Posted tagged ‘the Ten Commandments’

Exodus 19-22

May 25, 2009

What wonders lie ahead for the children of Israel while wandering through the wilderness?

Exodus 19

  • The Israelites arrived at the base of Mount Sinai about two months after leaving Egypt.
  • Moses climbed Mount Sinai to see God.  God told him that if the Israelites kept God’s covenant and obeyed him, they would be his special treasure.  Moses told the people, and they agreed to do everything God told them to do.
  • The Lord decided to speak to the people directly.  So the Israelites had to purify themselves for two days.  They could also not cross a boundary.
  • God told Moses to bring Aaron back with him on the top of Mount Sinai.

Exodus 20

  • God then gave the ten commandments.  They are as follows:
    1. Worship God alone as god… don’t worship any other gods.
    2. Don’t make idols.
    3. Don’t misuse God’s name.
    4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    5. Honor your father and mother.
    6. Don’t murder.
    7. Don’t commit adultery.
    8. Don’t steal.
    9. Don’t lie.
    10. Don’t covet — to want the possessions of others.
  • The Israelites were afraid of the thunder and loud horn (from seeing/hearing the presence of God).  Moses told them to let this same fear keep them from sinning.
  • God then gives the Israelites a few rules about building and using altars.

Exodus 21

  • God gives Israel some instructions on how to treat their slaves (my study Bible notes that the Bible does acknowledge the existence of slavery but never promotes it).
  • If the slave is a Hebrew man, he will serve for only six years then be set free.  If he marries during this time, only he will be free after seven years; if he was married beforehand, his wife will be free with him.
  • If the master gives his slave a wife, and they have children, only the slave is free after six years.  If the slave still wants to serve his master to be with his family, he can belong to his master forever.
  • If a man sells his daughter to slavery, she is not free after six years.  If her owner gives her his son to marry, the owner should treat her as a daughter.  Likewise, if the owner marries her, he should treat her as his wife.
  • God also gave some instructions for personal injuries.
  • Deliberate murderers, someone who strikes or curses one of his parents, and kidnappers should be killed.  If the killing is an accident, that person can flee if God allows it.
  • If there is a quarrel, the person who hurts the other must pay for time lost and medical expenses.
  • If a male of female slave is beaten to death, the owner should be punished.
  • Hurting a pregnant woman should be punishable by having to pay damages.
  • An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, etc.  This is a guideline for judges… not as a rule for personal relationships (according to my study Bible).
  • If an owner knocks out a tooth or injures a slaves eye, that slave should be set free for payment.
  • If an animal kills a human, that animal must be killed.  If the owner of that animal does not kill it, and it kills another person, the owner must also be killed (unless the person is a slave, in which case money must be paid).
  • If someone uncovers a well, and an animal falls into it (since the person did not cover the well), they must pay the owner of the dead animal.

Exodus 22

  • God gives the Israelites more rules about what to do if property/livestock is stolen or killed.
  • God also gives rules about social responsibility, like what to do if a man sleeps with an unmarried virgin.  These rules also include some things like don’t exploit widows or orphans, don’t blaspheme God, don’t hold back when you tithe, and several others.
  • Suffice it to say that God is giving Israel laws that can help the judges and the other Israelites know what to do in certain situations.