Learning Biblical Hebrew
11/23/09 at 01:18 PM 0 Comments

The Ten Commandments

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The Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue (10 words), are ten mitzvoth in Holly Scriptures that God has command the people of Israel just after The Exodus. God himself wrote the Ten Commandments on two stone tables (luchot Ha'brit) and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai to serve as principles of moral behavior for all mankind.

The Ten Commandments can be found in two books of the Torah: The Book of Exodus 20: 2-13 and The Book of Deuteronomy 5:6-18.
The first four commandments were given to help the people of Israel to love, honor and obey God.

The next six commandments were guides to help the people of Israel build good relationships with each other based on love and mutual respect.
The main reason that God gave Israel the Ten Commandments is that it constituted a covenant between God and Israel as mentioned in The Book of Deuteronomy 9: 9, 11, and 15 that refers to them as "the tablets of the covenant" three times:

" בַּעֲלֹתִי הָהָרָה, לָקַחַת לוּחֹת הָאֲבָנִים לוּחֹת הַבְּרִית, אֲשֶׁר-כָּרַת יְהוָה, עִמָּכֶם; וָאֵשֵׁב בָּהָר, אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לַיְלָה--לֶחֶם לֹא אָכַלְתִּי, וּמַיִם לֹא שָׁתִיתִי..... וַיְהִי, מִקֵּץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, וְאַרְבָּעִים, לָיְלָה; נָתַן יְהוָה אֵלַי, אֶת-שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָאֲבָנִים--לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית. ... וָאֵפֶן, וָאֵרֵד מִן-הָהָר, וְהָהָר, בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ; וּשְׁנֵי לוּחֹת הַבְּרִית, עַל שְׁתֵּי יָדָי."

" When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights; I did neither eat bread nor drink water.... And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.... So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands."

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation
Hebrew         Transcription                 Translation
בֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם Bên 'ādām lammāqôm   Between man and God
בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ Bên 'ādām lahăbērô       Between man and man
מִצְוָה             mitswāh                       commandment


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