According to biblical tradition, in Exodus it is said that Moses received from God the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai, engraved on tablets. In the Bible, these are called the ten words, which, translated into Greek, become the Decalogue.
Who wrote the 10 commandments. The history of the 10 commandments
These commandments were originally 613 in number and represented the terms of an understanding or covenant that God made with ancient Israel. 10 has a special meaning because the number is the symbol of God (X). The Jews used letters, and the letter yod is the correspondence of the value 10 and has three elements joined together, and that represents the Trinity.
King David is said to have reduced the number to 11. They appear in the Pentateuch, Exodus and Deuteronomy with some variations. The Hebrew and Samaritan traditions, in particular, managed to preserve only 10. These commandments are traditionally represented as follows: the first 5 commandments on the left, the others on the right on the tables of the Law. Some historians have hypothesized that these commandments may come from Egyptian tradition or from the law code of Hammurabi, king of Babylon.
The Decalogue is divided into two tables, one of which deals with religion and the other with morality. Finally, the short, incisive text constitutes a fundamental code that the memory can easily retain. First written on two stone tablets, they were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The engraved plates have not been found since, in 596 BC, the army of Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the temple in which the Ark of Power was located, respectively the box in which were the plates with the 10 commandments. The shape or size on which the commandments were engraved is not known, but according to Jewish law, the tablets were cube-shaped, and the length of the side of each cube was a cubit. The inscriptions were engraved on the entire surface, internal and external, as each cube had a cylinder-shaped hole.
The religious significance of the Decalogue
These 10 commandments are a summary of the Laws, that is, the moral prerequisites before the laws, and they henceforth become an active power of God through which God convinces man to repent. They are by no means just simple recommendations. The following were done just before the 10 commandments were given:
Moses went up to God. And the Lord called him from the mountain, saying: “Thus speak to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel. Now, if you will obey my voice and if you will keep my covenant, you will be mine among all the peoples, for the whole earth is mine.”
Why did God write the 10 commandments
The 10 commandments / Decalogue were left so that we understand that sin is present. Sin means missing the target that God expected from us, moreover, it is reflected in the way we treat others, ourselves and God. No one will be justified before Him by the works of the Law, because through the Law comes the full knowledge of sin. The 10 commandments do not fix the problem, they only clarify it, and only then do we accept that God has the real solution. Instead of continuing to deceive ourselves, the Law allows us to see clearly the situation in which we find ourselves.
What are the 10 commandments, written by God in stone, then recorded by Moses in the Bible in the book of Exodus
- I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods besides Me.
- You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any likeness, nor worship them.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in the desert.
- Remember the Lord’s day and honor it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you and that you may live many years on earth.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Don’t be promiscuous.
- Don’t steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- Do not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.