5.3.1.2 The Ten Commandments in the Old Testament

The Ten Commandments are assigned outstanding significance within the Mosaic Law: only these commandments were audibly declared to the people by God on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 5: 22) and only these commandments were written into stone tablets of the law (Exodus 34: 28).

The proclamation of the Ten Commandments is part of the covenant that God made with Israel. Thereby He renewed the covenant into which He entered with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob earlier in history (Deuteronomy 5: 2-3). In Deuteronomy 4: 13: we read: "So He [God] declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone."

Keeping the commandments was a covenantal duty of the Israelites and was blessed by God (Deuteronomy 7: 7-16). Already the children of the people of Israel learned them by heart (Deuteronomy 6: 6-9). To this day the Ten Commandments have retained their great significance in Judaism.

See also