Exodus 20 Ten Statements

Ten Statements

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 20

 

Exodus 20:1 And Elohim spoke all these speeches to say,

 

2 “I am Yehovah thy Gods Who exited thee from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves!

 

3 “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces! 4Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image] and every picture that is in the heavens from above and that is in the land from under and that is in the waters from under to the land. 5Thou shalt not prostrate to them. And thou shalt not serve them. For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One] visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters, 6And doing Grace to thousands—to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!

 

7 “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity! For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!

 

8 “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him! 9Thou shalt slave and do all thine errand six days. 10And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates. 11For, six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And He ceased in Day the seventh. Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!

 

12 “Glorify thy father and thy mother so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.

 

13 “Thou shalt not murder.

 

“Thou shalt not commit-adultery.

 

“Thou shalt not steal.

 

“Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie.

 

14 “Thou shalt not covet a house of thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet a woman of thy neighbour and his slave and his female-slave and his ox and his ass and any that is to thy neighbour.”

 

15And all the people, they are seeing the voices and the torches and a voice of the shofar! And the mountain is smoke! And the people saw. And they tottered. And they stood from a distance. 16And they said unto Draw [Moshe], “Speak thou with us! And we hearkened! And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

17And Draw [Moshe] said unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye. For the Elohim came in order to test you and in order that His fear will be upon your faces so-that-ye-shall-not-sin!”

 

18And the people stood from a distance. And Draw [Moshe] neared unto the neck-falling-darkness where there is the Elohim.

 

19And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “So thou shalt say unto children of Israel, ‘Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens! 20Ye shall not make with me gods of silver! And ye shall not make gods of gold to you! 21Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me. And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him. I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee. 22And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her! 23And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!’”

 

 

 

I. All These Speeches (verse 1)

 

Elohim spoke all these speeches. This section shows what all the speeches said.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is Elohim?

 

2.    How many speeches are given in these texts?

 

3.    This speech of verse 1 states, “Elohim spoke all these speeches to say.” What are these speeches saying?

 

4.    To whom did Elohim speak all these speeches?

 

 

 

II. The First Statement: The Identity of Yehovah (verse 2)

 

Yehovah identified Himself: “I am Yehovah thy Gods.” He said what He did: “… Who exited thee from the land of Egypt (Double-Adversity)…” He also did this: “… Who exited thee from the house of slaves!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does the name Yehovah mean?

 

2.    Why does the text state, “Yehovah thy Gods instead of “Yehovah thy God”?

 

3.    Why does Yehovah identify Himself as the Gods “who exited thee from the land of Egypt,” of all the different ways that He could describe Himself?

 

4.    What does house of slaves mean?

 

5.    Who is thee in, “Who exited thee?”

 

6.    Why did Yehovah exit Israel from the land of Egypt?

 

 

 

III. The Second Statement: NO Other Gods (verses 3-6)

 

Yehovah stated very specifically: “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces!”

 

He then added details: “Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image].”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the heavens from above.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the land from under.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the waters from under to the land.”

 

Yehovah then commanded what not to do:

 

“Thou shalt not prostrate to them.”

 

“And thou shalt not serve them.”

 

He then gave the reasons:

 

“For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One].”

 

What does a jealous mighty One do?

 

“…visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters…”

 

He also does beneficial things:

 

“…And doing Grace to thousands to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Yehovah word this, “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces,” instead of wording it this way: “Other gods shall not be to thee upon my faces”?

 

2.    Why does He say, “upon my faces”?

 

3.    Why does the text read, “upon my faces,” instead of, “upon my face”?

 

4.    What is an engraved image?

 

5.    Is Yehovah commanding the Israelis to refrain from every carving and sculpture?

 

6.    Is this text commanding the Israelis to never make any pictures?

 

7.    What would an engraving or a picture look like if it is “in the heavens from above”?

 

8.    What is “the land from under”?

 

9.    Does this command prohibit making photographs?

 

10. What are the “waters from under to the land”?

 

11. Are only pictures of these gods and goddesses prohibited?

 

12. What does prostrate mean?

 

13. What does “Thou shalt not prostrate to them” mean?

 

14. What is involved in serving them?

 

15. Do folks today serve false gods and goddesses?

 

16. Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not prostrate to them”?

 

17. Is this command only to whom you identified in the answer above?

 

18. What is the reason Yehovah gives for not prostrating to or serving false gods?

 

19. Isn’t being jealous very childish?

 

20. In what way is Yehovah jealous?

 

21. What is iniquity?

 

22. What does visiting iniquity upon someone mean?

 

23. Is Yehovah doing right by visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children? Should children be held responsible for what their fathers did?

 

24. What is Grace?

 

25. What does doing Grace mean?

 

26. What is a ‘lover’ of Yehovah?

 

27. What is a guard of Yehovah’s commandments?

 

 

 

IV. The Third Statement: Carrying the Name to a Vanity (verse 7)

 

Yehovah commanded, but He spoke of Himself in the third person (as if He were speaking of another being): “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity!” (A vanity includes a false god; see the questions.)

 

He then gave the threat, but again in the third person, as if He were speaking of another: “For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is a vanity in the Bible?

 

2.    What does “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity” mean?

 

3.    What does Yehovah say that He will do to anyone who carries this Name to a vanity?

 

4.    Most translations give the impression that using God’s name in vain is what this command about. This gives the impression that this command is against cussing/swearing using His name. Is this also correct?

 

 

 

V. The Fourth Statement: the Day of Ceasing (verses 8-11)

 

The commands continued as if Yehovah were not the speaker, since they are not in the first person (“I,” “my” or “me”), but in the third person (“He,” “His” or “Him”). “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him!”

 

Yehovah then gives the directions: “Six days thou shalt slave and do all thine errand. And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates.”

 

He gives the reason: “For six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And he ceased in Day the seventh.”

 

“Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!”

 

Questions

 

1.    What is this Day of Ceasing?

 

2.    What do the Days of Ceasing picture?

 

3.    What does sanctify mean?

 

4.    How can one sanctify a Day of Ceasing?

 

5.    How many days of the week is Israel assigned to work?

 

6.    Why must Israel slave? What does this mean?

 

7.    What is an errand, and how does this differ from work?

 

8.    Why is errand singular (“all thine errand”)?

 

9.    Why is Day the seventh a ceasing to Yehovah instead of being a ceasing to Israel?

 

10. Why mustn’t Israel do any errand, including even a sojourner who is in Israel’s gates?

 

11. What did Yehovah do for the six days mentioned in verse 11?

 

12. What does bless mean, and how did Yehovah bless Day the seventh?

 

13. How did Yehovah sanctify him, and who is him?

 

 

 

VI. The Fifth Statement: Glorification and a Prolonged Stay (verse 12)

 

Yehovah commanded one being (described by thy) to glorify this being’s father and mother. He gave the reason: “so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does glorify mean?

 

2.    Who is thy in, “Glorify thy father and thy mother…”?

 

3.    If the answer to the above text is true, identify the father and the mother:

 

4.    How will glorifying Avraham lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel?

 

5.    How will glorifying Jerusalem lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel?

 

6.    Has Yehovah given the soil of the Land of Israel to the Israelis?

 

 

 

VII. The Sixth Statement: Don’t Murder (verse 13)

 

Again speaking to one being, Yehovah commanded, “Thou shalt not murder.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is murder?

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not murder?

 

 

 

VIII. The Seventh Statement: Don’t Commit Adultery (verse 13)

 

He then commanded to this one being, “Thou shalt not commit-adultery.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is adultery?

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not commit adultery in this text?

 

3.    With whom might Israel as a whole commit adultery?

 

4.    Is Israel as a whole committing adultery right now?

 

 

 

IX. The Eighth Statement: Don’t Steal (verse 13)

 

Yehovah told this one being, “Thou shalt not steal.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is being told to not steal?

 

2.    From whom could Israel steal?

 

 

 

X. The Ninth Statement: Don’t Answer as a Witness of a Lie (verse 13)

 

Yehovah commanded against answering a question by means of a neighbour such that the person answering is a witness of a lie.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does “Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie” mean, and how does it differ from “Thou shalt not answer, a witness of a lie”?

 

2.    Is lying as a witness ever right?

 

3.    How else can Israel answer via Israel’s neighbour, a witness of a lie?

 

 

 

XI. The Tenth Statement: Coveting What Can’t Be Obtained (verse 14)

 

Yehovah commanded against coveting particular items: a house of one’s neighbour, a woman of one’s neighbour, a male slave of one’s neighbour, a female slave of one’s neighbour, an ox of one’s neighbour, an ass of one’s neighbour, and any item that is holy to one’s neighbour.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does covet mean?

 

2.    Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not covet…”?

 

3.    If the answer above is correct, what is wrong with Israel coveting a house of Israel’s neighbour?

 

4.    What is wrong with coveting a neighbour’s woman?

 

5.    If the neighbour has a slave, can’t the slave be purchased if the one who is coveting can afford the price?

 

6.    Can Israel go to war with neighbours, and take property (including slaves and women for wives) from the neighbours?

 

 

 

XII. Terror of Dying (verses 15-16)

 

All the people of Israel are seeing the voices! They see the torches, and they see the voice of the shofar! The mountain is smoke. Upon seeing these things, the people tottered, and they stood from a distance!

 

The Israelis then said unto Moshe, “Speak thou with us!” They guaranteed, “And we hearkened!” They then requested, “And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    How can all the people see voices, including the voice of the shofar?

 

2.    What torches were there?

 

3.    What do torches do, and why were they there with Elohim?

 

4.    If the above answer is correct regarding the torches, what do the voices do, and why did Elohim send the sounds of the voices?

 

5.    What is a shofar?

 

6.    What does “the mountain is smoke” mean?

 

7.    Why did the people totter, and what does that mean?

 

8.    What did the Israelis do as they tottered?

 

9.    What did the Israelis desire Moshe to do, and why?

 

10. Would they have died if Elohim had continued to speak with them?

 

 

 

XIII. The Test and Sin-Preventing Fear (verse 17)

 

Moshe responded by saying unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye.” He explained, “For the Elohim came in order to test you.” That wasn’t the only reason, however; He also came “in order that His fear will be upon your faces;” that fear was intentional. That way, the Israelis won’t sin!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What good did Moshe’s telling them to not fear do? Does telling fearful folks to not fear do any good?

 

2.    What is the purpose of a test from Elohim?

 

3.    What are the two reasons given for Elohim coming (to Mount Sinai)?

 

4.    What does fear being upon a person’s face have to do with not sinning?

 

5.    Does anyone show a fear of Elohim on his/her faces today?

 

 

 

XIV. Neck-Falling Darkness (verse 18)

 

The people of Israel still stood from (at) a distance. Moshe neared unto the darkness where Elohim was. It was ‘neck-falling’ darkness.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why does the text again state, “And the people stood from a distance”?

 

2.    Why is the darkness described as neck-falling?

 

3.    Why did Moshe approach this? Wasn’t he afraid?

 

4.    Does Elohim show up in great darkness elsewhere in the Bible?

 

5.    What is the benefit of Elohim’s appearing in neck-falling darkness?

 

 

 

XV. Against Idolatry (verses 19-23)

 

Yehovah now gave Moshe more things to say unto the children of Israel. Yehovah started with what He did: “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!”

 

Since Yehovah is therefore right there with them, He commanded, “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver!”

 

He also commanded against making gods of gold to (for) themselves.

 

Now, He commanded them to make one item: “Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me.” He gave its purposes: “And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him.”

 

How will Yehovah respond? “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee.”

 

He didn’t command against a stone altar, but He gave one restriction: “And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her!”

 

There was one other restriction regarding an altar: “And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Did Moshe now see Elohim (since Moshe just entered into the neck-falling darkness)?

 

2.    Yehovah told Moshe to tell the children of Israel, “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!” Did Yehovah speak to them from the heavens, or did He speak to them from Mount Sinai?

 

3.    Why did He speak with them from the heavens instead of appearing on the land where they were?

 

4.    What does Yehovah’s speaking with them from the heavens have to do with their not making gods of silver with Him and not making gods of gold to them?

 

5.    Yehovah said two different things: “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver” and “Ye shall not make gods of gold to you.” What is the difference between the two besides the metal from which the gods are made?

 

6.    Why did Yehovah specify that the altar must be made of soil?

 

7.    What is an ascension, and how is it sacrificed?

 

8.    What are ‘peaces,’ and how are they sacrificed?

 

9.    Why did Yehovah specify, “thou shalt sacrifice … thy flock and thy herd upon them” when that is obvious?

 

10. Yehovah next stated, “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name.” What does He mean by “remind my Name,” what places are these, and what will Yehovah do?

 

11. Yehovah mentioned two types of sacrifices: the ascension and the peaces. Why didn’t He also include the various sin sacrifices?

 

12. Why will Yehovah bless Israel?

 

13. What does “build them a cutting” mean?

 

14. What is wrong with cutting the stones into shapes in order to make a pretty altar to Yehovah?

 

15. What nakedness will be exposed if Israel ascends upon Yehovah’s altar via steps?

 

16. What is wrong with nakedness? Doesn’t Yehovah have the ability to see through all garments, and didn’t He design the human body in the first place?

 

 

 

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