Deuteronomy - Lesson 8

The Decalogue

The Decalogue is the bill of rights of the people of ancient Israel. It is the ten principles of covenant relationship. It creates a picture of covenant righteousness and provides a foundation for later revelation. The Decalogue contains the features of a typical covenant and conditional and unconditional laws. The addressee is the head of the household because they can be a threat to others.

Daniel Block
Lesson 8
Watching Now
The Decalogue

The Decalogue

I. Introduction

II. Designations for the Decalogue

A. The Words of YHWH (the Lord)

B. The ten words

C. Torah

D. Covenantal Expressions

III. Decalogue as a Covenant Document

A. Features of a covenant

B. Different kinds of laws

C. Two versions

D. Addressee

IV. Dimensions of the Decalogue

V. Why Two Tablets?

VI. God Inscribed the Tablets

VII. What is Wrong With Ten Commandment Displays

  • The book of Deuteronomy contains the gospel message. Even though there are some laws mentioned, the essence of the book is prophetic preaching. Your presuppositions and principles for interpretation that you use will make a difference in how you view the meaning and significance of the book of Deuteronomy.

  • Deuteronomy is primarily a collection of sermons but its structure is covenantal. The structure of the covenant was commonly used in other cultures in the Ancient Near East during this time period. God tells the people of Israel that he is their God and the people say that they are God’s treasured possession. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same thing. They are used interchangeably)

  • God gave the Decalogue to Moses so they have authority as Scripture. The book of Deuteronomy as whole is also Scripture. It contains the speeches of Moses and narrative passages. It’s the lense through which we view the other books of the Pentateuch.

  • Moses begins by recalling events that happened during their wandering in the wilderness, then recent events as they have gotten closer to entering the promises land from the east. Moses is idealized in the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of historians. You get a different picture when you read his first address. It shows Moses as faithful but flawed.

  • The Law was given to the nation of Israel after they had been freed from Egypt as the way to respond to God’s grace. God gives them the boundaries for right and wrong and a process to restore relationship when it is broken.

  • With the privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes the call for a righteous response, demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that does not exist naturally or a natural relationship that has disintegrated.

  • God’s people are a privileged people; they have been graciously redeemed, and set apart as his special treasure, his holy covenant people. God acts graciously to undeserving people and they respond joyfully with obedience. The is the end of the first speech of Moses, Deuteronomy 4:32-40.

  • The Decalogue is the bill of rights of the people of ancient Israel. It is the ten principles of covenant relationship. It creates a picture of covenant righteousness and provides a foundation for later revelation. The Decalogue contains the features of a typical covenant and conditional and unconditional laws. The addressee is the head of the household because they can be a threat to others.

  • When Moses recites the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5, there are parts that are similar to the passage in Exodus, and there are some significant differences. He begins with getting the attention of the people of Israel and appealing for covenant fidelity, restates the Decalogue, then ends with a document clause, using covenant language.

  • The Shema is a call for whole-hearted, full-bodied commitment. This passage is a theological exposition and pastoral proclamation to impress on the minds of the people of Israel the special relationship they enjoyed with YHWH. The grace God showed them must be embraced with grateful and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and covenant Lord.

  • God chooses the covenant partner, sets the terms, declares the goal, identifies the sign and determines the consequences of disobedience of the covenant. After Moses explains the purpose of the Law, he explains to the children how the Law was given and that learning it and putting it into practice will bring them life.

  • Moses talks to the people of Israel as they are entering the land, about how they will respond to the external test of confronting and dispossessing the surrounding nations. He reminds them of their special status with God and the covenant that he offers them unconditionally. He challenges them with the theological, ethical and missional significance of the test.

  • How can you worship a God that asks the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites? The reason for Israel taking the land is so the people of Israel as a holy people will be preserved so the world will be preserved. God is fundamentally compassionate and gracious, he does what is right and God offers us grace and mercy.

  • When everything goes right, what do you do then? The message of this passage is, “don’t forget.” YHWH provided manna in the wilderness to feed the people of Israel. God was also teaching them in the wilderness that life comes from every word of the mouth of God, not just by eating physical food. Moses challenges the people to respond to prosperity by praising God, not by taking the credit themselves.

  • The enemies in the Promised Land are formidable. God promises to defeat them. Moses warns that people to acknowledge that God is responsible. Even though the Canaanites do not follow God, the reason God chose the people is not because they are morally superior to the Canaanites.

  • Israel’s covenant with YHWH is based entirely on his grace and they don’t deserve it. Moses interceded on behalf the of people of Israel to ask God to not judge them and God is described as, “changing his mind” and renewing his covenant with them.

  • “What does YHWH ask of you?” Moses answers this question, then gives a doxology to confirm it and an application to illustrate it. God wants you to have a soft heart toward him, to live in an attitude of trusting awe and to act in a way that honors the covenant that God has established with you.

  • Moses has given a profound theology of land. He gives the people of Israel instructions for what God wants them to do when they enter the land to confirm their covenant with God. This included using uncut stones and plastering them and writing the Torah on them and then praising God. The land is an integral part of the covenant. The people shout blessings on Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal.

  • As the people of Israel enter the land, God has instructions for them on how to live in relationship with him and worship him so that it may go well with them and their children. They are to reject the false worship practices of the surrounding nations and accept God’s invitation to come and worship him in the place and in the way he has designed for them.

  • The Levites represent a barometer on where the people of Israel are in their ethical religion. They are not given land as an inheritance so it is the responsibility of people in the other tribes to support them. Moses presents a theology of worship but doesn’t go into detail.

  • This is a warning to the people of Israel to not imitate the materialistic preoccupation and the brutal rituals associated with the worship practices of the surrounding nations when they worship YHWH. There are warnings against following false prophets, someone in your family or people in your community if they are promoting seditious religious practices. The apostle Paul uses similar language in the New Testament when warning people about following people who teach heresies.

  • In contrast to worship with the purpose of satisfying the gods, YHWH delights in fellowship with his people and for them to celebrate in his presence. YHWH encourages his people to eat in his presence and with other people. His guidelines about which foods are acceptable to eat set the people of Israel apart from other nations.

  • A main purpose of the national festivals was to keep alive the memory of God’s grace and maintain their faith in god and their covenant with him.

  • Moses describes the key offices and roles that keep the society going by providing political and spiritual structure. The primary concern is righteousness. The king is to be the embodiment of Torah righteousness. Moses outlines specific steps to achieve this and describes what it will look like.

  • Moses, in his role as prophet, is the commissioned envoy of righteousness to the people of Israel. Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel. He warned the people of Israel about false prophets and the danger of adopting the worship practices of the surrounding nations.

  • Moses provides a picture of covenant life and godliness in a way that you can apply it to every situation in life. It’s important to care for the poor and the resident alien and to show justice to them. The resident aliens were invited to participate in the feasts and covenant life.

  • The ideal for the people of Israel was a patricentric society but in often the reality was a patriarchal society. In a patricentric society, the male head of the clan will provide resources and security in a way that gives his family and the community opportunities to flourish. The vision for women in Deuteronomy is different than the world that is described in Israelite narratives.

  • Celebrating God’s goodness and grace in the Land. Bringing an offering from the firsfruits of the harvest is a time to remember how God has provided for the people of Israel in the past, both as individuals and as a community. There are lessons we can learn about worhship and living faithfully. This is the Deuteronomic creed.

  • Some people view the curses in Deuteronomy 28 as a stumbling block to accepting the Old Testament as Christian Scripture because they say it represents God as vengeful. However, this was a common way of writing covenants in the Ancient Near East, they follow a list of extraordinary blessings, they serve a pastoral function and there are similar curses articulated in the New Testament.

  • Deuteronomy 29 begins with Moses recounting how YHWH brought the people out of Egypt and gave them victory in the land east of the Jordan River. Then he describes the curses they will experience when they turn away from the Lord. Chapter 30 describes the eschatological restoration. Deuteronomy 29:29 refers to the mystery of divine grace. (The movie and book series that Dr. Block is referring to is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. The prequel to this series is The Hobbit.)

  • This is the final altar call of Moses to the people of Israel to appeal to them to choose life by living in covenant relationship with YHWH. The revelation of YHWH given through Moses is to be memorized, recited and used as a guide for conduct. It is understandable and doable.

  • The Torah that Moses has been preaching was written down. This is the introduction to the song of Moses and contains the commissioning of Joshua, who will take over after Moses dies. Part of the book of Deuteronomy is the death narrative of Moses.

  • This passage is a poetic witness to the people of Israel of the faithfulness of YHWH and the faithlessness of Israel. Moses was told to teach it to the people of Israel so they could pass it on to their descendants. People could sing it throughout the day and it could be presented as a musical drama at national celebrations.

  • At the end of the sermons of Moses, he pronounces a benediction by saying something specific for each tribe. Deuteronomy 33 and Genesis 49 have some similarities and differences in the way the sons of Jacob and their descendants are blessed. The exordium and the coda frame the blessings by describing YHWH’s care and provision for the people of Israel as their king.

  • This is the last narrative story about Moses in the Old Testament. God tells him to go up on Mt. Nebo where he is able to see the land. Joshua takes over as the leader of the people. There is a eulogy for Moses at the end.  

The Gospel according to Moses. This is a collection of sermons of Moses as the people of Israel are poised to enter the promised land after being in the wilderness for 40 years. Deuteronomy is a special book, calling God’s people to celebrate his grace and demonstrate covenant love for him with action that glorifies his name. Until we recognize the gospel in this book, we will not read this book. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same mountain. They are used interchangeably)

Recommended Books

The Gospel according to Moses

The Gospel according to Moses

To many people the law stands in opposition to the gospel. While it may be possible to read Paul's epistles this way, the book of Deuteronomy will not allow this reading. Like the book of Romans in the New Testament, Deuteronomy provides the most systemat
The Gospel according to Moses
The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes

The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes

The Apostle Paul's negative statements about the law have deafened the ears of many to the grace that Moses proclaims in Deuteronomy. Most Christians have a dim view of...

The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes
How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy

How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy

Like the book of Romans in the New Testament, the book of Deuteronomy provides the most systematic and sustained presentation of theology in the Old Testament. And like the...

How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)

Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)

Arranged as a series of sermons, the book of Deuteronomy represents the final major segment of the biography of Moses. The sermons review events described in earlier books...

Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)
Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

When it comes to discussions related to the composition and interpretation of the books in the Old Testament, few other books are more contested than Deuteronomy. Even among...

Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

Dr. Daniel Block



The Decalogue

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] In this session, we are moving into Moses second address in our Biblical text. The ending of the first address is signaled in chapter four, verse 44. This is the Torah that Moses set before the Sons of Israel that points backwards. Then the next line has a new heading, which introduces what follows. If you don't do it this, you've got two headings unprecedented anywhere in Scripture to in some ways conflicting headings. Then we have in verse 45 of Chapter four. Chapter vision is in the wrong place. This often happens in Scripture. The kind bishop who was responsible for chapter and verse. The vision obviously sometimes did his homework on the way to church, and at this point his horse stumbled and he put the lion in the wrong place. But the vision should be between verse 44 and 45 of chapter four. Verse 45 is the beginning to the second address, which carries that amen through Chapter 11. This is the second address. It's double the length of the first address, more than double the life. And then the third address will be almost double the length of the second address. So he's really waxing more and more eloquent as he works his way through these three addresses. The fourth address is a short one, but this address begins with in your translations. These are the testimonies and the statutes and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Sons of Israel when they came out of Egypt. Well, we've got three words there that we should talk about, and I'm going to give more time to them. Lay your testimonies, in my view, pathetic translation that communicates all the wrong things about what is happening here. We'll talk about it later yet. But statutes and ordinances, though, that combination of two words is shorthand for all the revelation associated with the covenant, given that Mount Sinai.


[00:02:21] Statutes and ordinances are. I tend to do ordinances and stipulations of the covenant. These are the expectations of God for his people. We'll have a chance to talk about those words more particularly what follows then at the end, the rest of chapter, the rest of Chapter four in our Bibles is simply another declaration of the context in which this was given. They have come out of Egypt and they're on the plains of Moab, on the eastern side of the Jordan River. And then in chapter five of our Bibles, you have the beginning of the actual speech of Moses. Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them. So it's a new gathering. Wake up, folks. The camp bell has rung, and now it's time to assemble everybody. And you will notice that it begins with a Schama hero, Israel. The second address is divided into three or four sections based on Sharma. You have one here, Sharma, Israel, here or Israel. Then in chapter six, verse four. Again, the chapter division is out of place here. Or Israel. And then chapter nine, verse one here or Israel. And then the next break is not here or Israel, but it is in chapter ten, verse 12 Where to Israel and now Israel. It's the same way. Chapter four had introduced a new section in the first address and now Israel. What does the Lord, your God require of you? And you know that He's come to the climax of that one. So it's a very well organized, structured, big sermon in a Russian worship service consisting actually of three or four sermons. Just this section. Well, he starts out this extended worship service, then with a biblical text of which we call the Ten Commandments. Now, I will say you call the Ten Commandments.


[00:04:41] I don't. And by the time we're done, you'll know why. And I've hinted at it already in previous sessions. But we got to start here. Our daughter was a bit lived in Georgia at the time. She sent this picture one morning. Here's my grandma. Here's what her kids call the Ten Commandments toast. And of course, the moment you see that, that stereotypical image of the Ten Commandments is in. In your head. You understand this Ten Commandments. Look at this. And I'm asking here simply, what's wrong with this picture? And by the time we're done, I'm going to devote two sessions to the Decalogue. That's my that's the Bible's word for it. By the time we're done, you'll have ten answers to that question. What's wrong with this picture? There is so much wrong here. So much wrong. But I want to talk about the Decalogue as a sort of. Ancient Israelite Bill of Rights. You know, we think we're quite brilliant in this country for having founded the nation with a statement of the basic rights of all its citizens. We that's very, very modern. And it comes as a shocker to us to realize that, hey, we're not the only ones who have Bills of rights. Canadians have one, too. Singaporeans have one, too. There are lots of countries in there. And of course, some of it is imitation of the American system. But I want you to understand, by the time we are done, this lecture that the Israelites had a Bill of Rights long before we ever dreamed of it. And I call the Decalogue a Bill of Rights. The question will be, by the time we're at the end is why would you call this a Bill of Rights? And whose rights are being protected here? That becomes the important issue.


[00:06:48] So let's talk about the Decalogue. We will talk more about the preamble to it. But for this first session, I'm going to talk about the document itself that we you call the Ten Commandments. Decalogue means ten words. What does the Bible call this document? Well, first of all, it calls it, though, the words of Yahweh. You you have this in a couple of places. Chapter five, verse five, You have while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare, to use the word of the Lord, you were afraid. And he said, Do not go up the mountain. Then he he said. Notice. It's not, he commanded. He said. But if you go back to the Exodus version in Exodus chapter 20, there you have the original event and you have the formal heading. Then God spoke all these words. The bar in. That's what it calls what is about to follow. These are not called commandments. They are common, as we will find. They are commands. But that's not the label he gives it. These words, these are the words that Yahoo! Chapter five, verse 22 at the end of the Decalogue. These are the words that Yahweh proclaimed with a loud voice to the entire assembly on the mountain, from the midst of the fire, the cloud in the deep gloom. These are no more. Then he inscribed on them the that them on the two stone tablets and gave them to me. These are the words of Yahweh. Second, they are the ten words he declared to you his covenant. We saw this yesterday. In 413, he declared to you his covenant. That is, he commanded you to put into practice the ten words. That's the Hebrew and the Greek deca rea monta.


[00:08:59] And then he wrote them on to stone tablets. They are The ten words will encounter that expression again in ten four. And we have it in Exodus 34 as well. Third, once, only once is this document associated with a word Torah. Which we usually translate law. But here it is, Exodus chapter of Exodus Chapter 24. Then Yahweh said to Moses, Come up to me, This is after they have signed, sealed and delivered the Covenant. They've sprinkled the altar. The people have said for the third time, all but the Lord has spoken. We will do. And then Moses sprinkled the people with the blood and that bound them to the covenant then. And they've been quoted in the presence of God. You remember that story? That's the climax of a covenant ceremony, then mauls it off, which said to Moses, Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, so I may give you the tablets of stone. That is the Torah. I.e. the command which I have inscribed for their instruction. Well, Tara, I. And instruction are the same word, same route. So if anything, if you're going to translate that into a different English word rather than transliterated as I've done in Torah, then it should be that is the instruction, the command that I have inscribed for their instruction. He gave you the Decalogue that he might discipline you. And discipline here does not mean spank. It means direct you in the right course. And that's what this is. Direct you in the right course. The ten words, Chapter ten, verse three. So after Moses has smashed the tablets, we'll come back to this again tomorrow or in a future session. So I made a chest of acacia wood and carved out two stone tablets.


[00:11:14] Like the first one. I climbed the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. Then Yahweh inscribed on these tablets the same text as the previous ones, namely the ten words. And now the Greek here has Decalogue goose rather than deck our Ray Mata a synonym for Decalogue. Here's one place where the Septuagint got it absolutely right. The ten words that Yahweh spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly, and Yahweh gave them to me. Well, these are the ten words we can. Probably for the sake of memorization. We have ten fingers and this is a basic foundational document that is easily remembered. You shall have no other gods, you shall not bear the name of the Lord. Your gains. Honor your father and your mother, you know, keep the. So one for each finger as you're reciting it. You don't need to have a text of this in front of you. Anybody can learn it in 15 minutes. It's a very handy base text and it gives people a world view but introduces you to covenant living. Well, it's the ten words. We should also talk about the word words in Hebrew, the word words. There's a wide range of meanings. It can mean word. The h e is a word. Word is a word. It can mean that in the dictionary definition always starts there, but it can also mean simply statement. Ida an object. You remember Ehud, who stabs Eglon, the fatted calf, the mole bite King. He says I have a secret. Davar, for you, say same word. And later he says, I have a davar from the Lord for you, and he stabs them and he got the point. That's bad.


[00:13:25] But in any case, there Davar means object. It's an object. It is that special sword that he had made. It's a number. It's an object. Word can mean story. It can mean an event. The exodus is a word from God, a collective word. So this has a wide range of meanings. And I think the Decalogue actually does have ten words, but it has lots more than that in terms of lexicography. But there are I call this the ten principles of covenant relationship. Ten foundational principles of covenant relationship. I think that's the now, the moment you're doing that doesn't mean they're less authoritative than if you call it commandments. We tend to think that authority depends upon the word we use. It's a command, therefore you have to do it. No, these are principles of covenant relationships that are as authoritative. As if we had used the word commandment. If God says it, that means it's authoritative. And so. So it's it's the words of Yahweh. It's the ten words. It's the Torah. But then there are lots of other covenantal expressions. We have expressions like these are the words of the covenant. The tablets of the covenant or simply his covenant or the box is called the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. This is a very covenantal moment, a covenantal document. And so don't just limited to commands. The theology of this piece of stone goes far beyond as a covenant document. For 13 he declared to you his covenant, that is, he commanded you to put into practice the ten words. So the two are virtually synonymous. There will be more to come, but the ten words represent a sampling, enough to create a picture of covenant righteousness and provide a foundation for future revelation.


[00:15:43] And there will be lots more. We already had this picture up yesterday a couple of times. This is the beginning of a portrait of a worldview that expands in and ever, ever more detail. The Decalogue ten Principles of Covenant Relationship. The Document of the Covenant. Exodus 21 to 23. These are fleshing it out some more. The guidebook on holiness, fleshing it out some more, and then the Torah of Moses in Deuteronomy. Flesh is that. It's all the same picture. It's all the same picture. And of course, we'll see. In the end, Jesus reduces it to the great command. We'll get there in a moment. Now we need to talk about the Decalogue as a covenantal document. These are the words of the covenant, the tablets of the covenant. In what sense is the Decalogue itself? The ten words, a covenant document? Well, it contains many of the features of ancient treaties. We've seen this with the Hittites and the Assyrians. There's a preamble. I am Yahweh, the Lord. Now I'm using the word intentionally. The sewers are in, introduces himself to the vassal. I am Yahweh. Then there's a historical prolog. Who brought you out of the land of Egypt? Out of the house of slavery? That's the preamble. That's the gospel that precedes the commands. That is fundamental to the relationship that is being created. This is not simply a relationship of slave owner and slaves, slaves doing what a slave owner tells them to do. No, it is a relationship of covenant. Then you have the stipulations, detailed outline of the response. These are now the actual ten commands. Then the document clause which arranges for the transcription of it. And it's on the tablets of stone blessings and curses and covenant witnesses.


[00:17:52] We have hints of blessing and curses. I will see in a moment in the Decalogue itself. And at this point, I don't think there are any hints of covenant witnesses, but we'll see how that plays itself out. So the covenantal structure in the Decalogue, it begins with a preamble identifying the SUSA. And I am your way. Remember the prayer yesterday. Oh, my God. Whom I know. I do not know. The first thing about covenant relationship is the Lord has introduced himself to you by name. Welcome. Second, you've got the historical Prolog summarizing the history of the relationship, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. That's where you are now. In other covenants, it was who beat the tar out of you. How do you and Jesse do? Submission? Not so here. I rescued you from those who were mistreating you and inviting you to become my servants. Same Hebrew word, but with a totally different connotation. It is my privileged vassals, the agents of my great plan of redemption and revelation. And then third, the stipulations, the summarize the Divine Susan's expectations in the Decalogue. And now we have to talk about different kinds of laws. There are laws. These are laws. You heard me use the word, and I feel badly using it because we've so abused it. But on the other hand, let's talk. Let's use the word law. There are different kinds of laws. In scholarly terms, we talk about cars. You restrict laws and apple dictate laws. The simple everyday expression is simply conditional and unconditional. For instance, here a conditional law. Exodus 21. This is out of this is out of the comes out of this document here. Many in this document are of the Jewish stick order.


[00:20:05] That is the covenant document. Well, in in in this case, notice if an R scores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned, its flesh shall be eaten by the owner of the ark shall go unpunished. Or Exodus 22 from the same document. If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before night. For that is his only covering. It is cloak for this body. What else shall be sleeping? That's casual state law for. But now look at the unconditional apoplectic. You shall have no other gods before me. Period. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, period. Honor your father and your mother. If they're good parents. No, it doesn't say that. Hmm. Notice that they are quite different. We can contrast the features. The first is conditional, the second on commercial. The first begins with if, when in such and such a case, this is the response. It's case law. And the other it begins with the verb in the imperative. Do this or don't do this. A declarative versus imperative mood. Usually a third person if a person steals a sheep. Rather than if you steal a sheep. Whereas Apple dictates the unconditional always in second person, you shall honor your father and your mother. Don't commit adultery. You shall not murder. The conditional or the casual mystic ones are typically very specific based on actual cases, and they often have a motive clause or an exception in order that or to prevent that list. Whereas apple addicted law is often usually general without qualification. But Paul picks it up, isn't it, in Ephesians where he says this is the only command with a promise? Children obey your parents in the Lord, the only man.


[00:22:07] And that's true in the Decalogue. Honor your father and your mother. But that it may go well with you in the land. That is uncharacteristic of Apple dating law. And Paul picks it up. And he makes a point out of it. Usually a conditional is positive in form. If this then that. Whereas apologetic are often negative. Don't do this. Don't do that. Whatever. Setting the boundaries of human behavior. Now, the other thing we should note is that it's too small for you to read from where you are, probably. But we need to notice that with reference to the Decalogue, we are uniquely blessed because we have two versions of the same documented the Bible. You have the original version and Exodus 20 verses 2 to 7. I think the original critical scholars turn them around and say, Deuteronomy came first. I don't think so, actually. But you have the original version, Exodus 20 and now Moses recitation of that end at the beginning of his second address. This is the text for a second sermon. It's like we preachers do we open with a scripture text, And he begins by reciting the Decalogue. But in that second sermon, he never gets past the first command. It's a sermon on the first command, really, the whole thing. But here you notice in this that the Exodus version and the Deuteronomy version of this one are virtually identical. Up to you shall not bear in vain the name of the Lord your God. They're virtually identical. But something happens after that. Moses is. Adding and subtracting and changing. And you have to ask Moses, what are you doing? You just told us in chapter four you shall not. But of course, Moses is in a different position.


[00:24:10] Moses is the pastor. He is trying to make this document relevant for this. And so and I think also he's not reading. He doesn't have the tablets in his hand as he's given this. He's not allowed to. They're stuck in the box in the holy of holies. Nobody has access to them, but he has it in his mind. You're yeah, thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not have sinned against this? I mean, it's. It's hidden in his heart. And here, you know, the changes are minor. Remember, the Sabbath are supposed to observe. I mean, he changed the word I earlier, I, I, I, I tried to sing. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me thy great salvation. So. Now? Depends where you live. If you're in Kentucky, you'll sing it one way, rich and free. Or if you're in Illinois, you'll see it another full and free. I like full and free better because it's alliteration. Well, I mean, the point here is the same. It's not contradictory. The there are some Psalms that you have in the first book of the Salter and repeated in the second. The difference is they've changed the name for God. One has Yahweh and the other one has Elohim. Otherwise I'm a suspect. So this is what happens if you're in a different hymn book. They use this word. So here, observe the Sabbath. Oh, but the green here. These are additions in Deuteronomy. Moses adds, As Yehudi, your God is commanded you or your ox or your donkey, that snoo or that your male and female, the female servant, may rest as well as you. But then when you come to the Sabbath, it's very different.


[00:25:58] The Deuteronomy version. We'll talk about this some more later. The Deuteronomy version of the Sabbath ordinance, you shall remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. Really, the grounding of the Sabbath in Exodus is creation because God had a seven, six plus one rhythm in his life. We are to have his six plus one rhythm. Here it says he doesn't say anything about that. He says you were slaves in Egypt. You know what it means to live without a day of rest. Don't treat your people that way. And so immediately, you see, it's a very humanitarian tone that he gives it. Well, when you come to the last ones, honor your father and your mother again, is Yahweh, your God commend you. But in Deuteronomy, he adds a second promise that your days may be prolonged. That's an exodus. Oh, and that it may go well with you. So he adds that it's not like he's contradicting what you shall not testify falsely becomes uselessly. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. He changes the order here, and you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. And then he changes the word for covet. But any God we've got, we can do some interesting studies and we ask ourselves. Now, if you're a redaction critic, you ask yourselves about the theological significance of the changes that are made. This isn't accidental. Moses is the pastor, and you can tell he is functioning pastorally here. But seeing to it that the people get the point. Well, this. These are the stipulations of the Decalogue. Two versions of it. The question is. Who is the addressee? Who is the U. You shall have no other gods. You shall not commit adultery. You shall honor your father and your mother.


[00:27:55] Who's you? The nation. Everybody. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not. I mean, is this a six year old? No, it's not. It's an adult male. Who is head of the household. Have you ever thought about that before? And of course, this leads to my point. It's a bill of rights. Whose rights? No. David Klein's has written an essay on this. And this really got me going because I was so upset with what he did. He turns the whole thing upside down. He says, this whole thing is to secure the rights of the head of the household. Everybody has to fall in line with him. And this is why you tell other people how it is the opposite. The head of the household is the primary threat to the well-being of the community. It's a shocker when you start looking at it that way. And the assumption here is in order to have a healthy community, you need to have healthy heads of households. So let's look at this. The addressee to whom is it addressed? And here, as a Bill of Rights addressed to the head of a household. I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery? Well, this is the gospel basis of this Bill of Rights. I brought you out of Egypt and that's why you behave a certain way. But then you show, here's the command. Number one. You shall have no other gods before me. Or is it? Besides, you shall not make for yourself a carved image. You shall not bow to them or serve them. Why? Your wife has the right to your exclusive allegiance. And of course, we can unpack that. On what grounds? Those really have the right to the Israelites exclusive allegiance.


[00:30:27] Based on the Exodus version, you could say, because he created everything. He made it, including you. And therefore, he's the boss. It's all about his rights. But for the Israelites, what's the primary grounds of God's right to absolute exclusive allegiance? We saw this yesterday or in the previous session. We saw it. You shall have. You shall not make for yourself any of these images. Idols for the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt, and He has made you his special treasure. That's why you don't make idols. God has the right to the Israelites exclusive allegiance because He is their Savior, the Redeemer. If it weren't for him, it wouldn't be for them. They'd be gone. They'd be gone. They all their very existence to him. So it's gratitude for salvation. You shall not bear the name of the Lord your God in vain. Now, here again. Our translations have a long history of missing the point. When I was growing up. This means you don't cuss. I think it means that you don't swear. And to this day, I cannot believe it when I hear Christian say, Oh, my God. That is the flippant use of the name of God, and that is blasphemy. You don't use the reference to God as simply a punctuation mark. We were, we weren't allowed to say, Gee. Because that's an abbreviation for Jesus. And our mouths would be washed with soap if we did. And that shocks me when I hear people talk just like the world of their expletives. No, but it's not a verb. It's not primarily a verbal thing. The word here doesn't say you shall not speak the word name of the Lord, your God in vain. It says its Nazar which means to carry to where? You've got a cap on.


[00:32:42] What? What does it say on your cap? I'm not sure. I'm not sure. Rustic Ridge. Why do you wear that patch? Why? Just why does the company want you to wear that? Absolutely. You're bearing the name. That's the point. That's the point. You're bearing the name. Underlying this. Command. You shall not bear wear carry the name of the Lord. Your gun is the notion in the ancient world of branding your possessions with your name. If you needed a new pot, you broke it. You. You broke a pot in the kitchen and you need a new. And you go down to the potter and you ask that request to potter to make for you a new cooking pot. And then before he fires up the clay, he asks, Oh, by the way, would you like for me to put your name on it in case it goes lost or you loan it to somebody? I've lost lots of books because my digs were branded and sure, fine, do that. And so you he stamps it with your name. Why? So that everybody knows to whom that pork belongs. Now, if you are an upper class person and you need a new plot, there's another reason why you'd want them to brand that to brand that pot. You would then want that person to make you a special pot, not just an ordinary clay pot. So that that pot, wherever it goes, it advertises your status. Your significance. That's what's involved here. You shall not wear the name of the Lord your God in vain, which means you shall not claim to belong to the Lord Yahweh, and act as if you belong to Bale. That's false advertising. And of course, this is a universally biblical notion.


[00:34:52] When we get to chapter 28, we will see that when you are behaving yourselves that the Lord has blessed you richly, then the nations will call the name of the Lord upon you know, they will see that you are called by the name of the Lord. Or translations have, they will read over you the name of the Lord. Come on. Makes no sense. No, it really means. Then they will see that you wear the name of the Lord. In the ancient world, if you were an employee at the temple of the God Marduk. You would be branded with the name of Marduk. They did this. Slave owners branded their servants with their names. I grew up on the farm in northern Saskatchewan. We had a community pasture and every every spring when the grass was turning green, end of June, then we would bring our young stock to a community pasture, which it was in the river hills. It was no good. It's too rocky in the train, too irregular for farming, so it was all fenced up miles and miles of this along the river hills. But you'd bring your cattle there and the first thing they would do is brand everybody's cattle with your name so that you go into check that during the summer how your animals are doing. You can you can spot years because they belong to you. But it's also a rather embarrassing for some people because the people who are really good farmers, their stock was always top notch. Wow, look at that half or whatever it was. But people who were pathetic farmers, they'd bring their scrawny and scraggly cattle there. And the. They are total reflection on their owner. That's what this is. You shall not bear the name.


[00:36:50] Don't proclaim to belong to Yahweh and act like. I feel a sermon coming on wearing the name. We are baptized into the name of Christ, which means that after everywhere we go, we're advertising Jesus. That's the name we bear. In that time they were called Christians. They bore his name. And so this is this. The Lord has the right to proper representation. That's the point. And if you're representing him falsely, you are bringing shame to the name of God. Remember the Sabbath? Well, the Exodus version has the Lord has a right to your time. And your trust. But in Deuteronomy, your servants, your sons and daughters, your male and female servant, your ox and your dong. Did you remember that he added your ox and your donkey. He didn't add sheep. Why? Why not? They're not a draft animal. These are the animals that work for a living. Sheep. Just our sheep. They produce wool and milk or whatever. But in any case, it nor even the animals have the right to humane treatment rest. One day in a week that they may be refreshed. Where else do we go? And this is where Deuteronomy is so humanitarian and humane. It highlights that it recognizes the propensity of the head of the household to exploit everything, everybody and everybody and everything in his household for his self-interest. And so this is to protect them from him. Well, honor your father and your mother. Now, again, we're talking to an adult man. We're not talking to a teenager. We're talking to an adult male honor. Your father knows that does not say worship your father. The king. Tonight's all around ancestor worship is prevalent all over the place. And the Israelites were tempted to go that route too.


[00:39:07] You don't say worship your father, but honor your father and your mother. Parents have the right to people's respect. And in this case and care, because presumably this is a multi-generational. Household unit. The first command is for the Lord visits the Synod of the Fathers to the third and fourth generation. That is not this chain link, you know, so long after the father is gone. The kids are suffering the consequences. No. Treat this horizontally. Why three or four generations? That's the maximum you can have in one living at the same time in one household. We'll have a picture of this later on. But that's why three or four generations, everybody is affected by the behavior of the head of the household. You shall not murder. Others have the right to life. Notice that doesn't say be sure to carry a gun to protect yourself. That's such twisted thinking. You don't protect the society by banning guns. You don't you protect a society by ensuring that you've got people with integrity. That's the problem. So others have the right to life. And I would apply this, for instance, to the issue of abortion. The moment of conception. God has begun creating for himself an image of himself. It's human life from the very beginning. It's interesting. Genesis six says For whoever sheds human life by human means, blood be taken that it never it's never monkey blood. It's never any other kind of blood. It's always human blood. And so but God, this is the theological point. God has begun the process of creating another image of himself, and we're telling God this is a mistake. It's the height of treason. You shall not take another person's life. You shall not commit adultery. The next person has a right to a pure and secure marriage.


[00:41:26] You shall not steal. The next person has the right to his property. You don't have a right to it. You shall not bear false witness. The next person has the right to honest reputation and representation, especially in court. This is legal language, but of course, in colloquial terms, rules. We can say God don't dig lion. As it was in the musical, you know, 20, 30 years ago for kids. God don't dig lion. No, this is honesty and. Right. And a true reputation. A man's neighbors have a right to freedom from fear. Now we're getting to the heart of things, aren't we? It's not. Just don't take stuff from the next person. Don't even think about it. Because the problems always start in the heart and in the mind. And so the last two are about the freedom from the thought that other people might be wondering. So padlock your house, have alarm systems. No, that's not that's not the answer to a sick world. The answer to our sick world is everybody's transformed heart. This is what we call covenantal ethics. Covenantal ethics. Now we tend to think that the Decalogue is two dimensional. You've got the vertical dimensions and you've got the horizontal. It's much more complicated than that. I see at least four dimensions here. You have the first couple of commands relayed to an Israelite and his God, and I'm being very intentional. There is a footnote why I use his. It's a Patris centric world and it is talking to a male adult who is the head of the household. Where it becomes applicable to others is when others assume. That status. Everything applies to them. This is anybody in leadership position, really. But the document itself is talking about a household in that world.


[00:43:36] So the first is about I am Yahweh, your God, no other gods. The second is about we are Yahoo's people. Yahoo has no other people. These are the two sides of the covenant. I am your God. You are my people. So the first to protect this is about an Israelite and his God. This one is about an Israelite and his household. Remember the Sabbath, Especially the Deuteronomy one. It's the household and honor your father and your mother. It's the household that's at issue here. And then in the third column, you have the Israelite and his neighbors. You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, shall not steal. You shall not testify falsely against your neighbor. And then the last one, the Israelite end his heart. They all start in the heart. But of course, here the issue is, is your heart right with God? And when the heart is right with God, then you're not a threat. And of course, now suddenly we realize that Jesus had it absolutely right. This is all the commands boil down to a single one in two dimensions. You shall love your God with all your heart and mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Or really the first two. Ah, loving the Lord with all our hearts. Nothing left over for anybody else. We'll get to the Shamma in a little bit. And the Sabbath is transitional in Exodus. Sabbath is a vertical one. In Deuteronomy Sabbath is horizontal. So it's transitional number three. And then these are horizontal. But now again, you recognize what love means. It was intentional that we spent a little time on what Lord love means. Love is covenant commitment. Demonstrated in action. In the interest of the other person. Who's the addressee? A potential feral.


[00:45:56] He talks about your. You shall not covered your neighbor's house. This is the household in which every head of a household is tempted to become a little feral. Don't become to those in your charge what feral was to you. Everybody has the right to humane treatment. And so that's what this is. You should love the Lord, your God and your neighbor as yourself. This means covenant commitment, demonstrated action, demonstrated it in action in the interests of my neighbor. And it's actually self-sacrificing love. So that the other person's interest always triumphs over self-interest. Always. Let's just look at that. At the at the one on honor. Your father and your mother. Well, it doesn't say if your parents are good parents. I know in our world we got Lou. What does the Lord do with all these dysfunctional worlds that we have created for years for ourselves? But it is interesting that the text does not say honor your father and your mother if they were good parents. I mean, our son is adopted. He doesn't know his biological parents. Until at the age of 21, he discovered a little bit. We only have a little bit of information on him until he discovered that his parents were decent human beings. He imagined himself to be the worst scum. That's who he is. But no, no, this is about the well-being. And in matters like honoring parents, it's very difficult for lots of it's very complicated. How can you honor a parent who has been abusive? It's really tough. It shows you how upside down our world is, having lost the covenantal ethic. True democracy assumes a responsible citizenry. That values the well-being of the next person, always more important than your own. Jesus said, Take up your cross.


[00:48:14] Follow me. That's what he let us mine been you, which was also in Christ Jesus. I mean, this is this is it. And of course, here, the key to a healthy state of Israel, community of Israel, is each domestic unit being healthy. It's a profound document and and it is a bill of rights. And it ain't my rights that are protected. It assumes I am the threat to other people's rights and I better get my house in order. I should say myself, in order. In order that you all are protected. This is the way biblical leadership are. But now we have to talk about one other thing, and that is why do we need to tablets? To cover letters. Two because there are two parties to the covenant. That's why it is not because the first tablet has the vertical command. You hear this all the time. And even a good friend of mine who is an Old Testament scholar in Britain, I won't name him. On the record. He talks about the first tablet of in terms of you shall have no other gods besides me. You shall not bear the name of the Lord your God in vain and keep the Sabbath. I mean, that's the first tablet. No, it's not. Has nothing to do with those divisions. But it's that's a very ancient tradition that goes back all the way to Philo and Josephus. It's very ancient. But it's because we lost the significance of the place of a covenant document in the life of a covenant community. So now we have to talk about this. Why two tablets? Well, this is the way it's stereotypically represented. We've got two tablets. Notice they have different text, if you can read that. I mean, it's not it's imaginary, too.


[00:50:11] But Charlton Heston's tablets have different texts, so that one tablet has certain text. I mean, it's too much to put on one tablet. No, it's not. There are a few words. Here's a very short document. You can put the whole thing. And yet the texts in Exodus says that these tablets were inscribed on both sides front and back. Why? So that nobody can add anything. If that's all he said in their front and back, why shouldn't two stone tablets? And so here we have this. Bring it back there. This is the way we number them. You may already have got upset with my mis numbering of them. I have the numbers different. Did you notice I had my numbers different than you probably do. I have the numbers different than I had them 20 years ago because I was where you are. But I've read my Bible. And I've analyzed this linguistically, and it's interesting that the reformed have you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not take make any graven images. That's number two. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember the Sabbath and the rest of art. Notice those are the verticals and these are the horizontals. That's why we divide the. Here's the Catholic and Orthodox Christian and listen think they got it right. So that number one is and I'm the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods in my place. Number two, you shall not bear the name. The last two are divided. You shall not covet. Those are two different commands discourse linguistically. They are set up as two separate commands, not one. And so in both numbering, we've got ten, but they land up differently. Well, let's talk about the function of tablets in covenant relationships.


[00:52:10] Here's from the Hittites, a treaty between supper Loulou Uma of Haiti and shut the Gaza of mythology. But anybody here have friends who are pregnant and looking for names for kids. This will work suppl Uma a duplicate of this tablet. This happens at the end of the covenant document is deposited before the sun Goddess of a renaissance, the sun goddess offering a direct kingship and queenship also in the land of Mithali. A copy is deposited before the storm. God, Lord of the carina of heart. So each party to the covenant gets a copy. And you take it home. Your coffee, you take it home, and you deposited in the temple in the presence of the God. And the God is the guarantor. Of the other person's fidelity. It's interesting that it will come there. There are differences from the. Yeah, let me make that comment. When Ranji is the second and potentially should finally had enough of fighting or was a mercy, I've forgotten. No it's escaped from my mind. They they made two copies of the Covenant and each of them got took a copy home and preserved it. So we actually have the copies of the Hittite, one of a Hittite version up in Asia minor. They discovered it, and we have it on the walls of Ramses Temples, this same covenant. The interesting thing is the copy that's on the walls in Egypt of Ramsay's temple is with the voice of the Hittite king. He took home the version that had the hit I King's name as the speaker. So what is on his temple wall is protecting the guaranteeing the loyalty of the Hittite, who is far away. But the gods take care of him. If this Hittite King ever breaks the covenant, the God in my God is going to invoke the curses.


[00:54:37] And so they flip you, sign a copy and give the other person the copy with your signature. And the D.A. becomes the guarantor of the fidelity of the signatory. Well, but there are differences here from that custom. Whereas the two Hittite documents were deposited in different countries in the temples of different gods. Both Israelite temple tablets were deposited in a single place in a box. The Ark of the Covenant has two tablets. So they're in the same place. Second. Whereas the Hittite tablets were to be retrieved periodically for covenant renewals. I could have read a text on that. The Israelite tablets were permanently stored away, inaccessible to human eyes. Those tablets of stone were for God's eyes alone. Only God ever saw it. It's in the box, stuck away in the holy of holies. You don't go in there. Even on the Day of Atonement. We have no record that. On the Day of Atonement, they open the lid and check to see that everything is right. No. On the Day of Atonement, they simply sprinkle blood on the top cover. It's covered. And that secures the ongoing covenant relationship represented by this. The significance. So now when we've got two two tablets in one box, we have to ask what what function are they performing? And I in my view, one represents Israel's commitment to Yahweh. And the other one represents Yahoo's commitment to Israel. The copy that Fig. bore, Israel's signature is handed to the covenant partner who happens to be. Israel sues. Within the disparity covenant relationship. By placing this tablet before Yahweh, the Israelites invoke him as the guarantor of their own fidelity. Oh, he sees all you do. He hears all you say. My Lords are watching all the time.


[00:56:57] God sees what we are doing, and He will guarantee due process for covenant violation. So Yahweh, as Israel's God, is the guarantor of Israel's fidelity. And if they go off track, He will hold them accountable. Yeah. The other one is Yahoo's tablet. But now it's different. This is also your simple. The copy that bore your signature is handed to the Israelites who deposited in the temple of their God your way. In so doing, they invoked Yasui as the guarantor of his own fidelity to them. I mean, there are no other gods. Yahweh can swear by any other gods, which is why we often have high any as I live or actually, Greenberg is right by my life. May my life be taken if I ever violate this. It's a self implication we had passing between the two parts of the critter yesterday. The torch representing God, that's what he's doing. That's a nonverbal way of saying this verbal thing. Hi, Annie. By my life. God is the guarantor. And of course, what's so comforting to Israel is they know that these tablets of stone are it. God is seeing that. And God knows he has to be faithful. He will not abandon Israel, even as they also know God holds us accountable. He's a loser. And this is not a parity treaty. It's a Souza and vassal treaty. But the same gracious God guarantees both. So that part of it. Well, Exodus 3118, when they had finished speaking with him on the mountain, he gave the most to Moses, the two tablets of the a deuce tablets of stone transcribed by the finger of God. And of course, then lots of. I've got so many questions. Or how did God did do this. The Charlton Heston movie has, you know, the zapping of light.


[00:59:09] They get everything else. I have no idea how this happened. God doesn't have fingers. And yet we talk about the moment you have text. You assume while the only way to get text is for fingers to do it. And so they describe it in that metaphorical way. Or Exodus 32, Moses went down the mountain with a two tablets of the A deuce. That's always translated testimony. Makes no sense to us. Her testimony is that which I mean, we got this case going on, the George Floyd thing right now. People have presented test to that's what we do with testimony. And if you call these tablets of the testimony, what in the world is that? And the word a deuce with this vocalization. A deuce. It is, of course, another context, but in this context, it's got to be something else. Tablets that were inscribed on both sides on the front and back there, inscribed the tablets of the work of God. The inscription, the inscription of God inscribed engraved on the tablets or Exodus 34. Write down these words for yourself. For in keeping with these words, I've made a covenant with you and Israel. So he remained there with 44 young for 40 days and 40 nights, and he transcribed on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten words when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the youth in his head. He didn't know that the skin of his face shone because he'd been talking with God. I love the image here. This is fabulous. But what is this, a douche? Testimony makes no sense. It makes zero sense. But there's one place in Scripture where it is this same word is used where it makes sense.


[01:00:56] And I think that is our key to this usage. In the seventh year, Jonah sent the chief for the Chiefs and the hundreds of the carrots and the guards who had come to him in the temple of Yahoo! He made a pact with him imposing on an oath of loyalty upon them in the temple. Then he presented to them the king's son. Then the priest gave King David Spears and quivers that were kept in the temple to the chiefs of hundreds with their weapons ready, all the guards and state and stationed themselves around the temple from the south in the north to guard the king and all sides. Then Joe had brought out the king's son and placed upon him the diadem. And the a deuce. Same word. Same word. And they anointed him and proclaimed him king and they clapped their heads and shouted, Long live the king. What is this thing? And John Howard instituted the covenant between on the one hand and the king and the people on the other, as well as between the king and the people that they should be the people of Yahweh, not the people of the King. It's the people of Yahweh. It's a fabulous text. We have just watched the burial of Prince Philip. But of course, it reminds us of that great moment. Was it in 1953? I, I can vaguely remember I was a ten year old when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was crowned. She's the same age as my oldest brother. But in any case, in the course of the coronation, they present to her formally all these symbols of her status, insignias of office. Insignias of covenant, insignias of the relationship. That's what the tablets represent. These are the icons not to be worshiped.


[01:02:59] They're stuck away. And they're stuck away in the holy of holies there. The But these are the icons that God perceives as the the symbolic, iconic, emblematic. Declarations of his irrevocable covenant to them and their accepting that covenant for themselves. These are symbols of the covenant icons of the guarantees of of the covenant by symbolizing that notion. I think that's what's going on here. So now let's talk about what's wrong with this picture. You can't actually see this. I'm sorry about that. Well, the two identical are the two time. They should be identical. They're different. That's number one. What else? How about the Ten Commandments? What's not biblical. What should be the ten words? And then the other question I have is why commandments? Why do we have that French ending on that word? We never use that in everyday speech. Never. And any translation of scripture that continues to use commandments is archaic. Can't be up to date. What do we say? Commands. Period. Save the ink save the trees don't commands. Why commandments? What else is wrong? The works now. They are words, not commands. Yes. What else? Now on both sides. The what? It's not. Both sides. Not on both sides. It's on one side. Look at the numbers. Roman numerals. Why do we do that? Why? We think it gives gravitas. But the document was written in everyday Hebrew. And if anything, they should be the archaic Hebrew letters of the alphabet. So why Roman numerals? It's it's a different language from the text itself. That's wrong. Shouldn't be different language from the text. It's Roman numerals. We're English. We're Americans. We don't do that. Thou shalt have. That's old English. It's archaic. People don't talk that way this year. What planet are you from? We lived in Germany for one year.


[01:05:51] I grew up in a household where German was the mother language and every morning we'd have devotions at the breakfast table. My my father would read from Luther's German Bible for devotions on Sunday every every morning. And we get to Germany this 1958, 59, 68, 69. And the people say, You sound just like Luther, but. Nobody talks that way in Germany these days. They don't respect King James English. And so no. Thou shalt have. What else is wrong? By my numbers. The numbers are wrong. If you look at the text itself, the Lutherans had it right and the Catholics have it right and the alternative right. But but but the Calvinist reformed folks, they. They messed it up for us. Sorry about that. What else is wrong with that? Where's it located? It's in a park. Out in the public. Where does it belong? We're all that God can see. And people don't need monuments of this all to our piety. What do they need? They need to see our piracy a life. The Israelites would never have thought of doing it. It was buried away there. You should have that word written on your heart. That's why. Ten words. So you can memorize it and you can live it. It's all wrong. Everything is wrong here. And our debates about whether or not we should have this document in our courthouses and in our schools is all misplaced. Who's the addressee here? Oh. The biggest problem is it leaves out the gospel. Did you notice that? The gospel. Where does it start? You shall have no other gods besides me. That's absurd. Covenant documents always include They're not just commands. If you do this, it's sheer moralism. It's sheer moralism. The Decalogue was not given to Egyptians.


[01:08:24] It wasn't given. The problem in our world is not that they don't keep the Ten Commandments. The problem is our people have never left Egypt. This is not unique. There are those who will say reformed and Lutheran folks who will argue that while we are not under the rest of the laws, the Decalogue is universal and that distinguishes it from the rest of the laws. No, doesn't. It is as parochial and specific and the audience is as identified as all of us. I'm Yahoo! Your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt? It's written to the redeemed. I don't expect the world to live like this. The problem with the world is not that they don't keep the commandments. The problem is they're still in Egypt, stuck dead in trespasses and sins. And what they need is embodiments of the gospel. And embodiments of the fidelity, the hypocrisy of what we do. This is just absurd. You think that putting this out in make, make makes your school a Christian school? No, it doesn't. It's the Christian teachers and the Christian students and the Christian parents that make it a Christian school. That's where we should be and we should not be pretending that we need to get everybody to keep the Ten Commandments. I don't expect Washington to act in the church's interest. A lot of people do. I don't. But it's not. It's the kingdom of this world. We're of the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. And it makes all the difference in the world. Well, the name is wrong. Style is wrong. The numbers are wrong. The location is wrong. The commands are incorrectly numbered. It misrepresents misinterprets a reference to two tablets, the isolation of the Decalogue from the rest.


[01:10:20] Why don't we have all of Deuteronomy on that document? Why don't we post all of Deuteronomy in our schools? There are far more allusions and references to Deuteronomy in the New Testament than to the Decalogue. Far more. This is the authority of Torah. And the message is wrong. That's the saddest of all. We were down in Indiana at the Amish. They do such wonderful woodwork stuff. And I love the way they got this decal. Ten Commandments, that's what they call it, to change the name. I love the artistry of that. But again, this start where this one starts and I can't buy it. People don't need more commands. They need Jesus. And that's where we should be with our proclamation of the Gospel. Anyhow, that's it for this lesson.