The Big Ten in the New Testament

“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modern-day church teach that not all of the Ten Commandments are reiterated in the New Testament therefore, some are no longer in effect.  However, in truth, none have been removed, abolished, or changed.   The Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, are the summary of the Torah given to Israel by God at Mt. Sinai, not the complete Torah which outlines how to live within God’s  established community.  Throughout the new testament, Yeshua refers to this ‘Table of Contents’ summary he is asked about the commandments.  He never negates any of the instructions 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 said the Torah and the Prophets are summed up in two commandments: love God and love your neighbor.  These are not new commandments as Yeshua quotes from the Shema, words given by 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).

Some pastors teach that the Torah was only given to Israel suggesting that believers in Yeshua are not bound by the same commandments.  However,  if you are a child of God and born again into His Kingdom, then His commandments are for you. Every earthly father has teachings and instructions for his children – natural or adopted –  to obey.   Our heavenly Father is no different.

Yeshua said, “If you love me, then you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15).  He and his Father are one, therefore his commandments will completely agree with his Father’s commandments (John 10:30).  Yeshua is the voice of God in the flesh making him the mouthpiece of his Father (John 1:14).  Everything Yeshua spoke to the people were the Words of his Father that he was commanded to say (John 12:49).

The Ten Commandments with the Aleph-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 teaching tool for learning the Ten Commandments is to use the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Each of the letters are word pictures that actually hold the meaning for each commandment.   The Ten Commandments are listed below  using the Hebrew word picture and include new testament Scriptures proving that all of the Ten Commandments were reiterated by Yeshua or the apostles in the New Testament.

Love God:

Number One:  א Aleph – An Ox

The first commandment is represented by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for aleph 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, Yahweh, who delivers us from the bondage of slavery into freedom, from sin and death into fullness of life. It is only Yahweh who is able to destroy every power or ‘other gods’ as He did in Egypt. 

“I am the LORD (Yahweh) 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).

Number Two: ב Bet – A House

The second commandment is represented by the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for bet is a Tent or House.  This symbolizes a household, a family and the preposition, ‘in.’  In Middle Eastern culture, the idols were called ‘household gods.’  Rachel was guilty of sitting on her  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 (Yahweh) 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).

Number Three: ג Gimel – A Camel

The third commandment is represented by the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for gimel  is a Camel and is also  the Hebrew word for ‘camel.’    The symbolic meaning is to lift up or pride.  We, as believers in Yahweh are not to pridefully use Yahweh’s name.  When we live lawlessly, against the commands,  and call ourselves followers of God, saved by Yeshua, then we are misusing His name and profaning 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 (Yahweh)  will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).

“Some of the traveling Jewish men who adjure evil spirits also undertook to call on  the name of the Lord Yeshua over those who had evil spirits, saying, I solemnly implore and charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches!  Seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva were doing this.  But one evil spirit retorted, Yeshua I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?  Then the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt leaped upon them, master two of them, and was so violent against them that they dashed out of that house in fear, stripped and naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13-16).

“As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the nations because of you’” (Romans 2:24).

ד Number Four: ד Dalet A Door

The fourth commandment is represented by the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word 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 door to him, he comes in in and feasts with them (Revelation 3:20).  The Sabbath is the ‘door’ we enter through 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 (Yahweh)  made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the LORD (Yahweh) 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 above explain how to love God; the following six explain how to love our neighbor.  The Sabbath is the door or pathway that takes us from loving God to loving our neighbor.

“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).

Love your Neighbor:

Number Five: ה Hey – A Window

The fifth commandment is represented by the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for hey is a Window and means to behold, observe or reveal and it is also the pronoun ‘the’ like in   HaShem or 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 (Yahweh) 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).

Number Six: ו Vav – A Nail

The sixth commandment is represented by the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for vav is a Nail or Peg.   It is symbolic of securing, binding, and is the conjunction ‘and’ as in ‘chesed v’ahava’ meaning ‘mercy and love.’  Yeshua was murdered, nailed, and secured to the cross.

“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).

Number Seven: ז Zayin – A Sword

The seventh commandment is represented by the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for zayin is a Weapon like an Axe.  It is symbolic of cutting, separating or dividing.   Adultery is like an axe that cuts and separates a married couple. 

“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).

Number Eight: ח Chet – A Fence

The eighth commandment is represented by the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for chet is a Fence or Inner Room.   The symbolic meaning is to separate as in to protect with a fence what is within its boundaries.  A fence protects personal property from those who would steal.   In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence.’ For those who walk according to the instructions of Torah, their inner chamber of intimacy with the Father is protected.

“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).

Number Nine: ט Tet – A Snake

The ninth commandment is represented by the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for tet is a Snake.  It is symbolic of twisting.  It was the serpent who first twisted the truth and lied to Eve in the Garden.

“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).

Number Ten: י Yod – A Closed Hand

The tenth commandment is represented by the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for yod is a Closed Hand.  This is symbolic of a finished work or completed deed.  When a person covets, their hand is not closed and content, but desiring more.

“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).

Thus saith the LORD …

“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).

Thus saith 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).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

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