the ten commandments just did not just miraculously appear at the top of mt. sinai. the commandments are testament the master of the universe’s creation and his role in the creation. they represent rules formulated by upon the experiences of mankind. they are the rules intended to transcend a small family into a nation principled on justice and righteousness. they are rules crafted at a time when humbleness was a valued trait. the torah contains many reference points leading to the ten commandments. this series of posts brings to light some of these references.
one of the bible’s earliest reference to commandments concerns the sabbath. genesis chapter one addresses the creation of the earth. genesis chapter two sets the foundation for the sabbath commandment: “now the heavens and the earth were completed and all their host. and god completed on the seventh day his work that he did, and he abstained on the seventh day from all his work that he did. and god blessed the seventh day and he hallowed it, for thereon he abstained from all his work that god created to do.”
the two versions of the ten commandments offer the sabbath commandment as follows:
exodus 20:8, provides: remember the sabbath day to sanctify it. six days may you work and perform all your labor, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the lord, your god; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities. for [in] six days the lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day. therefore, the lord blessed the sabbath day and sanctified it.
deuteronomy 5:12 provides: “keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the lord your god commanded you. six days may you work, and perform all your labor, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the lord your god; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your ox, your donkey, any of your livestock, nor the stranger who is within your cities, in order that your manservant and your maidservant may rest like you. and you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of egypt, and that the lord your god took you out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, the lord, your god, commanded you to observe the sabbath day.”
the sabbath commandments diverge on the creation story. while the first interaction includes the creation story, the second iteration focuses on the exodus. both sets of the commandments are however explicit with respect to cessation of labor for both human and animal.
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