the torah provides critical events that led to the issuance of the ten commandments.
the torah, in the books of genesis and exodus, provides stories critical to the formulation of the commandments. the torah reveals humanity’s flaws. these revelations were part of the foundation of the ten commandments. likewise, the books of genesis and exodus document god’s search for righteous people who believe in him for the purposes of entering into a covenant. these books document the covenant that was established which was intended to extend generation to generation.
the foundational events of the torah leading up to the ten commandments are as follows:
(1) the sabbath commandment: the creation of the world and god taking the seventh day off as a day of rest: genesis 2:2;
(2) the coveting commandment: adam, eve and the snake: genesis 3:4;
(3) the prohibition of murder commandment: cain and abel: the coveting commandment and the prohibition of murder commandment;
(4) the prohibition against stealing commandment: a part of the basis for the flood was robbery: genesis 6:13
(5) the covenant of taking god’s name in vain: genesis 9:24-27
(6) one god: abraham’s covenant with god: genesis 17
(7) the commandment to honor thy mother and father: isaac, ishmael and jacob and esau with respect to the burials of abraham and isaac: genesis 25:9, and genesis 35:29, respectively
(8) the commandments against adultery and lying: joseph and potifar: genesis 39
(9) the commandment of one god and the exodus: exodus 3: and entire book of exodus
(10) the commandment against graven images of god: the episode of the golden calf: exodus 32 [note: this one is controversial because the ten commandment announced prior to the event in exodus 20. was the golden calf episode anticipated by god? was this a test for moses?]
rules are made for a reason. the ten commandments were formulated after generations of the human experience. the commandments, which is also a covenant, was a furtherance of the covenant which was initiated with abraham as an individual and was renewed with the nation that grew out of his progeny. the torah documents the evolution of this god-human partnership
in sum, it should be understood that alot of thought, consideration and contemplation when into the development of the ten commandments. they were developed as a result of painful events such as the first documented murder by cain.