A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The Ten Commandments given to Moses


Moses and the Ten CommandmentsThe giving of the Ten Commandments is a story within a larger story, which tells of God's deliverance of the people of Israel from captivity in Egypt. He enters into a covenant relationship with them whereby they undertake to be faithful to God's law. The actual giving of the commandments at Mount Sinai is described as a terrifying experience in which God 'comes down' to talk with Moses and inscribes the ten points of his law for humankind on tablets of stone. These summarise God's covenant with his people and set out a basic ethical norm applicable to people in all ages. The first four concern humankind's relationship to God, the remaining six people's relationship to others. The commandments: ' show God's concern for the whole of life ' set out standards governing family relationships, regard for human life, sex, property, speech and thought ' illustrate that, as creator, God alone can show his creatures how to behave.

Related Topics

Big ideas: Moses; The Ten Commandments

Bible References

Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21
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