Bible study 156 – Deuteronomy 4

Moses rewinds, and starts recounting how God gave them the first Ten Commandments. The original Exodus story used the name “Ten Commandments” only for the later Ritual Decalogue from chapter 34, which left me really confused. In Deuteronomy, however, the first list of commandments are explicitly called “the ten commandments”. This partly explains why most Christian accounts refer to the first ten commandments as “the Ten Commandments”; they give the Deuteronomy text precedence, and ignore the Exodus account.

This chapter also contains one quote with a seemingly polytheistic outlook – “For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him?” – and one with a seemingly monotheistic outlook – “So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” Perhaps these two quotes were written by different people, at different times?

Deuteronomy 4:13
He declared to you his covenant, which he charged you to observe, that is, the ten commandments; and he wrote them on two stone tablets.

Full text.


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