The Ten Commandments

The "Ten Commandments" are how God summed up the entirety of the Law, which according to the Old Testament was comprised of approximately 613 laws, called "mitzvot" in Hebrew. The Ten Commandments are found in two places in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21). In Exodus 20, God speaks the Ten Commandments to Moses (and Moses to the people). In Exodus 24:12 we read, "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them." Moses goes up for 40 days and nights (Exodus 24:18) and fasts from food and water for 40 days (Deuteronomy 9:9). This is a type of Elijah and Christ's 40 day fasts. Moses, the mediator between God and Israel, was a type of Christ, the "mediator of a new covenant" (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 3:1-6, 12:24). Moses was about to deliver the Law of God, Elijah was about to deliver the prophecy of God, and Christ was about to begin his ministry (Matthew 4:16). Moses and Elijah are also the ones who appear in the Transfiguration. So God goes over a lot of things with Moses during these 40 days (Exodus 25-31) and then we read, "And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God" (Exodus 31:18, 32:16; Deuteronomy 4:13, 5:22). We then read that while Moses is up on the mountain, the people get impatient and don't know what's happened to him, and they want to make their own "gods to go before" them. After 40 days, God tells Moses to go down the mountain because the Israelites have "acted corruptly" and made an idol for themselves. Moses comes down the mountain, sees the golden calf idol they made, and it says Moses "threw" the two tablets and broke them (Exodus 32:19; Deuteronomy 9:17). Moses fasts from food and water again for 40 days and nights (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:18) and there was clearly time between these fasts (Exodus 32:30, 34:28).

We have all broken the Ten Commandments and in fact, we all do it daily. Not one of us are perfect, even for a day, and we cannot even keep the very first commandment. However, the point of the Law and the Ten Commandments is for us to see our need for Jesus Christ. For the Jews, it was the need for sacrificial atonement. Jesus was the perfect and final sacrifice. I hope and pray that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

To remember the 10 Commandments, you can easily use your fingers to help you remember. I used to teach this occasionally to my sunday school group and the kids remembered them after seeing it once. You can find many videos of people teaching different ways to remember but I came up with a system I thought was easiest and plan on making a video myself. Essentially it is the following:

1 - There is one God and put Him first (holding up one finger).
2 - Don't bow down to any idols (Hold up two fingers and curl them downwards as if bowing).
3 - Do not take the name of God in vain (Hold up three fingers and then cover your mouth with them).
4 - Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy (Hold up four fingers, then turn them downward and wiggle them like people walking to church).
5 - Honor your father and mother (Can either hold up like taking an oath or salute with five fingers extended).
6 - You shall not murder (Hold up one hand with five fingers and the other with one finger, make the hand with one finger into a gun and shoot the other hand).
7 - You shall not commit adultery (Hold up one hand with five fingers, the other hand with two, and then make a letter "A").
8 - You shall not steal (Make two circles with your hands and look through them like a robber mask).
9 - You shall not lie (Hold up one hand with five fingers, the other with four, and make one lean or lie on the other, can say "lying nine").
10 - You shall not covet (With hands extended palm up, make a motion like gimme or come with both hands).

The following is a cute video I found online:

The Ten Commandments - motion (kinetic) typography from Vit Ryznar on Vimeo.


If you cannot view the above video, you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz3Nz8MymmQ and view it on YouTube.


© Todd Tyszka
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