The Ten Commandments form the most important and the most basic code laid down by God.


Known as The Ten Words these Ethical Laws show the moral distance of humankind from God, how people should live more abundantly by using these guides, and to demonstrate the need to cleanse themselves from their sinfulness.


In The Book of Exodus (20:1-17 and Deut 5:7-21), The Ten Commandments are prohibitions (except for Commandments 4 and 5). The first four Commandments are related to one's relationship with God. The following six Commandments have to do with human relationships.


Correct relationships with others ensue after first having an appropriate relationship with God.


The number Ten was, itself significant. It represents, then and at all times, completeness, and that the Law of God was of perfection. Being one finished whole, to which nothing was to be added, and from which nothing was to be taken away.


The ten were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, after previously given verbally.


The Lord inscribed the commandments on two stone tablets when Moses spent his 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai, after which Moses came down from the mountain and saw the Golden Calf Aaron had made; he threw down and broke the tablets the Lord had given him. Even though the worship of the image was to the same God, both God and Moses knew it was a gross idolatry for it was a representative of The True God through whom they would worship. The Lord then gave Moses the Laws a second time on new tablets, which Moses had to then carve himself.


The Ten Commandments were the principal part in the larger arrangement of the Mosaic Law and are unique because of the character of the God who gave them. Without God, the Commandments lose their distinctiveness.


The Ten Commandments were not only for the Hebrew people but are abiding laws for all persons.


The ten directives have universal soundness, they are truly significant only when persons are committed to the God behind them.

 The Ten Commandments 
of The Bible


1] You shall have no other gods before me. 

2] You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 

3] You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 

4] Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (The Sabbath is the Seventh Day; Christians partake of The Lord’s supper of The New Covenant on the eighth day)  

5] Honour your father and your mother. 

6] You shall not murder. 

7] You shall not commit adultery. 

8] You shall not steal. 

9] You shall not give false testimony. 
10] You shall not covet.

 The Ten Commandments as set out by The Roman Catholic Church that is instructed to its parishioners today.
1] You shall have no other gods before me. 
2] You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 

3] Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. 

4] Honour your father and 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 neighbour. 

9] You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife. 

10] You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods. 



The use of images in the Church of Rome, is clearly opposed to the second decree, and in all the catechisms and books of devotion, which are put into the hands of the people, the Roman Church leaves out The Second Commandment, and so The Third Commandment is called the Second, the Fourth the Third and so on. Both Roman Catholic and Lutheran Establishments have traditionally combined two commandments at the beginning and divided two commandments at the end of the list to keep to the number ten.
To make up the number ten, the tenth is divided into two commands.


The Second Commandment is apparently reasoned within the First, however, they are very different from each other.


The First Commandment is focused upon the acknowledgement of The One and Only Supreme God, an INWARD worship. The Second explains the right relations in the worship of Him, which is an OUTWARD worship. It discusses the method of worship rather than the object of worship.


The Roman Establishment has taken away from God’s word, and has added to His worship. Having committed two great evils, in which the Roman Church persists, they continue to reject The Second of the Ten Commandments of God, and is not prepared to accept it

 The Second Commandment concerns the ordinances of worship, the way in which God is to be worshipped, which He Himself has chosen. To prevent disobedience of this commandment, humankind is forbidden to worship the true God in such a way that idols are worshiped and are commanded to observe the instituted ordinances of worship that adhere to the proper object of worship and not that to false gods and images. For this reason Moses explains the second commandment in great detail. Four chapters of Deuteronomy refer to what is restricted  in keeping up the pure worship of God that is unadulterated.

  The Prohibition of His people is the banning of worshipping The True God with images. The Jews (after the Babylonian captivity) thought it to be forbidden by this commandment to make any image or picture at all, therefore the actual images, which the Roman Empire had used in their military ensigns, were called an abomination (Mt. 24:15), especially as they were set up in The Temple at Jerusalem.

 It is certain that it forbids making any image of God, for to whom can He be likened? (Isa. 40:18, 15), and bans the representation of any created creature for any spiritual application. Rom. 1:25 states this is called the changing of the truth of God into a lie, for an image can be an educator of lies to presume that God has a body, and not an infinite spirit. It also excludes worshippers to make images of God in human interpretations, as if He were a human.


  Holy adoration must be governed by the power of faith and not by sight or the power of the imagination of humankind. Worshippers of The One and Only Creator must not make images or pictures as the heathen worshipped, for fear that they also might be enticed to reverence them. They are charged to abolish all idol-gods, and therefore they must all be destroyed, with the altars, pillars, and images, that had been used by the natives in the worship of their gods, so as that the very names of them might be buried into nothingness, and not only not be remembered with respect, but not remembered at all. Of their religion, let none be left remaining, for unthinking people, especially in degenerate ages, would use  them in the service of the God, even for decoration.


It is evident that the pictures that circulate of Christ, including those of Mary, have come from the imagination of the artists, and none can obviously be what they really did look like.


 Worshippers must not bow down to idols or images at all, that is, show any sign of respect or honour to them, nor serve them frequently by sacrifice or incense, or any other performance of religious worship. When paying devotion to the true God, people attending worship must not have any image before them, for the directing, exciting, or assisting of their devotion.

 Though worship was planned to centre on and conclude in God, it is not pleasing to Him for any adoration to come to Him through a representation. No one or no thing is to take God’s supreme place in our lives.


  This type of practice was forbidden in Rome by prince Numa, a pagan King of Rome B.C., yet a habit of worship later commanded by a Roman pope, who was supposedly a Christian bishop.


The reasons to enforce this prohibition of the worship of images are, God’s jealousy in the matters of his worship: "I am the Lord (Jehovah), and thy God, am a jealous God,“ This proves the care He has of His own establishments, His abhorrence of idolatry and all misleading devotion, His displeasure against idolaters, and that He resents all in His worship that appears like, or leads to, idolatry. His zealousness is for His people whom He will not share with any rival. Another major reason why substitutes were not to be used was the problem of localization and materialization of God’s presence, which then can be used for control, both of God and the limitation of His presence.


IDOLS are physical or material images or forms representing a reality or being,  that people considered divine and thus is an object of worship. In the Bible various terms are used to refer to idols or idolatry: image or graven (carved) or cast, a statue, all are an abomination. Both Testaments condemn idols, as they are rivals with God. And end up in competition with Him. Under the new Covenant, there is no temple that sanctifies the gold, idols or images, no altar that sanctifies, but Christ only.


 Idolatry being Spiritual Adultery is often represented in scripture as the displeasure of God. God is jealous and believers should be obedient in offering any worship to God other than as He has prearranged in His word.


 The Warning to Idolaters. God looks upon idolatry as blind adoration, idolaters as haters of Him, though they profess love to Him. He will very severely reprove the action of spiritual adultery, not only as a breach of His Law, but as an affront to His majesty and sovereignty. A covenant relationship is an analogy to marriage, and as God and King He possesses exclusive rights over His people, of their love and allegiance. Jealousy is part of the verb love and God demands exclusive loyal devotion to Himself as their only Creator. Those who ‘hate’ God are those who refuse to live according to His will.

(see TEXT NOTES on The Ten Commandments)
SCRIPTURES Exodus 20:1-17
QUESTIONS 1] What is the Second commandment concerned with? 2] Why does God forbid any devotion to idols and images? 3] Why does God abhor spiritual adultery?

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