The Ten Commandments are a set of laws given to the Jewish people in the Old Testament. In Exodus 20, the Bible says that God himself spoke the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai and the laws were transcribed onto stone tablets.
The Ten Commandments show Jews and Christians how they ought to live and treat one another. The first six commandments outline how believers should treat God, while the last four commandments outline how believers should treat others.
The first three commandments tell believers to not have any other god, worship idols, or use the Lord's name in vain. The fourth commandment tells believers that they must keep the Sabbath day holy by restraining from work or labor one day per week.
The rest of the commandments relate to a believer should treat other people. The fifth commandment demands that believers respect their mothers and fathers. The rest of the commandments are to not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or envy a neighbor. In the New Testament, Jesus later explains how the Ten Commandments and all of God's laws are based on love. When these laws are broken, a person commits sin and must ask God for forgiveness.
The Ten Commandments have been the source of hot debate and even legal battles in the United States, due to opposition of displaying the commandments in public places, with many courts ruling against their display on government-owned property.