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In the chapter we learn some particulars:

  1. The words are addressed to Israel (5:1)
  2. A covenant was made with Israel on Mt Horeb (5:2)
  3. This covenant was not made “with our fathers” (5:3). The meaning of this phrase is understood variously. First, the generation to whom the words were given initially (Exodus 12-24) died in the wilderness. Thus, to them it was not given, but to this current generation on the east side of the Jordan, preparing to go into the promised land. Second, based on 5:4, the words are understood to refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The latter seems to be the better interpretation.
  4. The Lord’s base “command” (not a command at all, though the rabbis believe it to be such) is the declaration that His following words are directly connected to their origin (5:6), that is, that He brought them up out of Egypt.
  5. The Sabbath command is directly related to their time of bondage in Egypt (5:15).
  6. To the “Ten Words” “He added no more” (5:22). This is the reading in the NKJV, ASV, Brenton (LXX translation), ESV, KJV, and NIV. Thus, these commands of the Lord are distinct from that which the Lord gave Moses otherwise. The NET gives a rendering that essentially says the same, but it does not have the same “pop” (if you will) “and that was all he said.” The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) reads “and it went on no more.”
  7. These commands were written on two stone tablets.
  8. The occasion at the mountain was not only the commands given, but the experience of hearing the Lord speak (5:23-27).
  9. The Lord laments that the experience and the commands adhered to will not last long (5:28-29).
  10. Moses gives some exhortations and warnings (5:31-33).

All of this is significant in relation to modern day Sabbatarian’s.[1]

  1. To them, the Decalogue is NOT exclusive to Israel, but it obligatory to those under the New Covenant today.
  2. In order to prove this it is set that the definition of sin is in (1 John 3:4), and then states: “[t]the standard by which our actions are judged is the Ten Commandments” (p. 24).
  3. The Law of Moses and the Ten commandments are distinct from one another, and it was the Law of Moses that was nailed to the cross (p. 25).
  4. In order to sustain that the Decalogue was not “nailed to the cross,” some passages are given.
  5. They are Matthew 24:15-24, Matthew 5:18 (“The Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah and the end of the world will not be completely fulfilled until God’s people finally put on immortality at the ‘last trumpet’ (See 1 Cor 15:50-58)”), Isaiah 66:22-23, and Exodus 20:8 (pp. 26-27).
  6. With regard to the “no more” of Deuteronomy 5:22, there is some significance to this. “God’s law was perfect and He was satisfied to add nothing more to His Ten Commandments” (p. 37). This Law was perfect and, it is implied, nothing perfect is erased or removed. This Law was placed inside the Ark of the Covenant. The Law of Moses, on the other hand, was something not placed IN the Ark of the Covenant, but put beside the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:24-29). This is not to go unnoticed.
  7. Pulpit Commentary: “In the side of the ark;” at or by the side of the ark. According to the Targum of Jonathan, it was in a coffer by the right side of the ark that the book was placed; but the Talmudists say it was put within the ark, along with the two tables of the Decalogue (“Baba Bathra,” 14); but see 1Ki_8:8.
  8. Keil and Delitzsch: אָרֹון מִצַּד, at the side of the ark, or, according to the paraphrase of Jonathan, “in a case on the right side of the ark of the covenant,” which may be correct, although we must not think of this case, as many of the early theologians do, as a secondary ark attached to the ark of the covenant (see Lundius, Jüd. Heiligth. 73, 74). The tables of the law were deposited in the ark (Ex. 25:16; 40:20), and the book of the law was to be kept by its side. As it formed, from its very nature, simply an elaborate commentary upon the decalogue, it was also to have its place outwardly as an accompaniment to the tables of the law, for a witness against the people, in the same manner as the song in the mouth of the people (Deut. 31:21).
  9. Whatever is to be understood about the peculiar phrase, it is known for certain that the location has more to do with being a witness against Israel in their departure from the Lord as the generations proceeded. It is apparent that a distinction is to be recognized, but one can’t make more of it than the Holy Spirit does. To the sabbatarians, on the other hand, this distinction deals with the nature and the origins of both. The Law of Moses, not the Ten Commandments, is that which was nailed to the cross. It was the symbolism of the ceremonial law that “prepared God’s people for the time when Christ would come to bring reformation” (p.42 ).
  10. They use two passages to buttress their points, but these passages actually speak against their contentions. They are 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 and Colossians 2:14.

[1] The book used in the remarks to follow comes from Ten Commandments Twice Removed, by Danny Shelton and Shelly Quinn, Remnant Publications, 2005.