Perusing the Decalogue

Perusing the Decalogue The Decalogue (“ten words”) is one of six similar law codes found in the Pentateuch (the “five books of Moses”). Since it constitutes the basis of Judeo-Christian-Muslim religious law, a careful reading and understanding of it is vital. The Decalogue occurs in two versions–one in Exodus, another in Deuteronomy–which (especially the events at Sinai) are irreconcilable. Neither the wording nor the implications are the same, and they reflect an evolution of ethical and religious concepts over half a millennium. Perusal (mainly using the “King James Bible,” against a background of Israelite customs and history) will provoke much rethinking of the famous commandments.

Lew W. Wallace