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Deuteronomy 5:16-24

Context
5:16 Honor 1  your father and your mother just as the Lord your God has commanded you to do, so that your days may be extended and that it may go well with you in the land that he 2  is about to give you. 5:17 You must not murder. 3  5:18 You must not commit adultery. 5:19 You must not steal. 5:20 You must not offer false testimony against another. 4  5:21 You must not desire 5  another man’s 6  wife, nor should you crave his 7  house, his field, his male and female servants, his ox, his donkey, or anything else he owns.” 8 

The Narrative of the Sinai Revelation and Israel’s Response

5:22 The Lord said these things to your entire assembly at the mountain from the middle of the fire, the cloud, and the darkness with a loud voice, and that was all he said. 9  Then he inscribed the words 10  on two stone tablets and gave them to me. 5:23 Then, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness while the mountain was ablaze, all your tribal leaders and elders approached me. 5:24 You said, “The Lord our God has shown us his great glory 11  and we have heard him speak from the middle of the fire. It is now clear to us 12  that God can speak to human beings and they can keep on living.

1 tn The imperative here means, literally, “regard as heavy” (כַּבֵּד, kabbed). The meaning is that great importance must be ascribed to parents by their children.

2 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “He” in 5:3.

3 tn Traditionally “kill” (so KJV, ASV, RSV, NAB). The verb here (רָצַח, ratsakh) is generic for homicide but in the OT both killing in war and capital punishment were permitted and even commanded (Deut 13:5, 9; 20:13, 16-17), so the technical meaning here is “murder.”

4 tn Heb “your neighbor.” Clearly this is intended generically, however, and not to be limited only to those persons who live nearby (frequently the way “neighbor” is understood in contemporary contexts). So also in v. 20.

5 tn The Hebrew verb used here (חָמַד, khamad) is different from the one translated “crave” (אָוַה, ’avah) in the next line. The former has sexual overtones (“lust” or the like; cf. Song of Sol 2:3) whereas the latter has more the idea of a desire or craving for material things.

6 tn Heb “your neighbor’s.” See note on the term “fellow man” in v. 19.

7 tn Heb “your neighbor’s.” The pronoun is used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

9 tn Heb “and he added no more” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NLT “This was all he said at that time.”

10 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the words spoken by the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “his glory and his greatness.”

12 tn Heb “this day we have seen.”



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