The Ten Commandments are words God spoke to Moses, the leader of the Israelite people. They are found in the twentieth chapter of the book of Exodus.
Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, after God called him to the top of Mount Sinai, as described in verses 17 through 25 of the nineteenth chapter of Exodus. The commandments became the basis for the Mosaic Law, the law governing the ancient Jewish people. The first five commandments address the Jewish people's relationship with God. The last five provide rules regarding how the Jewish people should treat each other.
The Ten Commandments instruct the Israelites not to worship any other gods, serve or worship images or idols, or take God's name in vain. They command them to honor the Sabbath as a day of rest and to honor their fathers and mothers. The remaining five commandments forbid murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness and coveting.
The book of Exodus, including the Ten Commandments, is part of the sacred scripture of both Jews and Christians. Jews, Roman Catholics and Protestant denominations differ in how they number and group the commandments, as Easton's Bible dictionary explains. The groups combine certain parts and divide others, but all agree on a total of ten commandments.