Did the Ten Commandments Exist Before Mount Sinai?
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
Many Christians believe that the Ten Commandments were solely given to the Israelites when God formed a covenant with them on Mount Sinai. However, all Ten Commandments can be found in the Bible before the covenant on Mount Sinai was formed. We have some examples below (this is not an all inclusive list). These verses either display that the commandments existed because God mentioned it or that people were aware of their existence.
No other gods before Him: Gen. 31:30-32, Gen. 35:2-4, Ex. 6:7, 10:7, 12:12
No graven images/idols (and by extension no other gods): Gen. 31:19, 31:34-35, 35:2-4
Do not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain (this literally means to bear or take up His name in vain): Gen. 4:26, 13:4, Ex. 3:15 (there were those who did not call on/take up His name in vain)
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy: Genesis 2:1-3, 8:10-12, Ex. chapter 16
Honor your mother and father: Gen. 26:34-35, 35:21-22, 49:4-5
Do not commit murder: Gen. 4:8-10, 9:5-6, 27:41, 37:19-26, Ex. 1:16, 2:14
Do not commit adultery: Gen. 12:9-20, 19:1-38, 20:1-14, 39:1-12
Do not steal: Gen. 27:15, 30:33, 31:19,30, 44:8
Do not bear false witness (said another way, do not lie): Gen. 4:9-11, 12:9-20, 20:1-5, 27:1-29, 31:7,41, 37:31-35, 39:13-20
Do not covet: Genesis 3:6, Gen. 31:19
These verses make it abundantly clear that the Ten Commandments existed before Mount Sinai and the Old Covenant. Apparently God made these precepts clear to mankind. After all, the world was destroyed by the flood because of sin and violence that people carried out against their fellow humans.
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Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org
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