The Ten Commandments is the name given to the set of instructions given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai by God. The biblical account of this is set out in two places: at Exodus 20: 1-17 and at Deuteronomy 5: 4-21.
In Hebrew, the original language of the Bible, the Ten Commandments are known as Aseret HaDibrot, which literally means ‘Ten Statements’.
The ten principles set out in the Aseret HaDibrot are:
- God exists
- Do not commit idolatry
- Do not take God’s name in vain
- Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy
- Honour your father and your mother (treat them respectfully)
- Do not murder
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not steal
- Do not bear false witness
- Do not covet (desire the belongings of others)
The 10 principles above are enumerated according to the Jewish tradition; in the Christian tradition they are numbered somewhat differently.
Traditionally, the Aseret HaDibrot are illustrated as being written on (carved into) two tablets (pieces of stone), with 5 commandments on each tablet. The first 5 statements are characterised as regulating the relationship between man and God, and the last 5 of the statements are characterised as regulating the relationship between man and his fellow man (the 5th commandment, to honour one’s parents, is seen as a bridge between the two categories since God is considered to stand in locus parentis to man, and the commandment can thus be understood as requiring respectful behaviour to both God and to one’s parents).
Aish: The 10 Commandments Today (considers the contemporary relevance of the 10 Commandments)
Chabad: The Ten Commandments (sets out the full text of the 10 Commandments in English translation)
Chabad: The Ten Commandments Anthology (links to numerous articles on specific aspects of the 10 Commandments)
Judaism 101: Aseret HaDibrot: the ‘Ten Commandments’
‘The Ten Commandments: Introduction’ (this and all videos below are by Prager University)
‘1 I am the Lord your God’
‘2 No Other Gods’
‘3 Do Not Misuse God’s Name’
‘4 Remember the Sabbath’
‘5 Honour Your Father and Mother’
‘6 Do Not Murder’
‘7 Do Not Commit Adultery’
‘8 Do Not Steal’
‘9 Do Not Bear False Witness’
’10 Do Not Covet’