Deuteronomy chapter 5

The Covenant at Horeb. Ten Commandments. Moses the Mediator.





VERSE 1. Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, “Hear, Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your ears today, that you may learn them, and observe to do them.”

Walking with the LORD God entails two pursuits:

1. learn them. We are to LEARN the commandments: studying, discussing, memorizing, hearing them taught, hearing them preached. In essence, we are to be students of the Scriptures.

2. observe to do them. We are to DO the commandments. It is not enough to “know” the truth. We must act on it. We must put it into practice.

In our day many Christians say something like this: “The Lord knows what is in my heart.” Yet they do not learn the commandments. Nor do they observe the commandments.

Deuteronomy 4:6. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who shall hear all these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”


VERSE 2. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.


VERSE 3. The LORD didn’t make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive today.

didn’t make this covenant with our fathers. Superficially this doesn’t seem true.

In fact, the LORD God truly did make his covenant with the previous generation. They were the “fathers” of the people Moses is speaking to.

but with us, even us. The covenant is with all Jewish people.


VERSE 4. The LORD spoke with you face to face on the mountain out of the middle of the fire,


VERSE 5. (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the LORD’s word; for you were afraid because of the fire, and didn’t go up onto the mountain) saying,



Almost all Christians imagine there are only Ten commandments. But Jewish scholars say there are 613.


VERSE 6. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


VERSE 7. “You shall have no other gods before me.

Christians call this the FIRST commandment.


VERSE 8. “You shall not make a carved image for yourself—any likeness of what is in heaven above, or what is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Christians call this the SECOND commandment.


VERSE 9. You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me;


VERSE 10. and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

showing loving kindness to thousands. Even in those ancient days, thousands of years ago, the LORD God was known for mercy!

Mercy is his among his strongest of reputations. Mercy is how people come to know God best.


VERSE 11. “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who misuses his name.

Christians call this the THIRD commandment.

the name of the LORD your God. That is, “the name of YHWH your God.”


VERSE 12. “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.

Christians call this the FOURTH commandment.


VERSE 13. You shall labor six days, and do all your work;


VERSE 14. but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, in which you shall not do any work— neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.


VERSE 15. You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.


VERSE 16. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you; that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Christians call this the FIFTH commandment.


VERSE 17. “You shall not murder.

Christians call this the SIXTH commandment.


VERSE 18. “You shall not commit adultery.

Christians call this the SEVENTH commandment.


VERSE 19. “You shall not steal.

Christians call this the EIGHTH commandment.


VERSE 20. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Christians call this the NINTH commandment.


VERSE 21. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Christians call this the TENTH commandment.




VERSE 22. The LORD spoke these words to all your assembly on the mountain out of the middle of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice. He added no more. He wrote them on two stone tablets, and gave them to me.

He added no more. This is why people talk about the “Ten” Commandments. In the first edition, there were only ten!

But Moses came down from the mountain and saw the people worshipping the golden calf, he threw the tablets and broke them.

Later, Moses went back up the mountaintop. He received a second set of commandments. This second edition is thought to have the full 613 commandments.


VERSE 23. When you heard the voice out of the middle of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;


VERSE 24. and you said, “Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the middle of the fire. We have seen today that God does speak with man, and he lives.

shown us his glory and his greatness. With their own eyes, they beheld the glory of the LORD God.

we have heard his voice. With their own ears, they heard the voice of the LORD God.

Deuteronomy 5:24. and you said, “Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the middle of the fire. We have seen today that God does speak with man, and he lives.

Deuteronomy 11:7. but your eyes have seen all of the LORD’s great work which he did.

1 Peter 5:1. Therefore I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed.

1 John 1:1. That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life


VERSE 25. Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the LORD our God’s voice any more, then we shall die.


VERSE 26. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the middle of the fire, as we have, and lived?


VERSE 27. Go near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say, and tell us all that the LORD our God tells you; and we will hear it, and do it.”


VERSE 28. The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me; and the LORD said to me, “I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken.


VERSE 29. Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!


VERSE 30. “Go tell them, ‘Return to your tents.’


VERSE 31. But as for you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess.”


VERSE 32. You shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn away to the right hand or to the left.


VERSE 33. You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

live, and that it may be well with you. That is, “live and prosper.”

In our day, this phrase became famous thanks to the fictional character of Mr. Spock in Star Trek. He said “Live long and prosper.”


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.