“The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Romans 13:9).
Some in the modern-day church teach that one or more of The Ten Commandments are not reiterated in the New Testament, thus they are no longer in effect. However, none of the commandments have been removed, abolished, or changed. The Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, are the ‘Table of Contents’ to the Torah given to Israel by God at Mount Sinai, not the entire Torah which details how to live within the community of God’s people, and the world. Throughout the New Testament, Yeshua refers to this ‘Table of Contents’ whenever he is asked about the commandments. He never negates any of the commandments in the Torah, even when asked about the greatest commandment.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
“Yeshua replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law (Torah) and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Yeshua answered the question by stating that the Torah and the Prophets sum up two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor. Neither of these are new commandments as Yeshua quotes from the Shema, the words given by God through the prophet Moses to the children of Israel.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).
Some pastors teach that the Torah was given only to Israel suggesting that followers of Yeshua are not bound by the same commandments. Again, this is not true. If you are a child of God and born again into His Kingdom, then His commandments are for you. Every earthly father has instructions for his children, natural or adopted, to obey. Our heavenly Father is no different; his family is no different.
Yeshua said, “If you love me, then you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Yeshua and his Father are One (John 10:30). Yeshua is the flesh voice of God making him the mouthpiece of his Father (John 1:14). Everything Yeshua spoke to the people were the Words that His Father commanded him to speak (John 12:49) Therefore, his commandments will always completely agree with his Father’s commandments.
The Ten Commandments with the Alef-Bet
When The Ten Commandments were given to Israel at Mount Sinai, they weren’t written with Roman numerals or from left to right. They were written with Hebrew letters, right to left, and called the Ten Words. A wonderful tool for learning The Ten Commandments is to use the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the letters have a picture that actually reveals the meaning of each commandment. The Ten Commandments are listed below using the Hebrew letter picture along with New Testament Scriptures proving that all of The Ten Commandments were reiterated by Yeshua and the apostles in the New Testament.
Love God – The First and Greatest Commandment
א Alef – An Ox
The first commandment is represented by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, alef. The letter picture for alef is an Ox. The Ox is symbolic of ‘strength, leader, or what comes first.’ We are to have no other gods except first and foremost, yod-hey-vav-hey who delivers us from the bondage of slavery into freedom, from sin and death into fullness of life. It is only Adonai who is able to destroy every power or ‘other gods’ as He did in Egypt.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).
“Yeshua answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the LORD your God and serve him only’” (Luke 4:8).
ב Bet – A House
The second commandment is represented by the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, bet. The letter picture for bet is a Tent or House. This letter symbolizes ‘a household or family’ and is the preposition in. In Middle Eastern culture, idols were called ‘household gods.’ Rachel was guilty of sitting on an idol when Laban came to Jacob looking for his household gods (Genesis 31:19).
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
ג Gimel – A Camel
The third commandment is represented by the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, gimel. The letter picture for gimel is a Camel, and is also the Hebrew word for ‘camel.’ The symbolic meaning is to ‘lift up or pride.’ We are not to use the name of Adonai pridefully. We are not to lift up His Name up in any profane way. When we live lawlessly, contrary to His commands, and call ourselves His followers, saved by Yeshua, then we misuse His Name and profane it among the world in which we live. This would be considered ‘taking His Name in vain.’
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD (Yahweh) your God, for the LORD (Adaoni) will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).
“As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the nations because of you’” (Romans 2:24).
ד Dalet – A Door
The fourth commandment is represented by the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, dalet. The letter picture for dalet is a Door and is also the Hebrew word for ‘door.’ The symbolic meaning is ‘a pathway or a place to enter.’ Yeshua stands at the dalet and knocks. Anyone who opens the dalet to him will enjoy the feast fellowship with him (Revelation 3:20). The fourth commandment is the Sabbath and the dalet we enter so we can have a more intimate fellowship with the Father through Yeshua.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. For in six days the LORD (Adonai) made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
“Then Yeshua said to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath’” (Luke 6:5).
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work (of creation), just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9,10).
The first three commandments explain how to love God; the next six explain how to love our neighbor. The Sabbath is the dalet or pathway that moves us from loving God to loving our neighbor.
Love your Neighbor – The Second Greatest Commandment
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).
ה Hey – A Window
The fifth commandment is represented by the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, hey. The letter picture for hey is a Window and symbolizes ‘to behold, observe or reveal,’ and is the modifier the like in HaShem (The Name). On the cross, Yeshua looks at John and says, “John, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son” (John 19:26).
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD (Adonai) your God is living you” (Exodus 20:12).
“Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a a promise” (Ephesians 6:2).
ו Vav – A Nail
The sixth commandment is represented by the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, vav. The letter picture for vav is a Nail or Peg. It is symbolic of ‘securing and binding,’ and is the conjunction and as in chesed v’ahava meaning ‘mercy and love.’ Yeshua was bound and nailed to the cross and killed.
“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
“Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with is brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).
ז Zayin – A Sword
The seventh commandment is represented by the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, zayin. The letter picture for zayin is a Weapon like an axe. It is symbolic of ‘cutting, separating, and dividing.’ Adultery is like an axe that separates and divides a married couple.
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).
ח Chet – A Fence
The eighth commandment is represented by the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, chet. The letter picture for chet is a Fence. The symbolic meaning of chet is to ‘surround in order to protect that which is within its boundaries.’ A fence surrounds personal property from those who would steal. In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence’ that surrounds and protects those who stay within its boundaries.
“You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
“You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal“ (Luke 18:20).
“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).
ט Tet – A Snake
The ninth commandment is represented by the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, tet. The letter picture for tet is a Snake. It symbolizes ‘twisting.’ It was the serpent who twisted the truth and lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden. False testimony or lying is ‘twisting’ the truth.
“You shall not give false testimony (lie) against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony’”(Luke 18:20).
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
י Yod – A Closed Hand
The tenth commandment is represented by the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, yod. The letter picture for yod is a Closed Hand. This symbolizes ‘a finished work or completed deed.’ When a person covets, their hand is not closed and content, but open and desiring more –– more of what their neighbor has.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
The Word of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh
“In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and Torah the LORD our God has commanded you?’“
“Tell him: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders – great and terrible – upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers. The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as in the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this Torah before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness’” (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).
The Word of Yeshua
“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:18-19).
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