Deuteronomy 5

Listen to Deuteronomy 5

The Ten Commandments

1 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.
2 1The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3 2Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.
4 The LORD spoke with you 3face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire,
5 4while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For 5you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:
6 6"'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
7 "'You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
8 "'You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
9 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 fourth generation of those who hate me,
10 but showing steadfast love to 7thousands[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 "'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.
12 "'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14 but 8the 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 or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, 9that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
15 10You shall remember that you were a slave[c] in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there 11with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
16 "'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, 12that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
17 13"'You shall not murder.[d]
18 14"'And you shall not commit adultery.
19 "'And you shall not steal.
20 "'And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21 "'And you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.'
22 "These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly 15at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And 16he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23 And 17as soon as you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes, and your elders.
24 And you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and 18greatness, and 19we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man 20still live.
25 Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. 21If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, we shall die.
26 22For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?
27 Go near and hear all that the LORD our God will say and 23speak to us all that the LORD our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.'
28 "And the LORD heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. 24They are right in all that they have spoken.
29 25Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, 26that it might go well with them and with their descendants[e] forever!
30 Go and say to them, "Return to your tents."
31 But you, stand here by me, and 27I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.'
32 You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. 28You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33 29You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and 30that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

Deuteronomy 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The covenant in Horeb. (1-5) The ten commandments repeated. (6-22) The request of the people that the law might be delivered through Moses. (23-33)

Verses 1-5 Moses demands attention. When we hear the word of God we must learn it; and what we have learned we must put in practice, for that is the end of hearing and learning; not to fill our heads with notions, or our mouths with talk, but to direct our affections and conduct.

Verses 6-22 There is some variation here from ( Exodus 20 ) as between the Lord's prayer in #Mt 6| and ( Luke 11 ) . It is more necessary that we tie ourselves to the things, than to the words unalterably. The original reason for hallowing the sabbath, taken from God's resting from the work of creation on the seventh day, is not here mentioned. Though this ever remains in force, it is not the only reason. Here it is taken from Israel's deliverance out of Egypt; for that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed. In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm. How sweet is it to a soul truly distressed under the terrors of a broken law, to hear the mild and soul-reviving language of the gospel!

Verses 23-33 Moses refers to the consternation caused by the terror with which the law was given. God's appearances have always been terrible to man, ever since the fall; but Christ, having taken away sin, invites us to come boldly to the throne of grace. They were in a good mind, under the strong convictions of the word they heard. Many have their consciences startled by the law who have them not purified; fair promises are extorted from them, but no good principles are fixed and rooted in them. God commended what they said. He desires the welfare and salvation of poor sinners. He has given abundant proof that he does so; he gives us time and space to repent. He has sent his Son to redeem us, promised his Spirit to those who pray for him, and has declared that he has no pleasure in the ruin of sinners. It would be well with many, if there were always such a heart in them, as there seems to be sometimes; when they are under conviction of sin, or the rebukes of providence, or when they come to look death in the face. The only way to be happy, is to be holy. Say to the righteous, It shall be well with them. Let believers make it more and more their study and delight, to do as the Lord God hath commanded.

Cross References 30

  • 1. Deuteronomy 4:23; Exodus 19:5
  • 2. [Hebrews 8:9]
  • 3. [Deuteronomy 34:10; Exodus 33:11; Numbers 14:14; Judges 6:22]
  • 4. Exodus 20:21; [Galatians 3:19]
  • 5. Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18; Exodus 24:2
  • 6. For ver. 6-21, see Exodus 20:2-17
  • 7. Exodus 20:6; Jeremiah 32:18
  • 8. Exodus 16:29, 30; Hebrews 4:4
  • 9. [Exodus 23:12]
  • 10. Deuteronomy 15:15; Deuteronomy 16:12; Deuteronomy 24:18, 22
  • 11. See Deuteronomy 4:34
  • 12. See Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 13. Matthew 5:21, 27; Luke 18:20; James 2:11
  • 14. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 15. See Deuteronomy 4:11
  • 16. Deuteronomy 9:10, 11; Exodus 24:12
  • 17. See Deuteronomy 4:12
  • 18. See Deuteronomy 3:24
  • 19. Exodus 19:19
  • 20. See Deuteronomy 4:33
  • 21. Deuteronomy 18:16
  • 22. [See ver. 24 above]
  • 23. See Exodus 20:19
  • 24. Deuteronomy 18:17
  • 25. Deuteronomy 32:29; Psalms 81:13; Isaiah 48:18; [Matthew 23:37; Luke 19:42]
  • 26. See Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 27. Galatians 3:19
  • 28. Deuteronomy 17:20; Deuteronomy 28:14; Joshua 1:7; Joshua 23:6; 2 Kings 22:2; Proverbs 4:27
  • 29. Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 30:16; Jeremiah 7:23; [Luke 1:6]
  • 30. See Deuteronomy 4:40

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Or besides
  • [b]. Or to the thousandth generation
  • [c]. Or servant
  • [d]. The Hebrew word also covers causing human death through carelessness or negligence
  • [e]. Or sons

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Moses, after a short preface, De 5:1-5, repeats the law of the decalogue, or ten commands, with some little variation, De 5:6-21, and then reminds the Israelites of the terrible manner in which it was delivered to them, De 5:22,23 which put them upon making a request that Moses might be a mediator between God and them, and hear what the Lord had to say, and report it to them; to which they promised obedience, De 5:24-27 and which being agreeable to the Lord was granted, De 5:28-31, and this laid them under a greater obligation to observe the commands of God, and keep them, De 5:32,33.

Deuteronomy 5 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.