The most important subject in the Bible is the laws and the covenants, if you get these confused your understanding of the word of God will be dangerously skewed. It is up to us to ensure that we study the Bible as one unit because this is how it was written; the Bible makes perfect sense and follows on from the first page to the last.
There are no contradiction in the Bible, there are only contradictions in mans understanding of the word of God. With this said we need to test our fruits and see what spirit is leading us, for by our fruits we will be known.
The Old Covenant
First and foremost we need to look at where the laws originated from to understand what we are to do. The Old Testament (Torah) is the starting point because it is a shadow of what is to come in the New Testament.
So if a statement is made that there is a vast difference between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses then we need Biblical evidence to not be blaspheming as the Ten Commandments are straight from God written with His finger on stone.
Exod 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
The way that the two laws were given to the people of God is of great significance. Note that the laws were given to God’s people and not to the world but who had to be obedient to which one?
Before we continue we need to clarify this and the sequence was as follows, in the Old Testament God had a chosen people and all others was doomed and furthermore all God’s people had to follow His commandments and when they transgressed they needed the Law of Moses to lead them to atonement.
Next we will start a breakdown of what is claimed according to the word of God and not the fancy of man.
We first look at the recording of the two laws and the difference relating in the pointed fact.
Exod 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
And next we look at the production of the Law of Moses and will see that there can be no confusion about that and the writing of the Ten Commandments.
Deut 31:9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.
The next very notable point is the way that God’s people received these Laws.
Deut 4:36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.
Deut 5:22 These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.
The point here is that this came directly from God and that He said that no more is added. This refers to the Ten Commandments that He wrote on stone with His finger, yet God gave Moses statutes, precepts, judgments, and ordinances afterwards. Here we have a distinction as God made a clear difference between the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments as nothing was added to the latter. With the Ten Commandments God spoke directly and no mediator was involved but with the Law of Moses, he was the mediator. If you can get around this Biblically then please prove it and not only profess it without the Biblical proof!
Moses was the mediator of the Law of Moses, the ceremonial law:
2Chr 34:14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.
Here we see that it was given by Moses and this is a clear distinction as to the Ten Commandments but I agree that this may be frowned upon so let’s continue.
Deut 4:12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
Deut 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deut 4:14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.
Here you see that God commanded people to keep to the Ten Commandments while He commanded Moses to teach the people statutes and judgments, this is a very clear distinction and shows us who mediated what.
Just in case you still doubt the validity of this argument then let’s look at the next verse that makes a clear and lasting distinction that is undeniable and Biblical.
2Kgs 21:8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.
Even in the book of Daniel do we see a clear and careful distinction made, if this is not important then why did God take so much care in His word to explain this fact, is it because He knew that the false prophets would use this to try and abandon what God has set for us as a measure of His will, so the answer is Yes, a resounding Yes!
Dan 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
Next we will see a physical separation of The Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments of God; this has a very strong meaning as you will see:
Deut 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
Deut 31:25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
Deut 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
The Levites are commanded to place this book of the law on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant on the side of (Next to). Then with the Ten Commandments the Levites get a different order from Moses and that is to place the Ten Commandments set in stone into the Ark of the Covenant.
Exod 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
Exod 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
Deut 10:1 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
Deut 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
Deut 10:5 And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
Please note that it was not written by Moses but it was written by God the Father!
Did the Ten Commandments precede the Law of Moses?
This is a question that must be Biblically proven as the above, but once it is done you should not harden your heart.
Most professing Christians today hold the belief that the Ten Commandments done away with by Jesus Christ when He was crucified and therefore it was nailed to the cross, they even call it The Law of Moses. With this said we saw in the first part of this study that there is a great distinction between Levitical sacrificial ritual law and the Ten Commandments of God.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Take heed that if you diminish the Ten Commandments you attempt to diminish God, this has been the aim of the false prophets since the beginning of time, for only man is bound by time and sin!
So if the Ten Commandments are from God and not from man, then it should be from before man, now, and for evermore for God is unchanging.
To start with this study we need to define sin:
You cannot prove that the Ten Commandments existed before man and Moses unless you understand sin and the Bible definition of sin, and therefore this has to be the starting point.
1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
What law, the law of man or the law of God?
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Transgressing the Law, leads to a spiritual death and the loss of eternal life.
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Note that Rom 5:13 says that for until the law sin was in the world, and in the second part we see with the word “imputed” that sin is not the reason for the law but that the transgression of the Law is the reason for sin.
Imputed = Attribute (responsibility or fault) to a cause or source - "The teacher imputed the student's failure to his nervousness"
Note: If you wish to test a person or church and the message that they preach then see if they reject sin or if they reject the Ten Commandments, for if they do reject the Law then they are false teachers according to the word of God.
In the Garden of Eden God created Adam and Eve as grown people with the intellect of adults. Furthermore God told Adam and Eve exactly how to take care of things and then He gave them a commandment, this was done so that they could know the express will of God in relation to their existence but it also meant that they had free will to choose their destiny with a consequence for disobedience to God, loud and clear, choose your path carefully. Choose God and live life everlasting or choose sin and spiritual death everlasting. We will not go into the punishment here but rather do a separate study.
Satan convinced them that they were in no danger and they chose to follow Satan on this one and we know the outcome. What does the Bible say about this and what can we learn from this?
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
The word of God is very clear that Adam and Eve broke the first law of the Ten Commandments and that is they put another god before our Father God, the only true and living God. Romans 6:16 is precise on this.
So not only did the disobedience to Gods command cause sin but Adam and Eve became the servants of Satan. This brought death into the world and it set the president that the righteousness of God needed a price in blood to be paid, this is where offerings enter and then the Ten Commandments that made living in this world more clear in relation to God’s will. There was one more element needed and that was atonement for sin and in came the Law of Moses. This is the Old Testament.
Breaking the Law of God even one makes you guilty of all, it means that if you break the Law and do not repent and turn from your sin in Jesus (New Testament)you will transgress more and more until you are given over to a reprobate mind.
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Does this mean if we keep the Ten Commandments that we will go to heaven? No!
This means that we should live in Jesus who will give us the strength and ability to obey God and this we do in following His will according to His commandments, for by grace are you saved through the Lord Jesus Christ. The blood sacrifice that the righteousness of God demanded was paid by the Son.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Were the Ten Commandments in force before Mount Sinai and Moses?
Throughout the Bible we have examples of al Ten Commandments being kept, this we will explore this in detail as to alleviate any doubt that may still persist concerning this matter.
When God called on Jacob to Bethel this is what Jacob said to his people:
Gen 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Gen 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
Jacob new that before God you shall have no other gods, Jacob new that God forbade Idolatry and therefore we have the second commandment and the transgression of the commandment but the most important is the knowledge of the second commandment and what it means. Jacob fulfilled the principle in Proverbs:
Prov 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Next we look at the lie Abram told about his wife being his sister to king Abimelech and what that meant for the king:
Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.
God warned Abimelech that it was another man’s wife, a clear violation and in the next verse we see that Abimelech understood that this was a violation of God’s command in his response to God:
Gen 20:4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
Gen 20:5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
Here Abimelech professes his innocence as he did not know that he has been lied to by Abram and his wife, so he knew that if he did this willingly it would be a violation of God’s will and commandment to man. Next we see what God had to say:
Gen 20:6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
Here God says that he knew the heart of Abimelech to be innocent and therefore came to warn him before he committed adultery, the seventh commandment.
We also have the case of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife and her advances towards Joseph, this happened 250 years before Moses receive the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai:
Gen 39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
Gen 39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
Gen 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
It is loud and clear that he knew it was a sin against God and the seventh commandment!
Next we look at Israel in the desert gathering manna and then decided to gather on the Sabbath day as well, although on Friday God gave double the amount to cover for the Sabbath day when no one should be out working:
Exod 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
And then God made it very clear what this commandment was that has been transgressed:
Exod 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
Exod 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Here we have the fourth commandment before Mount Sinai, the people always knew God’s will and always tried His patience in this regard.
God knew that by the time Israel reached Canaan that they would have surpassed the threshold of moral collapse and this God made known unto Abram when God told Abram about it 400 years earlier:
Gen 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Here, the word “iniquity” comes from the Hebrew word avon, which means “perversity, mischief or sin.” If there had been no law in force, there would not have been any iniquity or sin for the Amorites, or any other nation, to commit:
Lev 18:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
Lev 18:3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
Lev 18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
Lev 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
Lev 19:30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
During the period of the Pre-Flood world it was clear that sin was rive and that sin was disobedience to God set forth in His commandments:
Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Now all of these sins were pointed out by the Commandments of God, the Ten Commandments that have always existed and will exist for ever as God never changes but remains the same for evermore.
To bring it all together we look at this verse:
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Long before Moses and Mount Sinai, blessed be our Father and God, amen!