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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Exodus 20:1-11

Here is, I. The preface of the law-writer, Moses: God spoke all these words, Exod. 20:1. The law of the ten commandments is, 1. A law of God's making. They are enjoined by the infinite eternal Majesty of heaven and earth. And where the word of the King of kings is surely there is power. 2. It is a law of his own speaking. God has many ways of speaking to the children of men (Job 33:14); once, yea twice?by his Spirit, by conscience, by providences, by his voice, all which we ought carefully to... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. This is the first command, and is opposed to the polytheism of the Gentiles, the Egyptians, from whom Israel was just come, and whose gods some of them might have had a favourable opinion of and liking to, and had committed idolatry with; and the Canaanites, into whose land they were going; and to prevent their joining with them in the worship of other gods, this law was given, as well as to be of standing us to them in all generations; for there is... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me - אחרים אלהים elohim acherim , no strange gods - none that thou art not acquainted with, none who has not given thee such proofs of his power and godhead as I have done in delivering thee from the Egyptians, dividing the Red Sea, bringing water out of the rock, quails into the desert, manna from heaven to feed thee, and the pillar of cloud to direct, enlighten, and shield thee. By these miracles God had rendered himself familiar to them, they were... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Exodus 20:3

Verse 3 Exodus 20:3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. In this commandment God enjoins that He alone should be worshipped, and requires a worship free from all superstition. For although it seems to be a simple prohibition, yet must we deduce an affirmation from the negative, as will be more apparent from the following words. Therefore does He set Himself before them, in order that the Israelites may look to Him alone; and claims His own just right, in order that it may not be transferred... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:1-17

The ten commandments collectivety. The ten commandments form a summary of our main duties towards God, and towards man. They stand out from the rest of the Old Testament in a remarkable way. 1 . They were uttered audibly by a voice which thousands heard—a voice which is called that of God himself ( Deuteronomy 5:26 ) and which filled those who heard it with a terrible fear ( Exodus 20:19 ). 2 . They were the only direct utterance ever made by God to man under the Old Covenant. ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:1-17

The ten commandments severally. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT . To the Christian the First Commandment takes the form which our Lord gave it—"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all-thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment' ( Matthew 22:37 , Matthew 22:38 ). Not merely abstract belief, not merely humble acknowledgment of one God is necessary, but heartfelt devotion to the One Object worthy of our devotion, the One Being in all the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:1-18

The moral law-General survey. View this law of the ten commandments as— I. AUTHORITATIVELY DELIVERED . "God spake all these words, saying," etc. ( Exodus 20:1 ). An authoritative revelation of moral law was necessary— 1 . That man might be made distinctly aware of the compass of his obligations . The moral knowledge originally possessed by man had gradually been parted with. What remained was distorted and confused. He had little right knowledge of his duty to God, and very... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:3

Thou shalt have . The use of the second person singular is remarkable when a covenant was being made with the people ( Exodus 19:5 ). The form indicated that each individual of the nation was addressed severally, and was required himself to obey the law, a mere general national obedience being insufficient. No one can fail to see how much the commands gain in force, through all time, by being thus addressed to the individual conscience. No other gods before me . "Before me"... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:3-6

The first and seceded commandments: against polytheism and image-worship. These two commandments seem to be bound together naturally by the reason given in Exodus 20:5 . There Jehovah says, " I am a jealous God;" obviously such a feeling of jealousy applies with as much force to the worship of other gods as to the making of graven images. Consider— I. THE POSSIBLE TRANSGRESSION HERE INDICATED . The having of other gods than Jehovah, and the representation of them by... read more

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