Rabbinic teachings say the first set had 172 words and the second set had 17 less words. The second set lacked "tov" Hebrew value of 17, which God said afer each day of creation "and it was good'. Is this true? If so, how is this significant to us?
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With all due respect to the devotion to God of those who spend extensive time (in some cases, whole lifetimes) delving into the Scripture in its original languages (which would require additional effort to learn), and not just translating the words but endlessly parsing them, through actions such as looking for significance in the patterns of specific letters, words, or numerical values corresponding to them from their position in the alphabet or from other such factors, I personally do not believe that it is necessary to do so. To me, such microscopic analysis poses a risk of what Jesus was talking about when He characterized the Pharisees and scribes as straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel -- concentrating on individual words, while forgetting the overall purposes for which the wording was given (that is, to promote justice, mercy, and faith)(Matthew 23:24). That's not to say that there may not be such "hidden" significance or evidence of divine authorship present in the precise words of the original text, as some published works (such as Theomatics or The Bible Code) claim to have found, but, in my opinion, the words themselves taken at face value tell us all that God meant to convey to us. In my view, it is infinitely more important to simply read those words (in whatever language they may have been translated into), and then to practice or obey them (which Jesus condemned the Pharisees and scribes for failing to do) -- not as a means of being saved, but in gratitude to God for the salvation that He has already made possible through faith in Christ. In the particular case of the two versions of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, the most significant substantive differences as I see them are the fact that the version in Exodus (indicated as having been spoken by God Himself) records God as basing observance of the Sabbath on His own rest on the seventh day of creation, while the text in Deuteronomy records Moses (in his own personal recapitulation of the commandments while speaking to Israel) as basing Sabbath observance on the people's memory of how God had freed them from their bondage in Egypt; and that Moses' recapitulation in Deuteronomy amplifies the command to honor father and mother by adding a promise that doing so would not only prolong the lives of the people (as God had promised in Exodus), but would also cause things to go well with the people during their lives in the Promised Land. However, neither of those differences alters the actual substance of either commandment, which should be obeyed out of love of God Himself in any event, rather than based on the reason why the commandment was given, or the possible benefits of obedience.
The Ten Commandment (Exodus 20:1-17), is an expression of God guidance to the people of Isreal, after they have been saved from Egypt. God want to assure them that he is around with them, and also that they need to guide their living according to certain expected norm and standard of love, peace, and harmony. Exodus 20:1, And God spoke all these words,.. A guidance is provided as an instructions, hence it must be provided in a clear and simplified way for good and adequate understanding, and can allow for effective information sharing, which explains the significant of the two parts, as, 1) Respect and Honour to God, 2) Relationship with fellow human, by condemning acts that are harmful. Matthew 22:36-40, - “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; I am the LORD thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods, and No graven images or likenesses, Not take the LORD's name in vain, Remember the sabbath day, Honour thy father and thy mother, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet.
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