Have you heard preachers say: “The Ten Commandments are done away. They’ve been abolished by Jesus Christ. They’ve been nailed to the cross. We’re no longer required to keep them!” Is this true? Are the Ten Commandments merely a package of temporary laws devised by Moses only for the ancient Israelites? Or did those laws predate Moses? The Word of God reveals the surprising answer. Let’s discuss.
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about the Ten Commandments? Perhaps you think of Moses, that great prophet and former prince of Egypt. Or perhaps you think of the millions of Israelites. Or perhaps, that mysterious mountain called Sinai or Horeb.
Whatever it might be, there's no doubt that a lot of people connect the Ten Commandments to Moses. Not only that, they believe that those ancient laws were only given during the time of Moses and were the foundation of the nation of Israel.
Thus, a lot of professing Christians believe that since we are now under the New Covenant, the Ten Commandments have been abolished because they were only part of the Old Covenant.
However, did you know that the Ten Commandments were already in effect even before Moses? That’s right. In fact, all the Ten Commandments have been in force since humans existed on this planet! They constitute a spiritual law that is inexorable and eternal — called LOVE — and the fulfilling of which is LOVE. This spiritual law of LOVE was set in motion by the Almighty Creator (YHWH) for our happiness and every good result. The Ten Commandments are entirely different and separate from the ritualistic sacrificial law of Moses, which was just a code of physical laws.
Here are 10 proofs that ALL Ten Commandments were already in existence way before Moses!
“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
God, by definition, is the One you serve and obey. Whoever you obey, whatever you serve, is your god. It might be your boss or your car. Maybe it's an idol. Whatever it is, that's your god.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, broke the first commandment in this “original sin.”
Genesis 3:11 — And [God] said [to Adam], “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
When they obeyed Satan and disobeyed God — they put another god in place of the true God.
Romans 5:12 — Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
That one act of disobedience is called SIN. That means a LAW had been broken! Because that’s what sin is — the “transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Notice:
Romans 5:13 — sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 4:15 — where there is no law there is no transgression.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image… you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…” (Exodus 20:4-5)
When God told Jacob to go up to Bethel (“House of God”), Jacob knew what he needed to do:
Genesis 35:2-4 — And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” 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 under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.
“You shall not take the name of the LORD [YHWH] your God in vain…” (Exodus 20:7)
The Book of Job is considered by scholars to be the oldest book in the Bible, predating Moses:
Job 1:5 — So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify [his children], and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus, Job did regularly.
Righteous Job made sure he and his family were not guilty of profaning the name of YHWH.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…” (Exodus 20:8).
Notice the wording of this Fourth Commandment. It says, “Remember...” Clearly, this is NOT the first time God gave this commandment. Notice that the Ten Commandments were stated in Exodus 20. But much earlier, in Exodus 16, we read the following:
Exodus 16:4 — Then the LORD [YHWH] said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.”
Exodus 16:23-28 — Then [Moses] said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?”
This incident happened before the codification of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Clearly, the Fourth Commandment had already been in existence and known by the Israelites!
“Honor your father and your mother…” (Exodus 20:12)
Genesis 28:6-7 — Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan Aram to take himself a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Padan Aram.
Unlike Jacob, Adam and Eve dishonored (and disobeyed) their only Parent. Notice...
Luke 3:38 — … Adam, the son of God.
Adam is called the “son of God,” because God created him. In fact, both Adam and Eve were the direct children of God, not by begettal or birth, but by creation.
They did not only sin by breaking the First Commandment, but also the Fifth Commandment.
“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
YHWH warned Cain about his temper. If he didn’t control it, it would lead to the sin of murder.
Genesis 4:6-8 — So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Clearly, the law against murder was already in force way before Moses. Notice also:
Genesis 9:5-6 — [God said] Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man…”
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
Genesis 39:7-9 — And it came to pass after these things that [Joseph’s] master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
The Seventh Commandment was known. Joseph knew that adultery was “great wickedness.”
Genesis 20:1-3, 9 — And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife…” And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.”
Even Abimelech, a non-Israelite (a Philistine), knew that it was a “great sin” to commit adultery.
“You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
Genesis 30:33 — [Jacob said to his uncle Laban] “So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: 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.”
Jacob knew all about property rights and the law against stealing — way before Moses’ time!
Genesis 44:8-9 — “Look, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's slaves.”
Joseph’s brothers knew that stealing carried the heavy penalty of death and of being enslaved.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
The first lie recorded in the Bible was uttered by the father of lies, Satan the Devil (John 8:44):
Genesis 3:4 — Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”
Genesis 4:9 — Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?”
Cain not only committed murder (6th Commandment). He also lied to God (9th Commandment).
Genesis 37:31-33 — So [Joseph’s brothers] took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father [Jacob] and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?” And he recognized it and said, “It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.”
When Jacob was younger, he tricked his brother Esau and his father Isaac. He reaped what he sowed when he was also tricked and deceived by his own uncle Laban and by his own children.
Job 31:5-6 — “If I have walked with falsehood, or if my foot has hastened to deceit, let me be weighed on honest scales, that God may know my integrity.”
Job knew that dealing in falsehood and deceit was wrong and that being honest was right.
“You shall not covet… anything that is your neighbor's” (Exodus 20:17).
Eve coveted God’s prerogative to decide between good and evil and so she fell for Satan’s lies.
Genesis 3:6 — So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Job 31:9-11 — “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down over her. For that would be wickedness; yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.”
Job knew that coveting his neighbor’s wife was “wickedness” and deserving of judgment.
I hope you’re now convinced that the Ten Commandments already existed way before Moses. All ten points of God’s spiritual law of LOVE have been in full force since the beginning of man’s creation. What YHWH thundered on Mount Sinai and wrote on two tablets of granite stone is simply the codified, formal version of what had already existed. So, far from being a “yoke of bondage,” God’s laws and commandments as summarized in the Ten Commandments lead to a life of blessing, joy, happiness, and every good result. No wonder the Apostle Paul concluded:
Romans 7:12 — Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Also, the beloved King David — a man after God’s own heart — wrote about how he truly felt:
Psalms 119:97 — Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
May we likewise love and honor God’s law and reap the blessings that come with obedience. Until next time, this is Daniel Macaraeg of BiblicalTruths.TV, reminding you to always be growing, to always be giving, and to always be grateful.