in Protestant and Catholic theology.

    Here is the difference based on Exodus 20 which both list the commandments:

    Exodus 20 In Protestant theology:

    Commandment 1: 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    Commandment 2: 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

    Commandment 3: 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain

    Commandment 4: 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    Commandment 5: 12 Honour thy father and thy mother

    Commandment 6: 13 Thou shalt not kill.

    Commandment 7: 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    Commandment 8: 15 Thou shalt not steal.

    Commandment 9: 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    Commandment 10: 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 In Cathoic theology:

    Commandment 1: 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

    Commandment 2: 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain

    Commandment 3: 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    Commandment 4: 12 Honour thy father and thy mother

    Commandment 5: 13 Thou shalt not kill.

    Commandment 6: 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    Commandment 7: 15 Thou shalt not steal.

    Commandment 8: 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    Commandment 9: 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.

    Commandment 10: 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.

    The 10 Commandments are also listed in Deuteronomy 5.
  • Mishael on Ten Commandments - in Reply on Exodus 20:25
    Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5

    These books contain the Ten Commandments. I would compare both.

    The Bible is the best reference book to use for study. All the books contained in it, were canonized.

    Also, Jesus gave us 2 more commandments in the Gospels.

    Chris can tell you details about the process.


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Where did God give Moses his ten commandments?
  • Bethlehem
  • Nazareth
  • Mt. Sinai
  • Mt. Olympus