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Commandments 1 - 80

Note:  Commandment numbers relating to Israel appear as NN.  Those relating to the Temple appear as NN.



1   Every male in your family and of your descendants must be circumcised.

Gene. 17:10

2   Circumcise every newborn male at age 8 days.

Gene. 17:12

3   In every generation a male born in your house or bought from a

     stranger who is not from your seed shall be circumcised.

           Second-person pronouns in the Hebrew are very important.  The Hebrew conveys

           information that the English does not.  In this verse the Lord is speaking to Abraham but

           is addressing each future generation, so the two yours are singular.  All males in a Jewish

           home except servants or visitors but including slaves are to be circumcised.  When we

           come to the first plural pronoun (Commandment 5 below) I will explain what it implies.

Gene. 17:12

4   The month of Aviv (now Nisan} shall be the first month of each year.

Exod. 12:2

5   You shall observe the Passover on the 15th day of the first month forever.

            The “you” in this verse is plural.  As near as I can tell, that means every individual of

            the children of Israel or other group is being addressed.  So it is incumbent upon each

           of us to faithfully observe Passover on the fifteenth of the first month (except see

            commandments 353 to 356).

Exod. 12:14

6   You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days.

            The “you” is plural.  We must each eat unleavened bread for the seven days.  Not for

            eight days, but seven days.

Exod. 12:15

7    On the day before the Passover you shall put away all leaven from your


            The “you” and “your” are plural.  We must each put away all leaven so it is out of sight. 

            See commandment 20.  When should we put it away?  Not on the 13th according to

            the rabbis, but on the 14th according to the Torah.

Exod. 12:15

8     You shall observe a holy convocation on the first and seventh days.

Exod. 12:16

9     You shall do no work during the holy convocation on first and seventh days,

       other than the preparation of food for you.

            ”Work” normally means what you do during the six days of the week to earn a living.  Here it

            appears to mean something more.  If the only behavior not excluded is preparing food, then no

            other work of any kind would appear to be allowed.  However, this cannot be, as the first and last

            days of Passover would then be more restrictive than the Sabbath.  Thus here it must refer only

            to the duration of the holy convocations.  Also the first “you” is singular and the second “you” is

            plural. Therefore, the group, whether the whole of the congregation, the family, or the household

            shall do no work, but the preparation of the food is for each individual according to that person’s

            appetite.  Now Commandment 279 (Lev. 23:7) restricts work to only servile work on these two

            days.  That supports the contention that work during the convocations is not permitted.  The

            defintions of “servile” are menial, degrading, humble, slave, and obedient.  So I believe the work

            not allowed is anything laborious or demeaning.

Exod. 12:16

10   No leaven shall be found in your houses for seven days.

Exod. 12:19

11   You shall explain to your children why the celebration is observed.

           All the second-person pronouns in commandments 8 and 10, and this one are plural.

            Everyone is indiviodually responsible for obeying them.

 Exod. 12:27

12   No foreigner shall eat of the paschal lamb.

          A foreigner is one who is not circumcised or converted.

Exod. 12:43

13   No sojourner or hired hand (unless circumcised) shall eat of it.

           A sojourner is a temporary inhabitant, whether Jewish or not.

Exod. 12:45

14   The paschal lamb shall be eaten in one house. 

           If two families share a lamb, they shall both eat it in one house,

Exod. 12:46

15   None of the flesh of the paschal lamb shall be taken from the house.

Exod. 12:46

16   None of the bones of the paschal lamb shall be broken.

Exod. 12:46

17   No one uncircumcised may eat of the paschal lamb.

Exod. 12:48

18   Every first born male shall be sanctified to the Lord.

           The first born of both animal and human.

Exod. 13:2

19   Leaven shall not be eaten during Passover.

            This commandment is not commandment 6 expressed as a negative.  That one

            refers to leavened bread specifically.  This one refers to all leaven.

Exod. 13:3

20   Leaven shall not be seen throughout Israel during Passover.

            Although this refers only to Israel, we in the diaspora must keep leaven out of sight

            in our homes.

Exod. 13:7

21   You shall tell the story of Passover every year.

            The “you” in this verse is singular.  So not everyone must tell the story.  One

            representative (the leader of the Seder) must do so.  In general, when a

            second-person pronoun is singular in a positive commandment, it means that, for one reason or

            another (which should be obvious from the context), not everyone is responsible for obeying

            the commandment.

Exod. 13:8

22   Every male firstling of an animal shall be for the Lord.

Exod. 13:11, 12

23   You shall redeem the firstling of an ass with a lamb.

            The “you” in this verse is singular.  So only those to whom a firstling ass is born

            need do this.

Exod. 13:13

24   If you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck.

            Both instances of “you” are singular.  Refer back to the previous commandment.

            Presumably the reason for this is that no one can gain labor from a dedicated animal.

            Notwithstanding, reasons for commandments are none of our concern.  It is enough

            that the the Lord presented us with them.

Exod. 13:13

25   You shall redeem the first born male of the children of Israel.

            The “you” in this verse is singular.  So only those who have a first-born child need

            observe this commandment.

Exod. 13:13

26   On the day before the Sabbath you shall prepare food for two days.

           The “you” in this verse is singular.  So only those who may have to prepare food need

           relate to this commandment.  Although this command was given to the children of Israel as

           a  temporary measure, it must be interpreted as applying to every Sabbath, and is therefore

           permanent.                                                         [Return to Gene. 1:28 to Exod. 22:14]

Exod. 16:23

27   You shall not prepare food on the Sabbath.

           The “you” in this verse is singular.  So only those who prepare food are expressly targeted

           by this commandment.  Nevertheless, no one may prepare food on the Sabbath.  To

           prepare food means to cook it by any means.  Although this command was given to the

           children of Israel as a temporary measure, it must be interpreted as applying to every

           Sabbath, and is therefore permanent.                    [Return to Gene. 1:28 to Exod. 22:14]

Exod. 16:23

29   Know that I am the Lord, your God.

           This is the first of the ten commandments.  The instances of “you” and “your” in the ten

           commandments are all singular.  I believe that in this chapter we have one of two

           exceptions to my rule that singular pronouns address the entire congregation.  Throughout

           this chapter (Exodus 20) the singular pronouns refer to the individual.


           Notice that I have omitted Commandment 28.  It says “Let not anyone go out of his place on the

           Sabbath.”  See my discussion about this assumed commandment on

Exod. 20:2

30  You shall have no other gods before me.

            No one may worship any other entities of any kind or think of them as God.

Exod. 20:3

31   You shall not fashion a graven image.

            No one may have any idols that could possibly be worshiped.    [Return to Commandment 414]

Exod. 20:4

32   You shall not bow down to a graven image.

            No one may worship an idol in any fashion.

Exod. 20:5

33   You shall not take up the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

            The “you” in this verse is singular.  So no one may take the name of the Lord in vain.  As

             to what that can mean, please go to to see my lists of ways to take the name

             of the Lord in vain and ways not to do so.

Exod. 20:7

34   Remember the Sabbath, to keep it sacred.

             For my considered take on the Sabbath, please go to this website.

Exod. 20:8

35   You shall do none of your work on the Sabbath.

             This refers to the work you do the other six days.

Exod. 20:10

36   Honor your father and your mother.

Exod. 20:12

37   You shall not murder.

Exod. 20:13

38   You shall not commit adultery.

Exod. 20:13

39   You shall not steal.

Exod. 20:13

40   You shall not be a false witness regarding your neighbor.

Exod. 20:13

41   You shall not covet anything of your neighbor's.

            This is the tenth commandment.

Exod. 20:14

42   You shall not make an altar of hewn stone.

Exod. 20:22

43   You shall not climb steps to the altar.

            The verse implies that there must be a ramp to the top of the altar.

Exod. 20:23

44   The procedures pertaining to a purchased Hebrew man-servant shall be


             That is, for a maximum period of six years.  This will make more sense when we reach the

             commandments referring to the Sabbath years.  See to read about these verses.

Exod. 21:2-6

45   The procedures pertaining to a sold maid-servant shall be observed.

             I imagine the maidservant must be Jewish

Exod. 21:7-11

46   The procedures pertaining to one who mortally wounds a person shall

        be followed.

            From Exod. 21:15 it would seem that the murderer is to be tried before a priest at the altar.

Exod. 21:12-14

47    One who strikes his mother or father shall die.

            This one is somewhat troublesome.  Strikes how?  A serious blow?  A mere slap?  I believe the

            answer is a blow that seriously injures the parent.

Exod. 21:15

48    A kidnapper shall die. 

Exod. 21:16

49   .One who curses his mother or father shall die.

            This one is more troublesome.  I presume the curse must be that the parant shall die or its


Exod. 21:17

50   If in a fight one injures the other, and the latter survives, the former is

        responsible for compensation and medical expenses.

Exod. 21:18, 19

51   If one strikes his servant so he dies, the master is to be punished.

            How he is to be punished is determined by a priest, a judge, or the courts.

Exod. 21:20

52   But if the servant lives for one or two days, he is not punished.

            This leaves a lot of questions unanswered.  Suffice it to say that if the servant were to live for one

            or two days in those times, he would survive.  Nowadays, however, a different standard must be

            applied.  If he can be restored to health, the master is not punished, but he must pay the medical

            expenses, if any.

Exod. 21:21

53   If in a fight a pregnant woman bystander is struck so she has a

       miscarriage, but she is unharmed, the guilty one shall pay a fine.

             This should represent the principle that the fetus is of little value and be the basis for

             Judaism allowing abortions.  But it seems not to be, at least for the orthodox.

Exod. 21:22

54    But if harm results, then a life for a life or any other equal punishment is


             Clearly the harm must be to the pregnant woman.

Exod. 21:23-25

55  If a master blinds an eye of his servant, the servant goes free.

            More must be said of this.  The servant must be appropriately compensated as well.  A judge

            shall make an appropriate award.

Exod. 21:26

56   If a master causes the loss of his servant's tooth, the servant goes free.

Exod. 21:27

57   You shall follow the procedures pertaining to damage by or to oxen.

             The verses on which this commandment is based do not contain the pronoun “you.”  But a

             reading of the verses would indicate that the “you” would be plural, thereby applying to


Exod. 21:28-37

58   The procedures pertaining to a burglar shall be followed.

Exod. 22:1-2

59   If one's animal is allowed to feed in another's field or vineyard, he shall

        repay with the best of his field or vineyard.

Exod. 22:4

60   One who starts a fire accidentally or on purpose shall make restitution.

             The priest, judge, or court will determine the amount of restitution.  Apparently arson was

             considered a civil crime rather than criminal, unless an injury or death occurred.

Exod. 22:5

61   If something left for safekeeping with another is stolen, the thief shall

       repay double.

             The thief must be found, of course.

Exod. 22:6

62   If the thief is not found, the safekeeper shall be tried to determine if he

       was responsible.

Exod. 22:7

63   In a dispute in which two people claim something to be theirs, they

       shall be tried, and the one who is found wrong pays double.

Exod. 22:8

64  The procedures pertaining to a borrowed animal shall be followed.

Exod. 22:9 -14

65  The procedures pertaining to a sexual seducer of an unbetrothed maiden

       shall be followed.

Exod. 22:15-16

66   You shall not let a sorceress live.

             The “you” is singular.  Thus the congregation (its representative, a priest, a judge or a court) is

             responsible for obeying this commandment.

Exod. 22:17

67   Anyone lying with a beast shall be put to death.

Exod. 22:18

68   You shall not afflict a widow or orphan.

              The “you” is plural.  No Jew may afflict a Jewish widow or orphan in any way.  Note that this

              commandment doesn’t mention the soul.  On Yom Kippur we are directed to afflict our soul.

              That may be different from afflicting a person.  However, I am inclined to accept that affliction is

              the same whether the soul or the body is the target.  This is because elsewhere in the Torah

              and Bible in general, souls and persons are often meant to be synonymous.  If I am correct,

              fasting as a means to afflict the soul on Yom Kippur may not be appropriate.  See more later

              in regard to Yom Kippur (Commandment 187, Levi. 16:29)

Exod. 22:21

69   You shall not take usurious interest from a poor Israelite.

             The “you” is plural.  No Jew may take usurious interest from another Jew

Exod. 22:24

70   If you take a borrower's garment in pledge, you shall return it as evening


             The “you” is singular.  It applies only to those who take a garment in pledge.

Exod. 22:25

71   You shall not despise God.

             The “you” is singular.  Neither Israel nor any Jewish group may claim to despise God.

Exod. 22:27

72   You shall not delay the gift of your first fruits or firstborn son.

             The “you” is singular.  It applies only to those who have first fruits or a son.

Exod. 22:28

73   .After seven days with its dame a newborn animal belongs to God.

Exod. 22:29

74   You shall not eat flesh torn in the field.

             The “you” is plural.  No Jew may eat the flesh of an animal torn outdoors.

Exod. 22:30

75   Flesh torn in the field shall be cast to the dogs.

             This commandment insures that nothing else will be done with the flesh.  It cannot be

             fed to farm animals.  It cannot be sold to a gentile.  It cannot be used to advantage in any way.

Exod. 22:30

76   You shall not carry a false report.

             The “you” is singular.  Any Jew having heard a report he or she thinks is untrue shall

             not repeat it.

Exod. 23:1

77   You shall not be a false witness regarding anyone.

             The “you” is singular.  No witness may lie in any circumstance.

Exod. 23:1

78   Do not go after an unjust crowd.

              The implied you is singular.  If any Jew sees a crowd involved in something unjust,

              he or she shall not engage in the unjust behavior.

Exod. 23:2

79   Do not testify on behalf of an unjust crowd.

              The implied you is singular.  If any Jew is called to testify on behalf of an unjust crowd,

              he or she shall not do so.

Exod. 23:2

80   Do not favor a cause of a poor person.

              The implied you is singular.  If any Jew is called as a witness or a judge, he or she

              shall not show any extra favor to a poor person because that person is poor.

Exod. 23:3

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My Commandment List

[81 - 160]    [161 - 240]    [241 - 320]    [321 - 400]    [401 - 480]    [481 - 559]



[Gene. 1:28 to Exod. 22:14]          [Exod. 22:15 to Levi. 5:13]

[Levi. 5:15 to Levi. 14:8]          [Levi. 14:9 to Levi. 19:15]

[Levi. 19:16 to Levi. 22:25]          [Levi. 22:27 to Levi. 25:40]

[Levi. 25:41 to Numb. 18:17]          [Numb. 18:20 to Deut. 12:15]

[Deut. 12:17 to Deut. 16:22]          [Deut. 17:1 to Deut. 22:4]

[Deut. 22:5 to Deut. 24:16]          [Deut. 24:17 to Deut. 32:38]