The Ten Commandments

From EWTN


1. I AM THE LORD THY GOD: THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME.

COMMANDS: faith, hope, love, and worship of God; reverence for holy things; prayer.

FORBIDS: idolatry; superstition; spiritism; tempting God; sacrilege; attendance at false worship.

2. THOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN.

COMMANDS: reverence in speaking about God and holy things; the keeping of oaths and vows.

FORBIDS: blasphemy; the irreverent use of God's name; speaking disrespectfully of holy things; false oaths and the breaking of vows.

3. KEEP THE SABBATH HOLY.

COMMANDS: going to church on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

FORBIDS: missing church through one's own fault; unnecessary servile work on Sunday and holy days of obligation.

4. HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.

COMMANDS: love; respect; obedience on the part of children; care on the part of parents for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their children; obedience to civil and religious superiors.

FORBIDS: hatred of parents and superiors; disrespect; disobedience.

5. THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

COMMANDS: safeguarding of one's own life and bodily welfare and that of others.

FORBIDS: unjust killing; suicide; abortion; sterilization; dueling; endangering life and limb of self or others.

6. THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.

COMMANDS: chastity in word and deed.

FORBIDS: obscene speech; impure actions alone or with others.

7. THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.

COMMANDS: respect for the property of rights and others; the paying of just debts; paying just wages to employees; integrity in public office.

FORBIDS: theft; damage to the property of others; not paying just debts; not returning found or borrowed articles; giving unjust measure or weight in selling; not paying just wages; bribery; graft; cheating; fraud; accepting stolen property; not giving an honest day's work for wages received; breach of contract.

8. THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.

COMMANDS: truthfulness; respect for the good name of others; the observance of secrecy when required.

FORBIDS: lying; injury to the good name of others; slander; talebearing; rash judgment; contemptuous speech and the violation of secrecy.

9. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE.

COMMANDS: purity in thought.

FORBIDS: willful impure thought and desires.

10. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S GOODS

COMMANDS: respect for the rights of others.

FORBIDS: the desire to take, to keep, or damage the property of others.




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The Commandments are listed twice in Old Testament scripture. First in Exodus 20:2-17 and again in Deuteronomy 5:6-21

The Ten Commandments
From Exodus 20:2-17


1) I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You shall not have other gods beside me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

2) You shall not invoke the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain.

3) Remember the sabbath day-keep it holy.

Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

4) Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

5) You shall not kill.

6) You shall not commit adultery.

7) You shall not steal.

8) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9) You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female slave,

10) his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

(Note: Persons have precedence since they are clearly more important than animals or possessions.)

The sacred writer's sense of humor clearly allowed him to place "neighbor's house" first in Exodus 20:17 so that Catholics and Protestants would have yet another item of contention.? As if we did not have enough already.

However, Deuteronomy 5:21 (below) clearly places neighbor's wife first even though it places slaves in with other "goods".)

The Ten Commandments
From Deuteronomy 5:6-21


    1) I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
    You shall not have other gods beside me.
    You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, bringing punishment for their parents' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation, but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.


    2) You shall not invoke the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain.

    3) Observe the sabbath day-keep it holy, as the LORD, your God, commanded you.
    Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or donkey or any work animal, or the resident alien within your gates, so that your male and female slave may rest as you do.
    Remember that you too were once slaves in the land of Egypt, and the LORD, your God, brought you out from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the LORD, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day.


    4) Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD, your God, has commanded you, that you may have a long life and that you may prosper in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    5) You shall not kill.

    6) You shall not commit adultery.

    7) You shall not steal.

    8) You shall not bear dishonest witness against your neighbor.

    9) You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

    10) You shall not desire your neighbor's house or field, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

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