Study Guide

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

The Ten Commandments

  • Next up: Moses rehashes the people's time at Mt. Horeb in Exodus.
  • The version in Deuteronomy is a bit longer than the one in Exodus, but only because verse 15 states that slaves should be given the opportunity to rest on the Sabbath, since the Israelites were slaves in Egypt.
  • Talk about a powerful memory. Because the Israelites remember their times as slaves, their rules on slavery reflect that cultural experience. For more on this, check out "Memory" in our Themes section.
  • One final note about the Ten Commandments: did you notice that the first four commandments relate to God while the last six refer to how members of the community are to be treated? What do you make of that?
  • On Mt. Horeb, the people hear God speak out of the fire. Yikes.
  • Since the people are (naturally) afraid of God, they send Moses to talk to him (22-27).
  • Wait a second, what happened to the whole golden calf incident? We hear about the lost generation that resulted from it, but we don't get a recap of what went down. Why not?
  • Moses concludes by telling the Israelites that if they want to live and take the land, they must follow the commandments exactly.

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