The Ten Commandments dictated how God wanted His people to relate with Him and among themselves. The first dialogue is found in Exodus, while the second one is found in Deuteronomy. There are several differences in the arrangement and content of the Ten Commandments. There are also differences the enumeration of the Decalogue between the Jews and Christians.
There is a difference in the fourth commandment. In Exodus, God’s people were expected to observe the sabbath because He rested on that day after creation, while in Deuteronomy, the Israelites were expected to observe the Sabbath in the remembrance of the day when He freed them from slavery in Egypt. There is also a slight difference in the fifth commandment. In Exodus, instructions were given to honor parents so as to live long in the land he would give them, whereas in Deuteronomy, the same is said with an addition of a ‘command’ from God (Bennett, n.d). Jews portray the commandment on idolatry separately, whereas the Catholic present it in the First commandment. In addition to that, The Jews refer to the Decalogue as ten sayings, of which makes sense because their first one is not a commandment but a statement, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of slavery in Egypt” (Warner, 2010). The difference in the numbering showed their preferences between the Deuteronomic and Exodus versions. The differences in numbering of the Decalogue between Christians and Jew occurs in the arrangement of the first, second, ninth and tenth commandments. The Christian arrangement made them look like commandments. In addition to that, their arrangement emphasized on human dignity, and relations with other people.
In conclusion, there are some differences in the decalogue’s content between Exodus and Deuteronomy, and the preferences of either of them led to the difference in the enumeration of the ten commandments between the Jews and Christians.
- Bennett, M. (n.d).10 Commandments List. Life, Hope and Truth Newsletter. Retrieved from https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/the-ten-commandments/10-commandments-list/>
- Warner, M. (2010). Friday Fast Fact: Numbering the Ten Commandments. National Catholic Register. Retrieved from http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-warner/friday_fast_fact_numbering_the_ten_commandments>