Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, or the Commandments of God, also called the Decalogue, are the moral commands or laws given by God to Moses (Ex. 20:1–21) on Mount Sinai.

It is certain that the Decalogue (which the Greek root deca, meaning ten, is combined with logos, which means Word) was made up of ten distinct commandments (Deut. 5:2–33), no matter how they may be grouped.

These commands are interpreted by Christ in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5.  The first three are concerned with the love and true worship of God, and the other seven are directed to the love and justice due our neighbor.

The wording varies in either the original or translation, but the substance of the law remains.  The order traditional in the Church is that found in several common translations.

While the entire Judeo-Christian tradition uses the same Scriptural content for the Ten Commandments, their exact division and numbering varies.  The Catholic tradition uses the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine.  (The Lutheran confessions also use this numbering, while some other confessions & traditions use slightly different numberings.)

Here are the Ten Commandments:

  1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  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 wife.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.  (8:13)