Ten Commandments

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Ten Commandments: Seven deadly sins

Commandments, Ten:

see Ten CommandmentsTen Commandments
or Decalogue
[Gr.,=ten words], in the Bible, the summary of divine law given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They have a paramount place in the ethical systems of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
..... Click the link for more information.

Ten Commandments



[Gr.,=ten words], in the Bible, the summary of divine law given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They have a paramount place in the ethical systems of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Listed in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, the commandments are divided into divided into duties toward God and toward one's family and neighbors and society. Their normative status is indicated by their prescriptive and unconditional language. They function as general stipulations decreed by God as part of His covenant with the people of Israel. In both Exodus and Deuteronomy, the case law following the listing of the commandments is based on them and deduced from the principles contained in them. In Islamic tradition, Moses brings new revelation in the form of the commandments.


See M. Coogan, The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Enlarge picture
A memorial to the Ten Commandments, also known as the Tablets of the Law. AP/Wide World Photos.

Ten Commandments

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

I am the Lord your God: You shall have no other Gods before me You shall not worship idols You shall not misuse the name of God Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy Honor your father and mother You shall not murder You shall not commit adultery You shall not steal You shall not lie You shall not covet The above list is the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments Moses brought down from Mount Sinai after the children of Israel escaped from Egypt. Believed to have been written by the very finger of God on tablets of stone, they summarized the law that would define Israel and make her a unique nation of people. The commandments are not the whole law. That constitutes pages and pages of oral tradition and experience. But they summarize what God expects in human, ethical behavior—a kind of minimum daily requirement in righteousness.

The first four laws govern the way humans are to respond to God. They are summarized in Deuteronomy 6:5: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." The next six describe how humans are to respond to each other. They are summarized in Leviticus 19:18: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

Ten Commandments

God’s precepts for man’s life. [O.T.: Exodus 20:3–17; Deuteronomy 5:7–21]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many supporters of Ten Commandments postings complain that the Decalogue is represented in an image of Moses etched in the wall behind where the chief justice sits in the U.S.
"I'm not opposed to Ten Commandment monuments; I'm opposed to them on government property," he told The Washington Post.
"A display of the Ten Commandments on government property also violates the Establishment Clause, except when it doesn't," Thomas (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/240726/20111031/clarence-thomas-supreme-court-highway-crosses.htm) wrote in October .
The Ten Commandments are as important today as they were in antiquity because they represent the crucial distinction of right versus wrong.
It was my honor to sponsor the bill which led to passage of the Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument Act and I hope to help every state in our nation do the same if they wish to do so," he added.
* The Ten Commandments are not exclusively religious.
Moore has regularly been referenced in news coverage of the Ten Commandments referendum because he cost Alabama voters more than a half-million dollars after erecting a Ten Commandments display in the Judicial Building in Montgomery when he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001.
"Unwilling to acknowledge the civic authority of the Ten Commandments...
The law allowing the Ten Commandments monument requires Martin to consult the commission before approving the design and site for the monument.
The need for ethics remains, and the Ten Commandments can be followed both by believers and by agnostics.
Comparing the Ten Commandments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the 42 "commandments" in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, we see that many of the rules are similar, describing norms required for any workable community ("You shall not murder"--Exodus 20; "I have not killed men"--Book of the Dead).
One does not usually have to wait long in an after-church or talk-radio discussion of natural law to hear the familiar shibboleth that "The Ten Commandments are the foundation of American Law." (1) This statement serves many functions: It ties together Jewish and Christian morality, affirms a role for those faiths within the secular world of law, and roots the argument for natural law in the reports of an ancient event that is hard to dispute, because those who believe in those events do so as an article of faith.