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  • The Ten Commandments

What are "The Ten Commandments"?

The Ten Commandments are a set of basic rules regarding our behavior, mostly negative in construction, that appear in the ancient Hebrew scriptures and where directed at the Israelites as God’s chosen people.  Tradition holds that these rules were delivered to the Israelites by God via Moses, who climbed to the top of Mount Sinai during the Hebrews’ journey through the desert from Egypt to Canaan. They are, then, God’s requirements for how the Hebrews are supposed to behave.

The Ten Commandments are also called the Decalogue (or Decalog). This is a word derived from the Greek deka, which means ten, and logos, which means word. It is common in some religious circles to refer to the Ten Commandments as the Ten Words and even list them in the form of “First Word, Second Word, etc.”

The Ten Commandments can be found in the Bible starting at Exodus 20:3 and ending at Exodus 20:12

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.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  (KJV: Ephesians 2:8-9)

First Commandment:

 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Second Commandment:

 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:

Third Commandment:

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;

Forth Commandment:

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

Fifth Commandment:

 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.

Sixth Commandment:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.


Seventh Commandment:

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

Eight Commandment:

 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: 

Ninth Commandment:

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.

Tenth Commandment:

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

The above scriptures are taken from the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible.