The Ten Commandments before Mount Sinai
After the children of Israel left Egypt and were in the wilderness God spoke directly to them and made a covenant with them. “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My Covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Ex. 19:5-6) The following day God gave the Ten Commandments, and He spoke from the mountain directly to the people. They were so frightened by the sound that they pleaded with Moses for God not to speak to them, but that they would hear from Moses what God wanted.
When God spoke the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel He did not reveal something entirely new or unknown to them. He had spoken those commandments to their forefathers in various times, though they may not be in the same form as written in the two tablets of stone, but nevertheless God has revealed them in diverse ways.
| Ten Commandments givenBy God on Mount Sinai|| Commandments given by God before Mount Sinai |
| 1. “I am the LORD your God, . . . .You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:1-3)|| "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur" (Gen 15:7); "I am Almighty God, walk before me and be blameless" (Gen 17:1); "I am the God of your father--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Ex 3:6). "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves" (Gen 35:2). "and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD" (Ex 12:12). "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them" (Ex 18:11). |
| 2. “You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. . . .” (Ex. 20:4-6) || "'Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves'...So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears and Jacob hid them" (Gen 35:2,4)|
| 3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) || "nor shall you profane the name of your God...for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled" (Lev 18:21,27).|
| 4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God . . . For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Ex. 20:8-11) || "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Gen 2:2-3). "Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. . . " (Ex 16:23). “. . . for today is a Sabbath to the LORD.” (Ex. 16:25) “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? (Ex. 16:28). So the people rested on the seventh day" (Ex 16:23,30). |
| 5. “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (Ex. 20:12)|| “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment. . .Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Canaan was cursed but Shem and Japheth were blessed. (Gen. 9:22-27) |
| 6. “You shall not murder.” (Ex. 20:13)|| "Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. . . And God said, 'The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth" (Gen 4:8,10). “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” (Gen. 9:6) |
| 7. “You shall not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20:14)|| "Now it came to pass after these things his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me.' But he refused . . .'How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?'" (Gen 39:7-9). "Moreover, you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife to defile yourself with her. . .for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled" (Lev 18:20,27). |
| 8. “You shall not steal.” (Ex. 20:15)|| "So my righteousness will answer for me. . .every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me" (Gen 30:33). “With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live. In the presence of our brethren, identify what I have of yours and take it with you.' For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them" (Gen 31:32). "How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house. With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die." (Gen 44:8-9). |
| 9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex. 20:16)|| "Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die." (Gen. 3:4) The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate'. So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, You are cursed.” (Gen. 3:13-14) Jesus said: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it " (Jn. 8:44). |
| 10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17) || "So when the woman saw. . . a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate" (Gen 3:6). "The enemy has said, "My desire (AV "lust") shall be satisfied on them" (Ex 15:9). "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" (Ex 18:21).|
It is conclusive the Ten Commandments were given by God even before Mount Sinai. Many contend the Ten Commandments were simply the "Old Covenant." They also say that when the Old Covenant passed away, so did the need for obeying the Ten Commandments, unless they were specifically repeated in the New Covenant. We shall see every one of the Ten Commandments is repeated in the New Testament.