The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship. Also known as the Decalogue, these biblical principles play an important role in Judaism and Christianity.
These principles appear in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. According to Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. These principles were “inscribed by the finger of God”.
Both the followers of Catholic as well as Protestant churches use the Ten Commandments. But there are slight differences in what the Catholic Church uses as the Ten Commandments as compared to what the Protestant Church uses.
The Ten Commandments as mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17 are:
- “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
- “You shall not make for yourself a carved 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 on 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. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, 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 on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
- “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
- “You shall not murder.”
- “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, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
The Ten Commandments has an important place in Judaism and Christianity. People from different backgrounds have a strong belief in these principles and even they try to incorporate the principles in their lives. Today, you can find urns, cremation benches and many other memorial items engraved with one of these principles.
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