See Analysis. The first part of this code of laws sets forth regulations governing the practice of religion, and thus a detailed application of the first four Commandments.
1 How does chapter 12 relate to the first commandment and chapter 13 to the second?
2 How do the regulations of chapter 13 demonstrate the priority of God’s will over alleged ‘respect’, respect of persons, ties of blood and great numbers? Cf. Mark 13:22; Gal. 2:11; Luke 14:26; Acts 4:19, 20.
Note. The provision of one sanctuary to which all sacrifices must be brought was a safeguard against idolatrous worship at ancient shrines of the Canaanites. Cf. 2 Kgs. 17:10-12.
Moses here uses two main arguments to persuade the people to obedience:
(a) In 10:12-11:12 he shows that certain attributes and methods of God demand a corresponding response from his people.
(b) In 11:13-32 he uses the rewards of obedience and the punishments of disobedience as incentives.
This raises the following questions:
1 What specifically are the attributes and ways of God particularized in 10:12-11:12 and what are their corresponding demands?
2 What rewards and punishments for obedience and disobedience are specified in 11:13-32?
- 101:12. ‘What … but…? Does not mean these demands are slight, but that they are reasonable. Cf. Mic. 6:8.
- 11:30. ‘Moreh’.\: where the Lord appeared to Abraham; Gen. 12:6, 7.
1 After they conquered the Promised Land, what further danger would follow on the heels of victory?
How does Moses in this passage seek to safeguard them against it?
Cf. Luke 18:9-14.
2 What does the example of Moses teach as to the responsibility and power of intercessory prayer?
Note the costly nature of his prayer and the uncompromising dealing with sin that accompanied it.
On what grounds did the Moses base his plea for the people, and what was the outcome?
Cf. Jas. 5:16.
3 The incident as a whole demonstrates that God’s dealing with his people are entirely of Grace revealed in the New Testament.
Try to discover how the following points are illustrated in this chapter:
(a) the combination of grace and justice (Rome. 3:24-26);
(b) the triumph of grace over sin (Eph. 2:5; Rom. 5:20, 21);
(c) the provision of a mediator (Heb. 8:6; 9:15);
(d) the establishment of a covenant (1 Cor. 11:25).
Note. 9:22. ‘Taberah’: ‘burning’; see Num. 11:1-3. ‘Massah’: ‘Proving’: see Exod. 17:7; cf. Deut. 6:16. ‘Kibroth Hattaavah’: ‘graves of lust’: see Num. 11:34.
In Chapter 6-10 Moses outlines some general implications of the Ten Commandments before proceeding to apply them in detail to particular situations.
- What was God’s purpose in giving the law, and what was the primary duty of the Israelite?
What was he to do, and what was he to beware of and not to do? (list them)
- Verses 10-15 concern forgetfulness-of-God in a time of prosperity.
What ways of guarding against this danger can be found either explicit or implicit in this passage?
- What insight is given in this chapter into the necessity and method of family religion?
- . Verse 6. ‘Be upon’ literally ‘imprinted on’.
- Verse 13. Alluded to by Christ in answer to Satan (Matt. 4:10).
With Chapter 5 begins Moses’ second discourse, extending to chapter 26. Chapter 4:44-49 is the introductory superscription.
1.What is the significance of the pronouns ‘you’ and ‘your’ which occur throughout the ten commandments?
Cf. Lev. 19:3; Ps. 62:12; Jer. 17:10 (RSV: ‘every man’).
- The ways in which the people reacted to the hearing of the commandments (5:23-27) indicate abiding principles concerning the ways in which all men should react to God’s law.
What kind of effect do the reactions here suggest that God’s law should produce?
Cf. Heb. 12:21; Rom. 7:9; Gal. 3:24.
- What was it in the temper of the people that drew from God the words of commendation in 5:28, and the expression of his desire that it might so continue always (verse 29)?
Note. 5:3. ‘Our fathers’: i.e., ‘Our forefather’, namely, the patriarchs. Cf. 4:37; 7:8.