What Are the Ten Commandments in The Bible?


According to biblical lore, the Ten Commandments are a set of laws given to Moses and the Israelites by God on Mount Sinai. Also known as the Decalogue, the commandments are instructions from God to his people. In the biblical story related in Exodus 20:1-17, God inscribed the laws on two stone tablets, providing the basis for human conduct.

Although different religions interpret and number the commandments differently, the commandments state that followers shall worship no other gods other than God or make any carved images or likenesses or bow down to serve other gods. The commandments also forbid taking the name of the Lord in vain, and require followers to keep the Sabbath day holy, laboring only on 6 days of the week and retaining the Sabbath for worship.

The commandments call on children to honor their fathers and mothers, with a promise that doing so will increase their days upon the Earth. The commandments also forbid murder, adultery, theft, and bearing false witness against a neighbor. The last commandment forbids coveting a neighbor's home, wife or belongings.

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.