What are the ten commandments? why was the need for it at this time? why murdering and making adultery are severe? what’s the only commandment with a promise?
The need for commandment
It was not possible for the children of Israel to get out of their land of captivity, walking in the wilderness, and reaching the promising land without delivering a written law or commandments of God.
(I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.) (PSALM 119:19)
So, I guess not only the children of Israel in the wilderness but also, all of us need the commandment for many reasons. Firstly, it is the source of joy during pains of the wilderness.
(How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!) (PSALM 119:103)
(Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.) (PSALM 119:54)
(The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.) (PSALM 119:72)
Secondly, it guides and leads the human soul inside the pressures of life and wars of the accuser.
(Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.) (PSALM 119:92)
Thirdly, it is the secret of life. (My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.) (PSALM 119:25)
Fourthly, it is the secret of spiritual enlightenment. (Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.) (PSALM 119:105)
Fifthly, it introduces to us the hypostasis of God the groom of our souls and our hearts and its wonderful Savior. (I have seen the consummation of all perfection. But Your commandment is exceedingly broad.) (PSALM 119:96)
The First Commandment
(You shall have no other gods before Me.) (EXODUS 20:3)
It does not mean the existence of other gods, rather, it is a warning from the pagan worship. Also, God warns us from worshipping, the world, the desire, the ego, and any others that may prevail in our hearts.
So, God wants us to know and worship Him with a complete heart.
The Second Commandment
(You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that’s in heaven above, or that’s in the earth beneath, or that’s in the water under the earth.) (EXODUS 20:4)
It is worth mentioning that there’s a great difference between worshiping an image and using it as a memorial for something. Painting for the illiterate is like writing for the educated.
So, we use the icons in our churches not for worshipping but to remined us with certain facts.
The Third Commandment
(You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.) (EXODUS 20:7)
So, God ordered us not to take his name in vain and to take it for only a great necessity for His name is holy, awesome, great and excellent.
The Fourth Commandment
(Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.) (EXODUS 20:8)
For it is in the seventh day, after creating His creatures, God rested from all His works to teach us the human-beings to rest in the seventh day and to worship Him.
The Fifth Commandment
(Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.) (EXODUS 20:12)
For, the great efforts and real love from the parents to their children, God asked the children, to honor their parents not only by respect and good wordings but also, by standing in their backs when they become aged and advancing them with their needs and all helps.
And this commandment is the only one linked with a Godly promise which is the long days full of peace and blessings.
The Sixth Commandment
(You shall not murder.) (EXODUS 20:13)
God finds the human soul as so precious and declares His anger from such doing. (The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.) (Genesis 4:10)
The Seventh Commandment
(You shall not commit adultery.) (EXODUS 20:14)
This sin is extremely a dangerous one since it is the only one called dirtiness and within it the man makes wrongdoing towards, God, himself and the person he makes the sin with.
Also, I guess it is dangerous because it might cause a partial separation from God
The Eighth Commandment
(You shall not steal.) (EXODUS20:15)
The theft is not only stealing money but also including stealing thoughts, the commitments for paying tithing and the hours of worshiping and the time of work.
The Ninth Commandment
(You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.) (EXODUS 20:16)
Witnessing false is a dangerous lying because it is written; (He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are abomination to the Lord.) (PROVERBS 17:15)
The Tenth Commandment
(You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that’s your neighbor’s.) (EXODUS 20:17)
So, this commandment is about abandoning the desire for possessions and the wife of others which results in stealing and making adultery the eighth and the seventh commandments in order.
So, whoever can succeed in implementing this commandment will consequently do the same in the seventh and eighth ones as well.
(Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot cools, and his feet not be seared? So, is he who goes into his neighbor’s wife, whenever touches her shall not be innocent.) (PROVERBS 6:27-29)
Tawfik, S. (2023). The Commandment of Moses’s great Law. www.orthodox-beliefs.com
Source is THE HOLY BIBLE NKJV. Arabic New van Dyck text C. The Bible Society of Egypt. Fifth Edition Third print2019. ISBN 978-1-84364-188-9. Printed in China.
References:1- Exodus book for Priest Father Tadros Jakob Malti. 2- The church encyclopedia. Saint Mark Church.3- a research for Sameh Tawfik about stealing.