THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER.” (Ex. 20:13 / Dt. 5:17)
This commandment is basically againstmurder and thus affirms and upholdsthe sanctity of human life.In its original sense, this commandment wasmeant to put an end to “the practice ofkilling a fellow-Israelite in the context ofblood-vengeance.” In ancient times, revengewas a common practice of getting “a roughform of justice between tribes.”
It is against the putting of the law intoone’s hands.With this law and with the advent ofjudicial system in Israel, assurance wasmade that each man receives a fair trial.This is a new way of implementing justicein Israel.
FOR US TODAY:God commands us to respect the life andhealth of our body and soul as well as thatof our neighbor.We sin against it by: suicide, murder,fighting, striking or wounding withoutreasons or authority, and by shortening orexposing life and health unnecessarily torisks. Included also are: uncharitable words,feelings of hatred, envy, anger, scandal.
In general, this commandment is extendedbeyond revenge to Anything that assaults thedignity of human life. It takes intoaccount not only the physical killing but evenpsychological and/or moral killing.Note: “Life is the most precious gift from God.Nothing can take its place. We must rememberthat life is a gift which we receive from God onlyonce. Life must always be protected and upheld.
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT“YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.” (Ex. 20:14)“NEITHER SHALL YOU COMMIT ADULTERY.” (Dt. 5:18) THE NINTH COMMANDMENT “YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE . . . WIFE . . . “ (Ex. 20:17) “NEITHER SHALL YOU COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S WIFE.” (Dt. 5:21)
Historically and even now, thesecommandments uphold the sanctity ofmarriage and the preservation of the bondsof marriage.We can say therefore that the immediate aimof these commandments is the protection ofthe basic unit of the society, family. It was sobasic that respect for every member of thefamily was demanded.
Violation of these commandments was a sinagainst the married person, the communityand Yahweh Himself.These commandments also protect thesacredness of marriage in which the couplefreely chooses to give themselves totally toeach other. It forbids married persons fromentering into sexual union with someoneother than their spouse.
In particular, the 9th commandment stresses the source of sin as the covetousness of the heart. “All that is in the world, lust of the flesh, enticement of the eye, pride of life, is not from the Father.” (1 Jn 2:16) (cf. also Mt. 15:19ff.; Mt. 5:7; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5 )Today, these commandments extend to all humanacts and even thoughts and desires pertaining tothe “flesh” or purity in one’s sexual life.
THE SEVENTHCOMMANDMENT “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL.” (Ex. 20:15) “NEITHER SHALL YOU STEAL.” (Dt. 5:19)
Historically, this commandment does not necessarily referto the stealing of property, rather “it referred to the theftof persons for the purpose of slave-trade.” This commandment therefore upholds and defends human freedom.
On the other hand, it cannot be denied also thatthis Commandment “protected the property ofan Israelite against the claim of another person.It protected the right of another person over hislegally acquired possessions.” At present this commandment is often understood in reference to the 10th Commandment.
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT“YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSEWITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR.”(Ex. 20:16)NEITHER SHALL YOU BEAR FALSEWITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR.”(Dt. 5:20)
Historically, this commandment “is meant tomaintain the proper functioning of the society’slegal system . . .” This commandment therefore assures man’s right to fair trial.
Today, we have the obligation to speak the truthand to respect the good name and reputation ofevery person. We can say therefore that anything that has something to do about the “denial of truth or attacks against truth” is against the eighth commandment.
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT“NEITHER SHALL YOU COVET YOURNEIGHBOR’S HOUSE . . . OR ANYTHINGTHAT BELONGS TO YOURNEIGHBOR.”(Dt. 5:21)
The Hebrew word for “covet” denotes the entire processof theft, i.e. from conceiving the idea to the very act itself. This commandment therefore protects and upholds man’s right to property. “This commandment also protected each Israelite’s property from envy and greed of others. This commandment was a constant reminder for the Israelites not to fear deprivation, for the Lord would provide.” Today: “There is the temptation in a consumer society to possess everything that we see around us. There is the urge to own things just to be accepted by others. But we have to realize that our friends have to accept us for what we are, and not for our wealth nor the goods that we possess.”