Deuteronomy 5:7-21 - The Decalogue The Basis Of The Covenant, The Essence Of The Whole Law, And The Condition Of Life And
Repetition of the Ten Commandments . On these, as the basis of the covenant, the whole legislation rests, and therefore a rehearsal of them is a fitting introduction to a repetition and enforcement of the laws of the theocracy. Some differences appear between the statement of the "ten words," as given here and as given in Exodus 20:1-26 . It is chiefly in the fourth commandment that these are to be found. It begins here with "remember" for "keep;" reference is made to the command of God as sanctioning the Sabbath ( Exodus 20:12 ), which is omitted in Exodus; a fuller description of the animals to be exempted from work on that day is given (verse 14); the words, "that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou" are added (verse 14); and in place of a reference to the resting of God after the Creation as the ground of the Sabbath institute, as in Exodus, there is here a reference to the deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt as a reason why the Lord commanded them to keep the Sabbath day (verse 15). In the fifth commandment there are two additions here-the one of the words," as Jehovah thy God hath commanded thee," and the other of the words, "that it may go well with thee" (verse 16). In the tenth commandment, the first two clauses are transposed, "desire" appears in place of "covet" in relation to "wife," and "field" is added to the specification of objects (verse 21). These differences are of little moment. The only one demanding notice is that in the fourth commandment, where different reasons are assigned for the ordinance of the Sabbath. The two reasons assigned, however, are perfectly compatible; the one is fundamental and universally applicable, the other is subsidiary and special in its application; the one is a reason why the Sabbath was originally instituted and is for all men, the other is a reason why it was specially and formally instituted in Israel and was especially memorable to that people. In a popular address to them it seems fitting that the latter rather than the former should be the one adduced. As a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, the Sabbath was all important to them, for by it they were constantly reminded that "they were thereby freed from the dominion of the world to be a peculiar possession of Jehovah, and so amid the toil and trouble of the world had part in the holy rest of their God" (Baumgarten). It was also fitting in a recapitulatory address that special emphasis should be laid on the fact that what the Law enunciated was what "the Lord had commanded." The addition of "field" in the tenth commandment is probably due to the fact that now, the occupation and division of the land having begun, the people were about to have, what they had not before—each his own property in land. In the tenth commandment, also, there is a difference in the two accounts worthy of notice. In Deuteronomy, "field" is added to the enumeration of objects not to be coveted, and the "wife" is put first and apart, while in Exodus the "house" precedes the "wife" and the latter ranks with the rest. In Deuteronomy also this separation of the wife is emphasized by a change of the verb: "Neither shalt thou desire ( תַּחְמֹד ) thy neighbor ' s wife , neither shalt thou covet ( תִּתְאַוָּה ) thy neighbor ' s house ," etc.
Be the first to react on this!