Then God said all these words . . .” (Exodus 20:1)
We are looking at the twentieth chapter of Exodus, and this morning I only want to look at one word above. And the word is “word.” Seriously. That little word is the term God uses when referring to what the Church now calls “The 10 Commandments.”
The problem is that the title “The 10 Commandments” doesn‘t appear in Scripture but instead are derived that from the ideas contained within the scriptures. Could “The 10 Commandments” be a manmade name for a doctrine? Or, does the title “The 10 Commandments” literally appear somewhere in the Bible under that name? The easy answer to the last question is “no.” However, the Hebrew word used here is dabar. This is what we traditionally call the Commandments — and the formal academic name Decalogue, is Greek for 10 Words, not Commandments. Dabar means speech; or communicating a thought through audible speech; an utterance; a word just as we think of the word “word,” like we use in oral communication — speaking a language. At no time is it a “command.”
So, what it is saying is that Moses didn‘t receive the Decalogue (10 words) through divine inspiration; but Yahweh actually spoke all these words audibly. Most of the Scripture is accomplished, indeed, through Divine Inspiration: that is, the Holy Spirit moved a man, supernaturally, somehow with that man‘s own mind to write down that which is true and absolute and divine and what that the Lord deemed He wanted men to know about Him and His plans and His creation. However, in Exodus 20, it wasn‘t a divine inspiration on a man that was recorded: it was Yahweh speaking to Moses and Israel in an audible voice, and what is written down in Scripture is said to be the actual words that He spoke, and the people of Israel heard that day.
Yahweh wanted that fact to be made so very clear, for everyone to understand, that not only did Yahweh Himself audibly speak these words, but later with His own “finger” (figuratively speaking) He also carved those same words into stone tablets so they could be preserved throughout the history of mankind. A man had nothing to do with this at any stage. And, again, this is totally unlike most Biblical scripture, which was a peculiar collaboration between God and the man involved. And the remainder of the Law, He gave to Moses, but not out loud for others to hear.
Weird? Yeah, to our minds maybe, but our traditions and church doctrines have hidden this from us. It is fascinating how modern revelation is helping us understand the Scriptures.
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