While the ten commandments constituted the basis of the covenant between God and Israel, many other laws were given looking to their enforcement. When the people heard the voice of the Lord, they were greatly frightened and requested Moses to hear the law and speak to them ( Exodus 20:18-21 ; Deuteronomy 5:22 Deuteronomy 5:33 ). The following evidences are furnished that Moses left a record of the law and his other works:
- The Lord told him to write these words, meaning the law ( Exodus 34:27 );
- it is said that Moses wrote all the words of the Lord ( Exodus 24:4 );
- Moses told the people to write the law upon the posts of their houses, their gates, and upon plastered stones ( Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ; Deuteronomy 11:18-20 ; Deuteronomy 27:1-8 );
- it is said that Moses wrote the goings of the children of Israel ( Numbers 33:2 );
- it is said that Moses wrote the law and delivered it to the priests ( Deuteronomy 31:9-13 Deuteronomy 31:24-27 );
- it is said that Moses wrote a song ( Deuteronomy 31:22 ; Deuteronomy 32:1-43 ).
Moses learned the will of God as no other mortal man ever learned it-- God spoke to him face to face ( Numbers 12:6-8 ). He spent eighty days and nights in Mount Sinai with the Lord ( Exodus 24:12-18 ; Exodus 31:18 ; Exodus 34:1-28 ). These laws covered the whole range of human activity:
- Duties to God. They were to love him with all their soul, mind and strength ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ). The reasons assigned for this commandment were,
- because He had chosen them above all people ( Deuteronomy 10:15 ; Deuteronomy 11:1 );
- because He had done great and terrible things for them which they had seen ( Deuteronomy 10:21 ; Deuteronomy 11:1 ).
- because He had made a great multitude of them ( Deuteronomy 10:22 ; Deuteronomy 11:1 ).
They were required to
- honor His name ( Deuteronomy 20:7 ),
- add nothing to his law and take nothing from it ( Deuteronomy 4:2 ; Deuteronomy 12:32 ),
- keep his statutes and judgments ( Deuteronomy 12:1 ),
- and give him the first and best of everything ( Exodus 13:2 ; Exodus 22:29 Exodus 22:30 ; Deuteronomy 26:1-11 ).
- Personal Duties. Every man was required,
- to be honest,
- and tell the truth ( Exodus 23:1 ; Leviticus 19:11 ).
- Duties of Parents to Their Children. Parents were required,
- to circumcise their sons when they were eight days old ( Leviticus 12:1-3 );
- to impress upon them the great importance of the great events of the nation's history ( Exodus 13:14-16 );
- to teach them the law ( Deuteronomy 6:1-6 );
- to give them possession of the inheritance ( Numbers 36:1-13 );
- to give the firstborn a double portion of the estate ( Deuteronomy 21:15-17 ); Deuteronomy 21:18-21 ).
- Duties of Children to Their Parents. Children were required,
- to honor their parents ( Exodus 20:12 );
- to fear them ( Leviticus 19:3 );
- and to refrain from cursing or smiting them ( Exodus 21:15 Exodus 21:17 ).
- Duties of Husbands and Wives to Each Other.
- Husbands were to cheer their wives, to give them a divorce if they did not love them and to confirm or disannul their vows ( Numbers 30:6-15 ; Deuteronomy 24:1-5 );
- wives were required to submit to their husbands ( Numbers 30:6-15 ).
- Duties of People to Their Rulers. The people were required to honor their rulers ( Exodus 22:28 ), and to submit to their decisions ( Deuteronomy 17:8-13 ).
- Duties of Rulers to the People. Rulers were required to measure out justice to men without regard to their financial standing ( Exodus 23:3 Exodus 23:6 ; Deuteronomy 16:18-20 ).
- General Duties. Masters were required to treat their servants with kindness ( Exodus 21:18-27 ; Leviticus 25:47-54 ).
The Hebrews were required
- to be generous to the poor and helpless ( Deuteronomy 15:7-11 ),
- to love strangers ( Exodus 22:21-23 ; Leviticus 19:33 ; Leviticus 25:35 ; Deuteronomy 10:19 ),
- to love their neighbors as themselves ( Leviticus 19:18 ),
- and to be honest in their dealings ( Leviticus 19:35 Leviticus 19:36 ).