Jesse Tree Day 10: The Ten Commandments

Hello and welcome to our Illustrated Jesse Tree, aka our Advent Devotional! Today, we’re finally going to go out of Genesis and into Moses’s story instead… with the Ten Commandments, which Moses received from God and gave to the people.


The Ten Commandments

A Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 5:1-22)

And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the ceremonies and judgments, which I speak in your ears this day: learn them, and fulfill them in work.

The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

He made not the covenant with our fathers, but with us, who are now present and living.

Moses and the Ten Commandments, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.
Moses and the Ten Commandments, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.

He spoke to us face to face in the mount out of the midst of fire.

I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you his words, for you feared the fire, and went not up into the mountain, and he said:

Moses on Mount Sinai, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, c. 1895-1900. Private collection.
Moses on Mount Sinai, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, c. 1895-1900. Private collection.

I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt not have strange gods in my sight.

Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any things, that are in heaven above, or that are in the earth beneath, or that abide in the waters under the earth.

Moses Receiving the Law on Mount Sinai, by Benjamin West, c. 1784. Parliamentary Art Collection, London, United Kingdom.
Moses Receiving the Law on Mount Sinai, by Benjamin West, c. 1784. Parliamentary Art Collection, London, United Kingdom.

Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt not serve them. For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation, to them that hate me,

And shewing mercy unto many thousands, to them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Moses and Aaron and the Ten Commandments, by Aaron de Chaves, c. 1656. Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, London, England.
Moses and Aaron and the Ten Commandments, by Aaron de Chaves, c. 1656. Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, London, England.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for he shall not be unpunished that taketh his name upon a vain thing.

Observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

Six days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works.

The seventh is the day of the sabbath, that is, the rest of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not do any work therein, thou nor thy son nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant nor thy maidservant, nor thy ox, nor thy ass, nor any of thy beasts, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest, even as thyself.

Moses and the Ten Commandments, c. 1600-1624. Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Moses and the Ten Commandments, c. 1600-1624. Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Remember that thou also didst serve in Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out from thence with a strong hand, and a stretched out arm. Therefore hath he commanded thee that thou shouldst observe the sabbath day.

Moses with the Tables of the Law, by Pieter Gaal, c. 1803. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Moses with the Tables of the Law, by Pieter Gaal, c. 1803. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Honour thy father and mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, that thou mayst live a long time, and it may be well with thee in the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Moses and the Ten Commandments, by Philippe de Champaigne, c. 17th century. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Moses and the Ten Commandments, by Philippe de Champaigne, c. 17th century. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

And thou shalt not steal.

Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law, by Rembrandt, c. 1659. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.
Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law, by Rembrandt, c. 1659. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife: nor his house, nor his field, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.

Moses Descends from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, c. Ferdinand Bol, c. 1662. Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Moses Descends from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, c. Ferdinand Bol, c. 1662. Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

These words the Lord spoke to all the multitude of you in the mountain, out of the midst of the fire and the cloud, and the darkness, with a loud voice, adding nothing more: and he wrote them in two tables of stone, which he delivered unto me.

Moses Receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Italian school, c. 17th century. National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.
Moses Receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Italian school, c. 17th century. National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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