Understanding the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)

Understanding the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)

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1          “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Understanding the First Commandment

*God (that is the Ten Commandments and their derivatives) is the only source for the morality guidance – the role of a human government should be the legislative support of this guidance.

*No other sources such as for example Human-rights or Communist manifestos should be replacing the God’s morality guidance.

*God made the people individually free (out of the house of bondage); therefore, the free people must decide individually what is morally good or bad.

*Collective morality is a voluntary summation of the individual moralities – not a morality imposed by the government on the people.

2          “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

Understanding the Second Commandment

*God is inside us (our souls, our genes …).

*We should not separate yourself from God by making the God’s images outside us.

*God commands searching for the moral guidance not from the outside sources but from our inner self.

3          “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Understanding the Third Commandment

*Using the God’s name just in a conversation or a speech would not absolve us from violating God’s moral guidance.

4          “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Understanding the Fourth Commandment

*You should treat everything – not only the humans – through the prism of God’s morality.

*Six days a week you should labor to make the God’s world a better place for everybody but one day a week you should assess the results of your labors to make corrections if the results have deviated from the God’s moral guidance.

5          “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon

the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Understanding the Fifth Commandment

*God’s moral guidance is coming to you mostly through your father and mother – the longer they live, the better God’s guidance that you recieve for strengthening your wellbeing (the ‘land’).

6          “You shall not murder.

Understanding the Sixth Commandment

*The Murdering is not the killing; the murdering is an unjust killing; therefore, you can kill those who attempt to murder you, your family or destroy your land.

7          “You shall not commit adultery.

Understanding the Seventh Commandment

*You should not commit adultery because the children of adultery do not have proper father and mother and therefore do not have proper God’s moral guidance.

8          “You shall not steal.

Understanding the Eighth Commandment

*You should not steal not only directly but indirectly as well, for example through government-imposed wealth redistribution.

9          “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Understanding the Nineth Commandment

*You should not bear false witness against your neighbor even if it may bring to you some (social or economic) benefits.

10        “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Understanding the Tenth Commandment

*Your public and economic achievements should be the result of your own efforts in mutually beneficial cooperation with the others without trying to get a piece of something that belongs to the others – if you are in the real need, the others would help you.


Published by Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of many books on the Jewish identity in the Judeo-Christian civilization. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s. Here in the USA Vladimir work as a scientist on various peaceful applications of nuclear energy together with American and Soviet/Russian scientist. After his retirement, he concentrated his efforts on the study of the morality of the Judeo-Christian Western Civilization connecting the morality of public life with the morality of religious life with the emphasis on the USA and the State of Israel.

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