Volume 104, Number 5
The Ten Commandments are sometimes viewed as God’s basic standard for determining acceptable conduct. The commands seem clear. However, the principles that support them provide deeper insights into their importance. …. read more
“It pleased Jehovah, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify the law, and make it
honorable” Isaiah 42:21 (RVIC)
At the time the prophet Isaiah wrote the above words, Israel had become a corrupt nation. He described the people as deaf and blind to the words of God. As a result, God allowed them to be plundered by their enemies. For most Israelites, the Law had become an old relic to be cast aside. In this context, verse 21 stands out in a remarkable way. … read more
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NKJV)
The first three commandments of the Decalogue set Israel’s focus on God as the one and only source of national and personal blessings. … read more
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).
The second commandment builds upon the principle in the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The ban on crafting graven images includes not only the things in the earth, but also extends upward to the heavens, as well as down into the depths of the waters. … read more
“Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7 RVIC).
The word “vain,” as used in Exodus 20:7 (S7723), is translated from the Hebrew word shav. It means desolating; (destructive) evil. In that sense, ruin. Its root is from the word show (S7722), meaning, by implication, devastation. … read more
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
The sabbath was a rest “unto Jehovah thy God.” Ceasing all labor for a day allowed time for the Israelites to turn their thoughts to God. … read more
See religious, political, social, financial and Israel-related items of interest …. read more
“The Lord spoke to Moses … Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan,
which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes,
every one a leader among them” (Numbers 13:1,2,).
The FBI estimates the annual cost to the U.S. economy of counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets is between $225 billion and $600 billion. … read more
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the
LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12)
God’s fifth commandment, to honor our father and mother, is the only commandment that is confirmed with the blessing of long life. Obedience is the proper response to God’s gift of life and will be the strength of our families and our Ecclesias. … read more
“Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
As we meditate on this commandment, our thoughts turn in sympathy toward millions of people that have been intentionally killed over the centuries. In the 20th century more than 110 million people have been killed in wars alone. … read more
“Thou shalt not Commit Adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
In Deuteronomy 6:7, God instructed Israel concerning the statutes and commandments of the Law. “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (ASV). … read more
“Thou shalt not steal … bear false witness … [or] covet” (Exodus 20:15-17).
Commandment 8 “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). The underlying principle of Commandment 8 is that people have a right to their possessions and their good name. No one has the right to take what does not belong to them. They should honor what belongs to others.
Commandment 9 “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Another way of expressing this commandment is, “do not tell a lie about your neighbor.” No one wants false statements made about them, so no one should make false statements about others.
Commandment 10 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). In this last commandment, Jehovah commands that His people regulate their thoughts and heart’s desires. … read more