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Decalogue

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Chapter Summary

The common judgment of many people concerning the universal character the Decalogue arises from the commandments in the second tablet of laws, which deal with interpersonal relationships. The interpretation of the individual laws of the Decalogue is tied closely to the literary horizon of the book of Exodus. The introduction of Exod 20:1 presents the list of commandments that follows as God's speech. In relation to the speaker, as well as with regard to its linguistic composition as commandments and prohibitions, the Decalogue text clearly constitutes a mixed composition (Mischgebilde) from a formal point of view. The term "ten words" found in from Exod 34:28; Deut 4:13; and 10:4 accounts for the designation "Decalogue" even though in many languages one speaks of the ten "commandments". In the Book of Deuteronomy the traditional two-tablet Decalogue motif is immediately connected with the text of the Decalogue.

Keywords: book of Deuteronomy; book of Exodus; Decalogue; God's speech

10.1163/9789004282667_009
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