After God rescued the Israelites from bondage, He provided instructions for them to live by.  The commandments were God’s instructions for His people to live a wise and obedient life.

Facts Pertaining to the Law

  • The Old Testament contains 613 commandments.
  • All are found in 4 of the 39 books: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
  • The purpose of the Law was to show it was important yet impossible for them to keep.

Different Types of Law

  1. Some laws are obedience laws; they demand people to stay loyal to God.
    • You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deut. 6:5).
  2. Some laws that seem trivial actually have a deeper purpose rooted in the sin of worshiping other gods.
    • You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (Deut. 14:21).
  3. Some laws were given to protect the Israelites’ diet.
    • And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you (Lev. 11:7).

The Big 10

  • The 10 Commandments are divided into 4 vertical commandments and 6 horizontal commandments.
  • The first 4 commandments deal with their relationship with the LORD.
  • The last 6 deal with their relationship with each other.
  • The first 4 provide reasons for each command.
  • The commandments were never given as a prerequisite for redemption but as a standard for the redeemed.

The Heart of the Ten Commandments

Below are listed a summarized version of each commandment and the sinful tendency that it sought to combat.


  1. No other gods – ambition to be God
  2. No idols – reducing God
  3. Keep His name holy – speaking of God in a worthy manner
  4. Keep His day holy – trusting God for provision
  5. Honor father and mother – submitting to authority
  6. No killing – ongoing hostilities
  7. No adultery – sexual purity
  8. No stealing – keeping integrity
  9. No lying – being honest
  10. No coveting – being content