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Exodus - Chapter 20

Bible Study Notes

Exodus 20:1-17 The Lord gives Moses His ten commandments.

1) I Am the only God. Worship Me only.

2) You shall not make idols to worship. God is jealous. He pronounces 3rd to 4th generational curses upon those that hate Him, but steadfast love to all those who love Him and keep His commandments.

3) Never use God’s name carelessly in conversation, whether by cuss words or false oaths. God’s name should never be used disrespectfully.

4) Keep the last day of the week as a day of rest, for it is Holy to the Jews.

5) Obey your parents. A blessing of long life is promised, but more likely premature death will come to those who are disobedient.

6) Do not murder (Hating is the same as murder)

7) Do not commit adultery or other related sins.

8) Do not steal.

9) Tell the truth and do not lie, especially in court against you neighbor.

10) Do not desire what your neighbor has, whether his goods, his wife, his servants, or animals, etc.

Exodus 20:18-21 The people trembled and feared for their lives when they heard God speaking these things to Moses, although they only heard thunder and did not hear God like Moses did comprehensively. They didn’t want to hear God speaking directly to them, but wanted Moses to speak to God away from their presence and then Moses could relay whatever God said later to them. Moses told them that by hearing the Lord directly was good, for the fear it created in them would test them into not sinning.

Exodus 20:22-26 The Lord told Moses to tell the children of Israel that they now have proof that He has spoken to Moses and to them. They are now without excuse. They shall only build altars from the earth and to make sacrifices on it. (Rock not hewn. And not gold and silver lest they be tempted to worship the altar). No steps to climb to the altar. Keep it on the ground.

Notes: The reason for no steps to climb up to an altar was that they wore robes in those days, not pants like we do today. The whole altar and sacrifice experience must remain Holy. Nothing should profane it.

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