THE TEN COMMANDMENTS GIVEN TO MOSES (PLUS ONE MORE)
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2023, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The Ten Commandments are a set of rules that were given to a man named Moses. They were given while he was traveling through the Sinai Desert about 3000 years ago.
The Ten Commandments are basic rules of behavior. They are intended to apply to everyone, including the rulers and governors of every city and nation. There are no exceptions.
This article discusses them in some detail and hopefully helps clarify some controversial aspects of them.
The Ten Commandments are the basis for the legal systems of all Western civilization. In other words, they are the basic laws of all the Western societies.
Please do not doubt this. For example, the Ten Commandments are the basis for British common law and even the law of kings and the cannon law (the English laws for the Church of England).
They are also the basis for the legal systems of many other nations that are so-called free societies.
Never doubt that Western civilization is solidly based upon the principles found in the Hebrew Bible. Anyone who challenges the validity and importance of the Ten Commandments is a destroyer of modern civilization, no matter what they claim.
OTHER SIMILAR LAWS FOR HUMANITY
For an earlier set of similar laws that are also found in the Hebrew Bible, read The Seven Laws For The Children Of Noah.
THEMES OF THIS ARTICLE
1. The Ten Commandments are a set of common sense rules that are extremely important for everyone today. They are not a “religion”, as some believe.
2. The Commandments are about loving others properly. They are not just prohibitions and “rules”. They also may help us understand the grand plan of the Universe and how we fit into it, so that we may live happily.
The word commandment in an ancient form of Hebrew means a signpost or direction. It does not mean a rule.
The Ten Commandments point us in a direction toward happiness, love and safety. They are not just intended as rules.
3. Modern societies ignore the Ten Commandments at their great peril. In other words, the rules work very well, and need to be taught widely or a society easily falls into moral decay, and degenerates into tyranny and lawlessness.
4. The Commandments can be interpreted in different ways. In other words, their meaning is not always simple. Thus, it is worth discussing and thinking about them clearly.
5. One can evaluate a person, a community, or an entire society by how well they follow these Commandments.
6. Another commandment can be added to the Ten Commandments of Moses to deal with a modern problem. It is Do not rape. We discuss this at the end of this article.
Let us now discuss the Commandments one by one.
Note: In different translations and traditions, such as the Talmudic, the Augustinian, and the Philonic traditions, the Commandments are not in the same order. While perhaps confusing, this is not too important because the ideas matter, not the exact order of the Commandments.
The Commandments are recorded virtually identically in Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. Below is the wording in Exodus in the New Revised Standard Bible.
I. I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
Here are three meanings of this all-important Commandment:
1. There is only one Source, one Creation and/or one God. This aspect is about the integrity of our Universe and how to worship. In this case, the word integrity means oneness, wholeness and completeness. The Commandment means that in one Source or idea is found everything you will ever need.
2. Put God first in your life, above all. The Commandment is about your priorities. The idea is expressed in the New Testament of the Bible in the statement, “Seek first for the Kingdom of heaven, and all else will be added thereto.” All else in your life must be secondary, in other words, to the concept that ONE Source rules all things.
3. To love or recognize the one God means you must be one with the radiance or emanation of God.
1. We are all subsidiary to the grand scheme of the Universe called God or the Creation.
2. We are all brothers and sisters. A deeper meaning of the First Commandment is that since there is only one central God or Source or Father, all people on earth are related. In other words, we share our humanity with every other person on earth, no matter who they are. In this regard, we are all brothers and sisters, and we are all children of the same Source or Father.
3. This Commandment is difficult for Hindus and some others who worship multiple “gods”. However, I believe there is really no conflict. The Hindu “gods” are more like our Greek mythological “gods” such as Zeus and others. They are humans, basically, who are powerful and perhaps more advanced than us. However, they are not the ONE SOURCE or the ONE FATHER.
Judaism brought forth a new, higher idea, which is that above all the “gods” in Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek mythology and many other pagan religions, there is yet a higher Source, who is One.
4. Does this mean there is a man or a woman sitting on a throne someplace ruling everything and everyone? Some teach this, but my understanding is that the answer is no.
The Bible does say things like “God was jealous”, or the “wrath of God”. These and other statements make it sound like God is a human, with emotions, just as we have.
However, I believe these statements were made to help people understand God, rather than being actual physical descriptions of God.
I believe God is a radiance, or power, or emanation of light. Could there be a “wrath” of such a God? Yes, it is possible that if you disobey certain laws of physics, for example by jumping off a high building, then the “law” hits you hard and you fall down hard.
Could such a God be “jealous”? Yes. One meaning of the word jealous, according to the dictionary, is “afraid of losing something of value”. It is possible that God, the Emanation or Love Principle, loves us so much that He or She is afraid of losing us to sin or spiritual death.
In other words, He or She wants us to behave in certain ways, and to mature and work our way back to a high level of understanding and practice of good works and love. Because of this, God may be jealous - that is, somewhat fearful - that we might go astray.
II. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This commandment is essentially a repeat of the end part of the First Commandment. This means it is extremely important to put God first in your life.
This Commandment also explains that God is invisible and cannot be worshipped with statues, golden calves, or other things. In other words, it means:
1. Do not worship graven images, which are pictures or photos, and do not worship idols, which are objects. These can be so-called religious images and idols, or secular ones such as large buildings, beautiful or talented women or men (either photos or living people), money, careers and other modern “idols”.
2. The proper way to “worship” is thus not a material style of worship. Thus, “worshipping” the family, money, the body, sex, love, children, friends, spouses, lovers, occupations, cars, vacations, homes, or anything else is always incorrect. Even worshipping the angels, or the image of Jesus or Buddha, is wrong.
This was a new concept in the time of Moses, as every other nation and group worshipped many confusing gods, each of whom served in a different area such as agriculture, the weather, financial support, love, and so forth. The Second Commandment is thus a great simplification of religious concept and worship.
3. A way to understand this commandment is the phrase “Thy Will be done”. This is a most powerful concept and affirmation. For details, read Thy Will Be Done.
The secular humanists particularly dislike this Commandment. They want to worship the earth, for example, or the environment, or perhaps worship the animals, or people who need their help. Some worship sex, or perhaps friendship or their family, above all else.
They dislike being told that these are all secondary to worshipping the One God, the Source Of All Life and all Creation.
We understand their desire, but they don’t realize that all the things they treasure and value so highly are products of the One God. If one truly worships the One God, one automatically appreciates the environment, the animals, and all else.
Implication. The emphasis in today’s modern society on appearance, gender, skin color, or on having a lot of friends, or even on saving the earth, is wrong. The emphasis must be on living in accordance with the principles outlined in this article, and that alone. That must be the standard, not so-called modern standards of happiness, wealth or “goodness”.
This does not mean that one should be selfish or that it is acceptable to pollute the earth.
It simply means to keep your priorities clear and things will work out for the animals, the environment, and for you as well. I realize this is a difficult idea, and I love the environment and the animals. But this is different from worshiping them as my God.
III. You shall not misuse the name of God, or take the Name of God in vain.
This means that if you swear an oath to God, you must mean it. The word to swear, as used in the Bible, means giving your powerful intent and commitment to something.
This is an older use of the word. In modern times, the meaning of the word to swear has been reversed, in fact, to mean the use of coarse or slang language. This is most unfortunate in some ways.
This Commandment is about your integrity of intent, and that you honor the name of the Creator or Creation.
Why is this important? For at least three reasons:
1. God should be the center of your Universe or thoughts at all times. The name should therefore be a holy word and everything connected to Him must be praised, loved and lauded. Mocking or lying using the name of God, therefore, is a bad idea.
2. Using the name of God to cause harm to others is also a terrible thing to do. This is sometimes called satanic. It is when someone uses the name or concept of God, Source or Creation to hurt others. Witchcraft, for example, is an example of taking the name of God in vain.
Someone might say “God made me do it”, after doing something evil. This is an example of taking the name of God in vain. God never commands anyone to harm another, although it is okay to harm another in self-defense only.
3. At a practical level, swearing an oath to God was one of the few ways that society had and still has to assure itself that a person is telling the truth. It is fine to tell a judge, a jury or just a friend that “I am telling you the truth”. However, invoking the name of God or the Creation is a further stamp of approval, or proof, that you mean what you say. This is why the punishment for taking the name of the Lord in vain was death.
The oath in American law. For example, swearing an oath to God is required in America when someone is a witness in a court case. It is also required of all elected leaders in America at the national and state levels. They are required to place their right hand on a Bible and pledge their allegiance to the United States and the Republic for which it stands. They must also swear to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of The United States.
Sadly, many elected officials today do not like the Constitution and they seek to destroy it. This is a horrible contradiction and lie that these politicians must live with.
They will someday have to answer for their attempts to destroy the US Constitution and for their mocking of the name of God. If they do not like America, they should go and live elsewhere, or at least they should not become elected officials in the government.
4. Another meaning of this Commandment is that one must not “use” God or the Creation for greedy, lustful, violent, or other nasty purposes. Many people do this, even preachers, at times. This is all the misuse or abuse of name of God, and what it stands for. This is an abuse of the greatest Power or Love that exists.
Liberals, secular humanists, and atheists dislike this Commandment, as it imparts a special meaning to the name of God or the Creation. They believe that God is not important or perhaps even fake, so why bother making the name important?
They have a point, in fact. If one does not believe in a God, then why bother swearing oaths to God? In fact, there is no point.
Politicians should probably be asked if they will swear an oath to God before being forced to do so to take office. However, if they won’t swear the oath, then they should not be considered for the job in the first place, as they are probably not trustworthy men or women.
America and some other nations no longer consider the swearing of the oath very important for elected officials. However, it is most important if one wants honest and efficient government.
Appearance and words matter little, in comparison with honesty, integrity and pure intent. I hope we learn this lesson very soon.
IV. You shall celebrate the Sabbath or seventh day of rest each week, and keep it holy.
This Commandment has been interpreted different ways:
1. Take a break from your daily “grind” or daily routine each week. A meaning of the word Shabbat in Hebrew is one day different. This is a very healthful idea for most people, though not all require it.
Thus, the Sabbath Commandment may simply be about rest, regeneration, repairing the body and the mind, and even repairing machinery, tools, automobiles and other things one uses all week long.
2. Spend a day each week praising God, not lying around, using your phone or watching videos, for example.
This is about setting aside a day each week to focus on God rather than on secular matters that so easily fill up one’s time.
3. While some people will not agree, we believe that if a person does the Pulling Down Mental Exercise every day, then he or she is celebrating the Sabbath each and every day. That is, one is remembering the Creator and praising his Creation every day.
4. The Bible states that God rested on the Seventh day, and so should we. Thus, this Commandment may have to do with the cycles of activity and rest, in which a day of rest on the seventh day is critical for completion, breaking patterns, and balancing out a person’s life.
This Commandment is a reminder that the non-stop, “rat race” lifestyle is not ideal. The antidote is that once a week, stop your normal material life routine and dedicate the day to God and to the Creation. This Commandment compels us to slow down at least once a week.
If possible, don’t drive the car on the Sabbath except for necessities. Don’t spend the day on the telephone or email, and skip Facebook and all social media sites, as well. If you use the computer, use it for spiritual purposes only.
5. Religious people say that the Sabbath Commandment is more than this. The Hebrew Bible specifies what must be done and what must be left undone on the Sabbath.
However, this is a source of controversy. Some readers know that one reason Jesus was crucified was for healing people on the Sabbath, and doing other things on the Sabbath that were forbidden by the priests of the day.
Jesus understood the Old Testament very well and loved it very much. Perhaps he wanted to remind people that the Sabbath Commandment is more about common sense and love, and not about following mere rules and regulations, especially if people are harmed by such rules and regulations.
Some very religious people don’t cook any food on the Sabbath. We think this is not a wise choice and we think it was not in the original Bible.
The author worked for several years at a Hebrew summer camp for children. On the Sabbath, there were no sports or other standard camping activities. Instead, everyone took showers and cleaned up their cabin, the vehicles were repaired and there was a relaxing and enjoyable religious service.
The owner told me that if God had not ordained the Sabbath, we would need to invent one to maintain a sane and wholesome rhythm of life.
V. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
We believe this Commandment means that one should:
1. Respect and honor your parents for giving you life on earth. For this, be forever grateful to your parents, even if they did not do a good job raising you.
This may mean to help support them financially, if necessary. However, it means only basic life support.
2. Forgive your parents for anything and everything that they did or failed to do. This is also a key concept for happiness. For details, read Forgiving Parents.
Let your parents off the hook, rather than hold grudges and dishonoring them in your mind, in your speech, or in your actions. This is vital for healing for many people.
Some interpret this Commandment to mean that you must be friendly with your parents even if they are abusive or hate you.
We do not think this is correct. You can forgive abusive parents without having to stay close and friendly with them, especially if they are dangerous to be around for you or your family.
In other words, we believe that the Commandment does NOT mean you must:
A. Visit Mom or Dad every so often.
B. Talk to them on the telephone for an hour a week.
C. Let them into your home if they are very disruptive.
D. Let them be around your children if they are a very bad influence.
E. It does not even mean you must be on speaking terms with an abusive or dangerous parent.
4. Some interpret this Commandment in a more metaphysical way. They say it means to honor the Father in Heaven and Mother Earth (our planet).
This is a powerful idea. We are fully dependent upon the Father in Heaven for our existence and we are fully dependent upon food, water, air and warmth supplied by the planet for our physical life and health. This is certainly the truth.
VI. You shall not commit murder.
This Commandment is often misunderstood. It means you shall not take another life without good cause. In this sense, it is about your integrity with the force called life.
While the Commandment sounds absolute and all-inclusive, other parts of the Bible make it clear that it is not. Killing another person is horrible, but the Bible elsewhere permits one to kill another who is harming you first. It also allows killing an enemy in a war situation.
It also allows killing animals for food and sacrifice. So if you kill in self-defense, for example, and for this reason only, it is not considered murder.
I often hear that Jewish and Christian people are hypocritical because they engage in wars in which people are killed, even though the Bible forbids it. However, the Bible does not forbid killing in self-defense or during wartime. As to which wars are justified, the Bible does not specify these.
A modern example. One can argue that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not about the self-defense of the NATO nations, so the soldiers should not be there from nations that worship the God of the Jews and Christians.
However, this is not true because these nations are havens for terrorists who continue to attack and kill those in the Western nations. So the war and killing is justified, at least on Biblical principles.
What about abortion? This Commandment does not specifically discuss abortion. However, both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible condemn abortion elsewhere in their texts.
This is a major reason why some people do not like the Hebrew or Christian Bibles. This is unfortunate, however, because the Commandments are designed for many situations and they are very good general rules.
When we check in with the souls, they do not like abortion, even after a rape. They tell us that taking a physical body is very much needed today by the souls.
Many women are falsely taught today that they are just like men, and having children is a side issue. We believe this is completely incorrect and leads to millions of sick children and millions of depressed women.
The truth is that women are very special because they can bear children. Men cannot do this! We urge everyone to think carefully about this.
Another false teaching today is that a baby inside its mother is part of the mother. Therefore, some say, she should have a right to terminate the pregnancy. However, the teaching is a lie!
The truth is that a baby inside its mother is NEVER a part of the mother. This is basic embryology. The baby is always an independent being who just lives inside the mother for a short time.
All this does not mean that abortion is never indicated. However, we believe it should never be a legal “right”, and we hope someday this will be corrected in the laws of many nations. For more details, read Abortion and Post-Abortion Syndrome.
What about capital punishment, also called the death penalty? The death penalty does not violate this Commandment. The Bible specifies the punishment of death for certain crimes including rape, murder, perjury, and taking the name of God in vain (this means swearing an oath on a Bible, and saying “so help me God”, and then acting otherwise).
Murdering the spirit. One can also murder another’s spirit, or murder the self-esteem and dignity of another. Therefore, an expanded understanding of this Commandment is that one must not kill the Spirit, kill the intellect, kill opportunities for others, or kill the dignity of another such as with a rape.
An extension of this is that one must not render another person useless – meaning one may not damage or harm another to the extent that the person can no longer function well. For example, vaccine injuries that today leave millions of children autistic or with other severe health problems can and should be understood as a type of murder.
Murdering yourself. This Commandment also applies to oneself. It is the prohibition against suicide, or intentionally taking one’s own life. It might also imply that one must not murder one’s own body slowly with deficient food, not enough rest and sleep, the use of drugs and alcohol, too much work or even too much sex or other indulgences.
One can also, in effect, murder one’s own spirit, self-esteem and dignity through destructive thoughts or deeds.
This principle can be applied to all the Commandments, not just this one. One can steal from oneself, one can “adulterate” oneself in various ways, one can dishonor the Father and Mother energies in oneself, and so on.
VII. You shall not commit adultery.
The meaning of the word adultery has been corrupted. In the original Hebrew, the meaning of adultery is any sex other than having sex with one’s husband or wife.
This means that adultery includes sex between single people. This is called fornication. In other words, this commandment is not just for married people. It applies to everyone.
What about homosexuality? Marriage, according to the Bible, is only between a man and a woman. Since sex between unmarried people is forbidden, the commandment implies that sex between those of the same gender is also forbidden.
Purposes of this commandment. Much could be said about this commandment. It is about the sacredness of human bodies, the sacredness and nature of marriage, and the problems that arise from having casual sex or sex with just anyone.
Having sex tends to spread disease, often causes embarrassment, can lead to rape, and can blend the energies of people in unhealthy ways. Regulating sexuality as this commandment does helps reduce all of these problems that occur due to sex.
A deeper meaning to the Seventh Commandment. Adultery, like the word adulterate, means to corrupt or ruin. A deeper meaning to this Commandment is that one must not corrupt anything. In other words, do not adulterate anything you do or have.
This expanded meaning makes good sense. It applies to everyone and applies to all of our life, not just sexual matters. For example, it means do not corrupt, ruin or adulterate your children by spoiling them or lying to them.
It means do not corrupt your business by lying to your customers or mistreating them in any way. It means do not corrupt your body by eating poor quality food or not resting enough, and so on. In this regard, the Seventh Commandment is about preserving integrity and wholesomeness in all things, persons and situations.
VIII. You shall not steal.
This is an important Commandment in many ways. It is a very broad statement that means you shall not appropriate anything, or take anything, that does not belong to you. This includes real tangible property, intellectual property such as information, kidnapping a child, taking a life for no good reason, or even taking or degrading the dignity or the self-esteem of another.
It applies to stealing exam answers to get a better grade, and of course to stealing money or objects.
In legal terms, this Commandment sets down or implies the principle of ownership of private property. This is a basic legal concept in Western society, although it is under attack in many Western nations.
Private property rights are not a common idea in most of the world with its dictators, or those that have communist or socialistic governments. In these nations, for example, the government regularly steals from the people and sets a terrible example that the people often follow.
“Redistributing wealth” is a popular phrase today. However, it easily degenerates into plain stealing from some to give to others whom the leader favors.
I would include as stealing charging too much money for a product or service, even if it is perfectly legal. I would also include as stealing the activities of any licensed monopoly group. Today this includes doctors, attorneys, and some others. I realize this will seem extreme to some people.
The reason I say this is that these licensed people have “legal arrangements” that force people to patronize them alone. This allows them to charge too much money, although it is technically legal. In other words, they do not earn their living, but rather they receive certain “benefits” as a result of their monopoly position in society.
Others who routinely take from others legally are those on government welfare. They receive “perks” in the form of tax breaks, food stamps, social security disability, unemployment benefits and more. The reason these are stealing, in one sense, is that the money for these programs is taken by force from the general population. If the funds were given freely, as in private charity, then such benefits would not be stealing.
I am not advocating the end of all government programs, but there is a problem when any government or power takes the people’s money by force. It always engenders anger and resentment, and often cheating and lying. Private charity and private welfare worked extremely well in America until the government ruined it by taking over the welfare system during the 20th century. There is no need for government welfare, I maintain.
An exception. If one takes welfare and uses one’s time to drastically improve one’s health with The Development Program then I don’t consider that stealing. The reason is that improving one’s health in this way helps everyone, not just oneself.
Another group that routinely steals from the public are institutions such as the Federal Reserve system, the banks, and others who mystify money and take advantage of people’s ignorance in this area.
Other ways people cheat and steal things range from simple shoplifting to filing false income tax reports, which cheats or steals from the government. Others cheat on health insurance forms and in other ways.
Inflating the currency by the governments is a horrible type of stealing of the people’s wealth, and so forth and so on. So this is not an easy Commandment to follow, and it is a very important one.
IX. You shall not bear false witness.
This is another complex and difficult Commandment to follow. I interpret this to mean that one should not lie at any time, about anything, unless it is to preserve your life or property. In other words, this Ninth Commandment is about integrity with your speech and your thoughts.
All the Commandments are sacred, but this one is very special because your words are deeds. Your words and your deeds should match up perfectly every day. If they do not, you are bearing false witness and violating this Commandment.
In other words, this Commandment does not just mean one shall not give false testimony in a court of law. It means much, much more. For example, it means one must not:
a. Spread false rumors.
b. Lie or exaggerate to make a point.
c. Cover up or obscure the truth by telling half-truths or omitting important information.
d. Advertise falsely, which is extremely common. For example, an ad may feature a lovely young lady who has no interest at all in the product or service, but is just being paid to look pretty and sexy. This is just a subtle way of lying to consumers.
e. Lying about money, as is done by the government when they waste it, and as is done by many individuals, as well.
f. Lying with the body - with words, or a smile, a gesture, a glance, seduction, and in many other ways. This alone is a huge topic!
g. Lying to oneself. This is very important. Many people lie to themselves that things are not the way they really are. This can be a subtle form of self-hypnosis or brainwashing in an attempt to put yourself to sleep to the truth.
Lying can be very subtle. It can mean leading a person on in a relationship with gifts or praise, when they are false. It can mean telling a child a scary story just to keep the child in line. Learning to tell the truth and live the truth is a lifelong struggle for everyone!
An exception. The use of prayers or affirmations such as the 23rd Psalm of David I don’t regard as lying to oneself. This psalm, along with others, can help stop negative thinking and help calm the mind.
Sometimes one is caught in negative thinking, and one tries to substitute positive thoughts instead. This is not lying, but rather trying to control the mind.
X. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
This is an interesting Commandment because most people do not know the meaning of the word covet. It does not just mean to envy. To covet means to want to steal from another.
This fascinating Commandment means you should not seek or desire to take away or steal that which belongs to others. It is about integrity of desire in relation to action.
For example, let us say your neighbor has a lovely wife or husband. It is perfectly okay to desire that you should also have a lovely wife or husband. However, it is coveting if you secretly or openly would like to take away your neighbor’s husband or wife, and have him or her for yourself. This is a fine distinction, but an important one.
An important political example. Some politicians tell the voters that it is “not fair” that a few people own big houses and drive fancy cars, while most of the people do not.
These politicians may be correct if the laws favor the wealthy people and need to change. However, today such rhetoric is often just an attempt to divide the people by stirring up envy and hatred for the rich. In other words, this is about coveting, and they encourage it.
This is called class warfare talk in the United States. Some of it is based on the writings of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. These two 19th century political scientists based their entire worldview on the concept that progress in human society is all about class struggle, and hatred, envy and coveting between the rich and the poor. It is the theoretical basis of Marxism, communism and socialism.
In our view, this worldview is entirely wrong. History has proven this many times.
The progress of society is not about class warfare! It is about setting up good laws for everyone to follow. It is also about giving the people freedom and liberty, which means the right and ability to live as they wish as long as they do not harm others.
Teaching Marxism is not only anti-Biblical and incorrect. It also tends to divide the nation, and stirs up anger, resentment, hatred and often ultimately violence. We believe this is its real goal.
As far as differences in wealth are concerned, some people work hard, so they should earn more money. Some are lazy, so they should have less. Some also develop their talents, so they earn more. Others would rather not use their talents, so they tend to earn less. These are choices people make.
Instead of stealing the possessions from the wealthy, Abraham Lincoln and many other great men said to teach the poor how to become wealthy. This works wherever it is tried. Yet it is not taught in high schools and colleges, which is truly a shame. For more on this important subject, read Capitalism and Freedom.
The Tenth Commandment is quite specific, unlike all the other Commandments. It specifically mentions the neighbor’s wife, maidservant, manservant, animals, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. Perhaps these are spelled out to emphasize how inclusive and important it is not to covet. Perhaps this is why class warfare talk is so pernicious.
Wishing evil upon others. Another interpretation of the Commandment not to covet is that it means do not wish evil upon anyone. Coveting is a form of wishing evil on others, which is a form of sorcery or witchcraft.
For clarity, some have suggested another commandment. A few scholars say it was in the original set of commandments.
Do not rape.
Rape is widespread all over the world. It is part of the culture in some nations. It is also an important part of an evil agenda for the earth. For details, read The Rape Planet, Rape and Healing Rape.
Rape destroys women’s lives in a dozen ways, infects their husbands and boyfriends with diseases, weakens women’s future children, damages marriages and all relationship, and wrecks the essential fabric of society.
The raping must stop! Anyone caught doing it pays dearly, I am told, even if the legal system does not punish the crime hard enough.
The word rape also has a broader meaning: to violate, to steal, to humiliate or to “rip off” another. All this may be included in the commandment not to rape.
THE BASIS FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Although some will disagree, the Ten Commandments of Moses are the basis for modern Western civilization. Please allow me to explain.
These Commandments form a basic legal code that protects the innocent, punishes the guilty, establishes a right to own and control private property, allows for self-defense, forces people to treat each other civilly, and more.
In so doing, the Commandments of Moses form the groundwork for the wonderful legal system we have today in many Western nations that protects those who are honest and decent, and hopefully jails those who lie, cheat, steal, murder, rape and otherwise harm society and its citizens.
I believe this is the “big picture” concerning the Ten Commandments. It is a marvelous legal code to guide modern man in his quest for an advanced society.
Many people have forgotten this aspect of the Ten Commandments, though not the founders of America, who inscribed them all over the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, in every courtroom in the land, and in most early government buildings, as well.
The fact that the Ten Commandments are now banned from being displayed in public schools and courtrooms of America, for example, is totally insane.
The argument for this is that they are a “religious symbol”, when they are nothing of the sort. They are the basis for a legal system that has produced a wonderful and sane society, and they should be hallowed, not banned.
One could argue that the real cause of the downfall of some nations today, including the communist nations, is that they do not abide by the these Commandments. They institutionalize lying, cheating, stealing and even murdering. If this ever happens in America, she, too, will go down.
I believe that to the extent that a nation elevates the Ten Commandments, and it citizens actually practice them, that nation will prosper.
This is not because that nation is “favored by God”, but because the Ten Commandments are basic legal principles needed for an orderly and prosperous society. This, once again, is why class warfare talk by the Democratic Party in the USA is so damaging to everyone.
These evil politicians repeat over and over that their opposition just favors the rich. Not so. They favor liberty, which is an absolute value that must not be compromised. This includes allowing people to accumulate wealth if they earn it legally and properly.
THE COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT A “RELIGIOUS” SYSTEM
This article focuses on the Ten Commandments as a logical and common sense system of simple rules for living. A mistake and deliberate lie is to just associate them with Judaism or Christianity.
It is true that Moses was Hebrew, but that does not mean that: 1) they are religious in nature, 2) that one must be Jewish or Christian to follow them, or 3) that one must be religious at all to appreciate them.
Many secular people dislike the Bible, which they consider outdated, bigoted or paternalistic, and they throw away the Ten Commandments as well. Then they wonder why their children lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, and their lives end up in ruins.
Society needs basic rules of conduct and intent. The Twelve Commandments are a simple moral code, not a religious order or religion. They are designed to help you live your life as happily and joyously as possible, with as few problems as possible.
THE COMMANDMENTS AS A WAY TO GAUGE A PERSON AND A SOCIETY
The word commandment in Hebrew also can mean a type of gauge, much like the gasoline gauge in an automobile. We can thus use the Twelve Commandments as a way to gauge or measure of how well a person is living life.
Those who live a simple, honest, clean life do not always come out ahead in society’s terms such as wealth or perhaps “love”. However, following the Twelve Commandments properly is still a wonderful way to gauge your life.
You can also gauge or measure the righteousness of a society by noting how well that society and its people, in general, practice the Twelve Commandments. Do the people worship false gods such as sex, money, lust, fame, etc.? Do people swear by God and then disobey their oath of allegiance, for example, to the US Constitution which most have not even read? Do people balance their lives by taking off a day of work each week, rather than working too much or slacking off too much?
Furthermore, is marriage between a man and a woman held sacred, or do many people cheat on their spouses? Must you lock up everything to prevent it from being stolen? Are rape and murder common? Do people respect truth, or do they lie to each other and to themselves? And does the society pit the rich against the poor with its taxes and other policies, causing envy and covetousness?
Evaluating communities and nations in this way is extremely valuable. It is a far more spiritual and practical means to discern the truth about a society than simply measuring its wealth or its technology.
WHAT ABOUT THE STATEMENT OF JESUS THAT THE ONLY RULES THAT ARE NEEDED ARE TO LOVE GOD AND LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF?
This is an important controversy about the Bible. I don’t believe Jesus said the statement above. The reason is that the New Testament is filled with statements and even discussions that confirm the Ten Commandments. So it makes no sense that Jesus would say to ignore them.
This brings up another larger issue as to whether the Bible has been altered at all. Many scholars think it has been changed over the years.
A shorter discussion of the Ten Commandments is found in a section called Living the Ten Commandments in the The Rogues article.