Judge Roy Moore, who famously fought to keep the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, began writing an internet column this week, and so I thought I would reflect on the Ten Commandments and whether they should be posted in public places.
This is going to be very short. Yes.
Now, there are those who would argue that commandments such as “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery; thou shalt have no other gods before Me” might not oughta be endorsed by a government that has an amendment in its Constitution which reads in part that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and legally that may be true; after all, putting such a commandment in a courtroom pretty well establishes governmental endorsement of a very specific religion and God — but I think people are missing the point that it happens to be the one true God.
Unfortunately, I learned recently, while reading my Bible, that that isn’t in fact one of the Ten Commandments — not exactly, anyway.
Judge Roy Moore and others like him have been fighting all this time for the wrong Commandments! You see, the Ten Commandments are usually pulled from Exodus 20:2-17, but those aren’t the real Ten Commandments — the Bible says so, and I think it knows a little more than Judge Roy Moore!
If you flip to Exodus 34:13-28, there you will find the real Ten Commandments. You know they’re the real Ten Commandments, by the way, because of the last verse, which is Exodus 34:28, where it reads: “And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, Okay, Jon, what are the real Ten Commandments?
I’m glad you asked!
1. Thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
2. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
3. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
4. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
5. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
6. Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel.
7. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven;
8. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
9. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.
10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
So there they are, the real Ten Commandments! I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t like leavened bread that much anyway, though it is the best bread for sandwiches. And on the plus side, I’m pretty sure that since those other commandments aren’t the real Ten Commandments, you guys can go ahead and covet your neighbor’s wife — just don’t act on it!