Verses 6–22

Here is the repetition of the ten commandments, in which observe, 1. Though they had been spoken before, and written, yet they are again rehearsed; for precept must be upon precept, and line upon line, and all little enough to keep the word of God in our minds and to preserve and renew the impressions of it. We have need to have the same things often inculcated upon us. See Phil. 3:1. 2. There is some variation here from that record (Exod. 20:1-26), as there is between the Lord’s prayer as it is in Matt. 6:9-13 and as it is Luke 11:2-4 In both it is more necessary that we tie ourselves to the things than to the words unalterably. 3. The most considerable variation is in the fourth commandment. In Exod. 20:8-11 the reason annexed is taken from the creation of the world; here it is taken from their deliverance out of Egypt, because that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed: Remember that thou wast a servant, and God brought thee out, Deut. 5:15. And Therefore, (1.) “It is fit that thy servants should be favoured by the sabbath-rest; for thou knowest the heart of a servant, and how welcome one day’s ease will be after six days’ labour.” (2.) “It is fit that thy God should be honoured by the sabbath-work, and the religious services of the day, in consideration of the great things he has done for thee.” In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore, by the gospel-edition of the law, we are directed to observe the first day of the week, in remembrance of that glorious work of power and grace. 4. It is added in the fifth commandment, That it may go well with thee, which addition the apostle quotes, and puts first (Eph. 6:3), that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long. If there be instances of some that have been very dutiful to their parents, and yet have not lived long upon earth, we may reconcile it to the promise by this explication of it, Whether they live long or no, it shall go well with them, either in this world or in a better. See Eccl. 8:12. 5. The last five commandments are connected or coupled together, which they are not in Exodus: Neither shalt thou commit adultery, neither shalt thou steal, etc., which intimate that God’s commands are all of a piece: the same authority that obliges us to one obliges us to another; and we must not be partial in the law, but have respect to all God’s commandments, for he that offends in one point is guilty of all, Jas. 2:10, 11. 6. That these commandments were given with a great deal of awful solemnity, Deut. 5:22. (1.) They were spoken with a great voice out of the fire, and thick darkness. That was a dispensation of terror, designed to make the gospel of grace the more welcome, and to be a specimen of the terrors of the judgment-day, Ps. 50:3, 4. (2.) He added no more. What other laws he gave them were sent by Moses, but no more were spoken in the same manner that the ten commandments were. He added no more, therefore we must not add: the law of the Lord is perfect. (3.) He wrote them in two tables of stone, that they might be preserved from corruption, and might be transmitted pure and entire to posterity, for whose use they were intended, as well as for the present generation. These being the heads of the covenant, the chest in which the written tables were deposited was called the ark of the covenant. See Rev. 11:19.