The Ten Commandments Reviewed

Deuteronomy 5:1-30

Next, Moses reminds the people of the events that took place at Mount Sinai. He begins by telling the people it was an event which happened, not to their forefathers, but to they themselves. Although in reality the generation standing before him was not that which left Egypt, Jewish tradition teaches that all Jewish souls of all generations were present at Mount Sinai.


Moses then repeats the ten things God recited at Sinai:

  1. I am the Lord your God
  2. You shall not serve idols
  3. You shall not take My name in vain
  4. Keep the Sabbath
  5. Honor your parents
  6. Do not kill
  7. Do not commit adultery
  8. Do not steal
  9. Do not bear false witness
  10. Do not covet anything belonging to your neighbor

Moses reminds the people that they were overwhelmed by the enormity of facing God directly and asked Moses to carry God’s word to them instead. Here, God appears to find this awe praiseworthy, as He hopes they will maintain this level of fear in the future.


Certain commandments given may only be fulfilled in the Land of Israel, but the Israel Bible tells us from Deuteronomy 5:28 we learn that even those that can be enacted outside the land gain greater significance when performed in Israel.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

There are subtle differences between the Ten Commandments as they appear in Exodus 20 and here (e.g. Remember the Sabbath vs. Observe the Sabbath). Why do you think that is?

Comments ( 7 )

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  • Don Mueller

    They were (are) to be a “special” people, set apart from all the rest of the Nations and the observance of the Sabbath would be something they would do in unison (the rest of the commandments would be done individually) and would indeed sanctify them as a whole. No doubt they would be strengthened in their unity of observance along with the observance of all the other moedim. Even in the diaspora (and the holocaust) they would be strengthened to endure the separation from the land. What a Great God!

  • Richard M Scott

    But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: Here is the definition of KEEPING the Sabbath Day. It has already been established that you remember it but HOW EXACTLY do you do tht.

    Remembering simply hearkens way back to Gen 1 when Moses delineates how on the 7th day He rested. (Remembering simply alerts you to think about the Sabbath in a way that makes sense for it does not make sense that Hashem needs a day to rest for he is Lord. It is a way to make those think about why HE has set aside a day for rest in the first place!)

  • Herman Arentsen

    When first hearing the 10 Words they are more or less unknown and need to be remembered , to be kept in mind. When Moshe mentioned in his speech these 10 Words he is pointing to the observance of the Words and the consequences of not / listening and doing these Words. Those subtle differences e.g. `observe` in stead of `remember` may be explained from this.

  • Doreen Poole

    To remember was no longer needed, it has to be in our very hearts to keep it.

    • Angela B

      I agree with you Doreen. It follows that obedience was the issue Deuteronomy is stressing and hence the wording is not exactly as in Exodus 20.

  • Diana Brown

    Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy was the reference before. An statue was being formed in Exodus. Here in Deut., it has been established so it is to be kept immediately and without question. Would that be correct?

    • Diana Brown

      This is an interesting parsha teaching on the words Moses used regarding the Sabbath….

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