The 10 Commandments were given to the Israel nation through Moses. The nation of Israel was now free from slavery in Egypt and was camped around Mount Sinai when thunder, lightning, a thick cloud, and the sound of trumpets signaled God's presence. Moses met with God and the 10 Commandments were written for the people to follow.
These laws of "thou shalt not" are meant for our protection and guidance. God, our loving Father, wants to give us wisdom and keep us from choices that He knows will harm us. As you read through the 10 Commandments List below, think of which ones you could do a better job at following. How would your life be lived more fully alive and free from insecurity, fear, and anxiety if you kept these laws?
We have written a complete guide to the 10 Commandments below including full Scripture passages, helpful articles and videos, and a short summary list.
Summary of the Ten Commandments:
- Do not have any other gods before God
- Do not make yourself an idol
- Do not take the Lord's name in vain
- Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy
- Honor your Father and Mother
- Do not murder
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not steal
- Do not testify or bear false witness against your neighbor
- Do not covet
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 (ESV)
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 "You shall have no other gods before me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13 "You shall not murder. 14 "You shall not commit adultery. 15 "You shall not steal. 16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." 18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
The 10 Commandments: Video Lesson
Modern Significance of the 10 Commandments
These laws delivered to Moses presented the framework for a new Israelite nation, they provided the morality of personal and property rights observed in our modern legal system. Jewish tradition holds that all 613 laws found in the Torah are summarized in the 10 Commandments.
Though Christians do not believe achieving the law is demanded for salvation, they still see the Ten Commandments as the establishment of God’s moral law. Jesus called people to an even higher standard by obeying the commandments not only in their behavior but also in their hearts and minds. For instance, Jesus quoted the command to not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Use the articles, videos, and audio found below the Scripture to better understand and study how important these commandments are that God gave us.