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6 (devarím-ha asèret)

6 (devarím-ha asèret) The “Ten Commandments” The previous chapter pointed out that the story of kevód is related to the period in which Moses was a regular visitor to the mountain where the Elohìm used to dwell. In the same context, belongs the story of the delivery of the Tablets of the Law, which we know as the “Ten Commandments” or “Decalogue”. In these passages we'll see that the Elohìm's concreteness is very different from the figure of a “god” that looks after the man conceived in his wholeness of body and soul. We'll find out that confusion is often generated, whether intentional or accidental, between a number of directions given by the Elohìm and the laws he calls for as the foundation of the covenant he has contracted with his chosen people (cf. Ex 34:27). The Hebrew expression with which these laws are defined is (devarìm-ha asèret, “ten-of the-words”) and are always clearly identified as those that “God wrote on stone” (Ex 34:28; Dt 4:13 and 10:4). Therefore, these ten words are the foundation of the entire Jewish and Christian religions, the latter being a direct subsidiary of the former. Are these ten words to which the Elohìm explicitly refers, the very same 104

as we know? When we think about the rules at the basis of Judaism, are we thinking of these same rules? Centuries of litigations have opposed commentators such as Origen, Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and the Church Fathers; who unified all indications as opposed to those who differentiated them. This in turn made them joint or separated commandments, for instance, not coveting the neighbours' wife and belongings, idol making, and dedicated cult. The traditional Decalogue is the following: 1. I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me. 2. You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain. 3. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. 4. Honor your father and mother. 5. You shall not kill. 6. You shall not commit adultery. 7. You shall not steal. 8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. 10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. This is the most popular version, which was also made more understandable, to preserve it and to achieve an effective mnemonic transmission. Catechism of the Catholic Church Before moving on to examine the requirements that the Elohìm actually meant as mandatory and fundamental to the Covenant with his people, let's take note of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church writes today: 23 Art 2057: [...] the “ten words” point out the conditions of a life freed from the slavery of sin. The Decalogue is a path of life... Art 2059: The “ten words” are pronounced by God in the midst of a theophany [...] They belong to God's revelation of himself and his glory. The gift of the Commandments is the gift of God himself and his holy will. In 105

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