In the previous two parts of our discussion of Exodus 20, we talked about issues related to Decalogue and the first four of the Ten Commandments. In this episode we cover the remaining six commandments (honor your father and mother, do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, and do not covet). It may come as a surprise, but some of these are hard to define and have biblical exceptions.
In the previous episode of the podcast we looked at the issues raised by close examination of the placement and nature of the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. In this episode of the podcast, we take a look at the first four commands: having no gods before Yahweh, not making idols, not making the name of God inconsequential (“bearing the name in vain”), and remembering the Sabbath.
Hallo, William W. “New Moons and Sabbaths: A Case-study in the Contrastive Approach.” Hebrew Union College Annual 48 (1977): 1-18
Exodus 20 is familiar to Bible readers for the Ten Commandments. Actually, only Exod 20:1-17 delineates those commands. The rest of the chapter resumes the Sinai theophany whose description began in Exodus 19. The “interruption” of that episode with the Decalogue is actually one of six issues discussed in this episode of the podcast—all preparatory to getting into the listed commands in future episodes. This episode deals with the unusual position of the Decalogue, the legal nature of the commandments, Jewish and Christian disagreement as to their number, the relationship of the Decalogue to ancient Near Eastern treaties, and the question as to why they were written on two tablets of stone.