What are The Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments on two stone tablets

The Ten Commandments appear in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible and also in the Jewish scriptures. Jewish people call them the 'Ten Sayings'.

Most synagogues have these clearly written, in Hebrew, on a wall plaque. Usually just the first part of each Saying is written and often the first five and second five Sayings are shown in two lists. This reminds Jews that Moses received the Ten Sayings on two stone tablets, on Mount Sinai.

A wall plaque in a synagogue showing the Ten Commandments in Hebrew
A wall plaque in a synagogue showing the Ten Commandments in Hebrew

The Ten Commandments are the fundamental laws of the Jews which tell the Jewish people how they should live. Many countries base their laws on these rules too.

The Ten Commandments

  1. You shall have no other Gods but me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Respect your father and mother.
  6. You must not commit murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
  10. You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.