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Exodus 20-22

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Exodus Chapter 20

The formal proclamation of The Ten Commandments (see the Fact Finder question below), which had actually been known and in effect since creation (The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?), then came:

The Ten Commandments

"I am The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. "You shall have no other gods before Me.

"You shall not make for yourself a graven 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; 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 upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

"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.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to The Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which The Lord your God gives you.

"You shall not kill.

"You shall not commit adultery.

"You shall not steal.

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's." (Exodus 20:1-17 RSV)

Exodus Chapter 21

The Lord then further explained His Law (although often referred to as "the law of Moses," it was and is actually The Law of The Lord), all of which is based upon the Ten Commandments. Many modern-day laws in countries all around the world are based (although credit for them is rarely given to their original Author, The Lord) upon God's instructions in how civilized people are to behave. Examples: the death penalty for murder, and compensation paid to a victim of assault.

Law

"Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him treacherously, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die." (Exodus 21:12-14 RSV)

"When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but keeps his bed, then if the man rises again and walks abroad with his staff, he that struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed" (Exodus 21:18-19 RSV)

Exodus Chapter 22

Property rights were also covered in God's Law (as made obvious in the Commandments against theft and coveting).

Moses

"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. He shall make restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or an ass or a sheep, he shall pay double.

"If a thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him; 22:4 but if the sun has risen upon him, there shall be bloodguilt for him.

"When a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

"When fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he that kindled the fire shall make full restitution.

"If a man delivers to his neighbor money or goods to keep, and it is stolen out of the man's house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God, to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor's goods. "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for ass, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before God; he whom God shall condemn shall pay double to his neighbor." (Exodus 22:1-9 RSV)

Along with property rights came social responsibility. Examples:

""You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.

If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

"If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him. If ever you take your neighbor's garment in pledge, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down; for that is his only covering, it is his mantle for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate." (Exodus 22:21-27 RSV)

Fact Finder: How do The Ten Commandments apply to everyone? How are The Ten Commandments fulfilled in true Christians?
See:
"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"
"Thou shalt not make any graven image"
"Thou shalt not take The Lord's Name in vain"
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy"
"Honour thy father and thy mother"
"Thou shalt not kill"
"Thou shalt not commit adultery"
"Thou shalt not steal"
"Thou shalt not bear false witness"
"Thou shalt not covet"
Also:
Numbering God's Commandments


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