King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Deuteronomy 5

The covenant in Horeb. (1-5) The ten commandments repeated. (6-22) The request of the people that the law might be delivered through Moses. (23-33)

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The covenant in Horeb

1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.

2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.

4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,

The ten commandments repeated

6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.

13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

17 Thou shalt not kill.

18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

19 Neither shalt thou steal.

20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

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 request of the people that the law might be delivered through Moses

23 And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;

24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.

25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.

26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?

27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.

28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.

29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

30 Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.

31 But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.

32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. All Israel: not one was wanting, C. xxix. 10. God enabled all to hear the words of their lawgiver, (M.) by an evident miracle. Jansen. C.

Ver. 3. Fathers, the ancient patriarchs, who were not favoured in such a signal manner. M. — Though many of those who had heard the words of God at Horeb, were dead, and had not enjoyed the full benefit of the covenant, some still remained, and the children of the deceased were about to enter the land which had been there promised. H. — God did not make a covenant with the Patriarchs only, but also with their posterity at Horeb. D.

Ver. 4. To us. Heb. and Sept. “to you.” — Face to face, in such a manner that no doubt could be entertained of his presence. S. Aug. — God addressed the decalogue to all the people, who saw no similitude. But to Moses he delivered the rest of his ordinances, with as much familiarity and condescension as one friend would use in speaking to another. Ex. xxxiii. 2. C.

Ver. 5. Mediator. S. Paul acknowledges this title of Moses, (Gal. iii. 9,) who was a figure of Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Testament. Heb. viii. 6. ix. 15. xii. 24. C. — Let not Protestants, therefore, reject this title with so much indignation, when it is applied in the like limited sense to the saints, to denote that they pray for us, as we pray for one another. Christ is the one mediator (1 Tim. ii.) of redemption. H.

Ver. 7. Sight. Chaldee, “Thou shalt not have any other god but me.” Elohim often designates the true God. C. — See the decalogue explained, (Ex. xx.,) where we have observed, that pictures are only forbidden when they are the objects of sovereign worship, as the context here plainly shews, v. 9. Other images God himself authorized, (W.) even in the old law, and in the most sacred place, where people were ordered to fall prostrate before the ark, to adore his footstool. Ps. xcviii. 5. If, therefore, a people so prone to idolatry as the Jews were, might have pictures in the temple of God without danger, how can any one suppose that the images of Jesus Christ, and of his saints, are necessary incentive to idolatry among Christians, who all know that God will allow of no rival! H.

Ver. 9. Serve. We must neither treat idols, nor their images, with the honour due to God alone. S. Aug. q. 61. in Gen. — If we do, he will punish our infidelity. — Generation, for a long time, or as long as the remembrance of the parents’ wickedness subsists, so as to have an influence upon others. H. — God mercifully defers correction. S. Jer. in Ezec. xvii. He chastises those who imitate their wicked forefathers.

Ver. 11. In vain, by perjury. See v. 20, where the same word is used, (D.) or by any irreverent speech. M.

Ver. 15. Therefore. This is another reason why the Jews were to observe the sabbath with particular rigour. The institution of a day of rest every week, (H.) was intended to preserve the memory of the creation. C. — God also requires that his people should be grateful on this day for the rest which he had granted to them, (H.) and preserve carefully all the monuments of the true religion. C.

Ver. 18. Adultery. Under this name God forbids every species of impurity. S. Aug. q. 71. M.

Ver. 20. False. Hebrew shave, “vain,” is synonymous with sheker, “false,” used Ex. xx. 16.

Ver. 21. His. Here the Samaritan copy inserts the order for erecting an altar upon Mount Garizim, which we have given, Ex. xx. 27. It occurs below. C. xxviii. 2, &c. C.

Ver. 22. More to the people: the other precepts were communicated to Moses. The Chaldee and others give a contrary turn to the Heb. “and he ceased not” ever since to instruct us. C. — Moses gives the sense, not the very words of the decalogue, in which he is not guilty of any lie. S. Aug. q. 8. D.

Ver. 23. You said, by the mouths of your princes. Ex. xx. 19.

Ver. 25. Die. Past experience did not entirely remove from them the fear which was so generally entertained, that the sight of the heavenly beings would prove destructive. So Daniel (C. x. 17,) said on a similar occasion, my breath is stopped. H.

Ver. 29. A mind. God speaks like men, and insinuates how agreeable to him is a disposition influenced by a salutary fear. He does not mean that He cannot convert the heart of man. E. — God exerts his power over our will by persuasive invitations. Maimonides.

Ver. 32. Left: a proverbial expression, to signify that no sort of transgression is to be allowed. M. — It is of the same import as, You shall not add, &c. C. iv. 2. C.