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 Post subject: The Ten Commandments
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 4:28 pm 
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It is really nice to see these put all together in one thread. These are from Tim Puzak(DSST):
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First Commandment. 4Q41 – 4Q Deut n
This fragment is almost fully intact and includes the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 5. As you well know Deuteronomy 5 contains THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
We find many differences within this fragment as compared to the modern texts, most of which are minor spelling differences. I will point out these differences within the next 10 posts. There is so much we can learn from these texts.
Within the more ancient texts we find that the vav/waw was more frequently used within the spelling of words. Highlighted in the lower right we see the word אנכי (I) spelled אנוכי and Eloheeka (Almighty, God) אלהיך spelled אלוהיך. The additional use of the vav/waw is very common among the scrolls. I would believe this spelling, not to change the meaning of the words, but perhaps, have some impact on their pronunciation. We also see variant spelling for the word לא (not) spelled as לוא, within these first few lines. While I have not counted the variant spelling on this fragment there are many, and I would consider these to be the proper spellings of the words.
It is very difficult to differentiate between the vav and the yud within the “modern” Hebrew font. However, within the Paleo font, it is very clear as to which is a vav and which is a yud.
Notice how I chose to use a more literal translation; “before my face” rather than as “before me”? While we do not have other gods before Him, I see the instruction as being more personal. We have nothing between His face and ours. It is a face to face relationship, with nothing between the two.
“I YHVH, the Almighty of you (Eloheeka), who brought you forth (raised you up) from the land of Egypt (distress), and from the house of bondage (servitude) . You shall not have any other gods before my face (before me)”.
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Second Commandment.
“Not shall you make for yourself any carving or image of that which is in the heavens above or which is in the earth beneath and which is in the waters from beneath the earth”.
An image is made by our hands. I would see this command not just limited to graven images or carved images but to all that we make with our hands. We tend to take pride in what we have created and worship those things. We tend to boast and say; “look at what I have made”, “look at the fortune I have amassed” or “look at the car I have restored”. When we make these kinds of statements our focus is upon the creations of our hands and not upon those of the creator. We elevate our goals above His. We become consumed by what we are trying to accomplish rather than what He is creating. Our focus should not be upon the work of our hands but the work of His. We should not worship idols or worship the creations of our hands.
“You shall not bow down yourself unto them nor serve them”. The word tashachah תשתחוה means to bow down, to prostrate one’s self, or to humble one’s self. We should not be a slave to the things created by our hands. Things that we serve more than our Creator can become an idol to us.
“for I YHVH your Almighty [am], El Qanna (jealous God), visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me.”
When we serve the works of our hands we are setting those over serving our Creator. This also comes with a warning. Serving the works of our hands is a sin that can get upon our decedents down to the fourth generation. If we spend all our time seeking after wealth, our children are likely going to do the same. If the works of our hands is continually about hunting and fishing our children are likely to form their lives around those same things.
He is jealous and when we place the works of our hands above Him.
“And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and observing my Torah.”
The word חסד kheh-sed is more than just mercy. It includes kindness, favor, pity and is grace. Mercy is extended to those who love him and observe His instructions.
The word “to thousands” לאלפים, has within it the root Aleph. It is the first letter of the Aleph-beht. While it does mean “thousands” it implies a great number. A multitude who love Him and keep His Torah will receive His mercy.
We are not to make anything into an idol פסל .
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Third Commandment. Bearing a burden – Moshe asked YHVH “Why have you afflicted your servant? Have I not found favor in your sight, that you place et the burden of all this people upon me? Num 11:11
YHVH then tells Moshe to choose 70 elders from among the people. “And I will come down and talk with you there (in the Tabernacle): and I will divert of the spirit which is on you and will put it upon them; AND THEY SHALL BEAR (ונשאו) the burden of the people with you, that you shall NOT BEAR (לא תשא) it alone.” Num 11:17
What does this all have to do with the 3rd commandment? Everything. This command is not limited to cursing or swearing with His name. It is not about pronunciation of His name. It is about bearing His name. The word “תשא – bear” means to carry a burden, or to take a load upon one’s self. Moshe was bearing the burden all by himself. When it comes to the 3rd commandment we read the exact same phase. “Not shall you Bear (לא תשא) the name of YHVH”.
This command has to do with our actions of bearing a burden. When we, like Moshe, speak “this says YHVH” we are bearing a great burden. We are carrying the authority of YHWH upon us. We have become like Moshe and the 70 elders.
This command comes with a warning. We are not to bear His name in futility. If we speak it in error, that error and sin, is upon us. Because we have chosen to bear His authority, we alone will bear the consequences. If we have spoken in error, He will require that guilt from us. He will require the penalty of sin, which is death, from us. He will not cover and bear that burden which we have spoken in His name. When we speak in His name we are placing His authority upon that which we are speaking.
“Not shall you bear et the name of YHVH Eloheeka in futility; for YHVH will not hold him innocent et who bears et the name of Him in futility” Deuteronomy 5:11 DSS
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Fourth commandment
I am often asked “what are the differences you have found in the Dead Sea Scrolls as compared to our modern-day texts”? Here within this fragment we find a good example of the many differences.
Let’s begin, first, with what we have within our modern texts. When it comes to the fourth commandment, regarding the Sabbath we find two differing accounts found in the book of Exodus and Deuteronomy. In Exodus 20:8-11, we are instructed to “זכור (Zachor) – REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it Sanctified/Holy/Set Apart. Six days shall you labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of YHVH Eloheeka (our God, the Almighty of us).” We are not to work, and neither are our sons, our daughters, our servants, our animals, and even the sojourners living within our households. Then the Almighty Creator gives us a reason that we should not work. “For in six days YHVH made heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; and so YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it”. We are instructed to rest because YHVH rested and set the Sabbath apart. We rest because of what He did in Creation.
In Deuteronomy 5:12-15 we are told “שמור (Shamor) Guard the day of the Sabbath to set it apart as He, YHVH Eloheeka, instructed. Shamor is much more then remembering, it means to observe, to watch, and to guard. This word, Shamor, adds to the meaning of the word Zachor.
The reason given for observing the Sabbath also differs in Deuteronomy, as compared to Exodus. We are told “remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and YHVH Eloheeka brought you out with a mighty hand and by a stretched-out arm; therefore, YHVH Eloheeka instructed you to keep the day of the Sabbath”. Everything else remains the same within the instructions found within Exodus and Deuteronomy. The Sabbath is to be observed by us, our sons, our daughters, our man servants, our maid servants, our beasts of burden (oxen, donkeys), and, the stranger that is within our gates.
The differences between this Sabbath command, in Exodus and Deuteronomy, are to Observe rather than just to Remember. Also, the reason for keeping the Sabbath in Exodus is based upon the Creation, while in Deuteronomy is based upon the Exodus. We were once servants under bondage and now have been freed and given this rest.
How does the DSS text differ from our modern texts?
The most interesting aspect found, within this Dead Sea Scroll Decalogue, from Deuteronomy 5, is that it combines the two versions of the Sabbath commandment! Previously in Exodus, we were instructed “to remember the Sabbath” because of The Creation. We were given reason to rest as we are told that our Creator rested in the seventh day from all His work. He rested and so should we.
From this earlier text, we are instructed to observe the Sabbath for both reasons, because of the Creation and the Exodus! Here the commandment does not differ from that found in Exodus! The command in Exodus, is here fortified, and an additional reason for observing the Sabbath is given!
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Fifth commandment
The word כבד Kabed literally means “heavy”. We are to give weight to the instructions of our mothers and fathers. We give them respect and honor.
Many rightly group the commands into two categories, love toward Elohim (God) and love toward our brothers (our fellow humans). They often group the first 4 as love toward Elohim and the latter 6 with love toward man.
We learn to love our Creator by first learning to honor and respect our mothers and fathers. I would include this 5th command as loving Elohim.
The first 5 commands as love toward Elohim and the second 5 as love toward our fellow man.
This command comes with a promise. If we honor our mothers and fathers, we will enjoy a long life. Even beyond that....our days upon the ground will be good ones! We will be given a long and good life!
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The Sixth commandment
Is only really two words Not Murder. More specifically, the tav- ת prefix on the root ratsach רצח modifies the root word to mean “you”. The word becomes “תרצח” you murder. I have translated these two words תרצח לוא “not [shall] you murder”.
There is a difference between killing and murder! Sin is like roofing tar, once you get it on your hands, it can, and often does, get onto everything around you. If sin is allowed to spread, it will get onto everyone around you. If it is allowed to continue, our whole society can become evil!
When sin enters in there are no easy solutions. Our Creator has on occasion instructed Israel to go to battle and kill, so that the evil is removed. He wants us to live in prosperity and peace.
In many cases, He commanded Israel to remove the evil from their midst. He instructed them to kill in order to remove those with sin/evil so that it does not spread.
Job understood that this life was not final when he said “For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and after my skin and my flesh is destroyed I shall see Eloah (God).” Job 19:25-26
The Prophet Isaiah foretold “Your dead shall live, they shall rise along with my dead body. Awake you and sing, you who dwell in the soil; for your covering is vegetation, and the earth shall cast out the dead”. Isaiah 26:19
The Prophet Daniel also understood this concept and wrote “and many of them that sleep in the soil of the ground shall awake; some to life everlasting and some to reproach and contempt forever” Daniel 12:2
Murder is an action of sin whereby we take another’s life out of evil intent. It is the resulting action of thoughts of envy and greed.
There are sometimes instructions to kill to remove sin, However, we are commanded not to murder!
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Seventh Commandment. Not shall you commit adultery.
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Eigth Commandment. Not shall you steal. If it’s not yours don’t take it.
“If a man be found stealing from any brothers of him, from the children of Israel, selling for gain, then the thief shall die; and you shall eradicate evil from among you”. Deuteronomy 24:7
This instruction is simple, again only requiring two words.
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Ninth Commandment. Some would understand this command to only apply to lying under oath. I would consider the command to apply to any false statement. We do not give false reports, a false witness, a false testimony, or lie. In telling the truth, one does not have to keep track of their lies. It is a much simpler and honest way of life.
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