WHAT ABOUT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS?

The Thou Shall Not's in the 10 Commandments may be the cause of some of the black and white thinking in our world. Black and white thinking is one form of mental madness per cognitive therapy. This madness causes much of our corrosive anger and blame in our world.

What if the 10 Commandments were poorly translated? Could they have been biases and needs met?

I have translated them using the Hebrew words with how they were translated in other places in the OT.  

What started me on this is that I could not find any “NO” in the Hebrew of the following verses on the 10 Commandments on stones in our city park.  The stones had been given for publicity for the Hollywood blockbuster movie. Here are the verses and the Hebrew words and Strong’s’ Numbers:
Thou shalt not kill ratsach,8799.
Thou shalt not commit adultery na'aph,8799.
Thou shalt not steal ganab,8799

My question to God was: Is it possible that some missed what you said? Did Jesus sum up all the commandments to love one another as He loved, to correct the miss understandings? 

When I looked up all the "no" words in the OT King James, there were 877 of them and only 73 had Strongs number 03808 next to them.  It looked like the word no was "understood" a lot.  That was not the pattern in the NT.

Exodus 20 verse 1 starts out: "And God spake all these words, saying,".

My translation of Exodus 20 Verse 1 was "God sang the promise of the totality of these sayings in his heart."

This process began to give me a different picture of God. I began to appreciate to song being sung to me.

Then I began to learn more from Ex 20:2: "I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

My translation was "[I am] the Existing One God which leads out of the earthy Egyptian slavery."

For me, this is the God that leads to freedom. 

The first commandment in Ex 20:3 is translated as: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The first commandment says to me that there is only one God, for all of us. That is the good news, the gospel. 

I found even more good news when I looked deeper. When I went to church, I took my notebook computer along to use as its bible program. I had my program "On Line Bible 6.0" loaded on my computer. This bible also had its Hebrew lexicon loaded. My lexicons helped me to better translate what was written in the original Hebrew. On a few Sundays when the pastor was speaking about the ten commandments, I was surprised to find that there were very few no's for the "Do Not's" in the actual Hebrew words.

So, I set out to translate the ten commandments the best I could. 

To my delight I found that the commandments were even more meaningful and rich words from God.

My translation of the first commandment was from Ex 20.3: "Nothing [is] different from God."

Of course I would have no other God before me, with one that sang that they are everything. There is no way to have anything else before me, everything is all one, the whole is one.

What else might we learn about this one God of everything? 

The second commandment, Exodus 20:4 is translated as "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:".

My translation is: "Make image of the totality representation of the abode of the stars above the whole earth, instead of the earthy waters below."  Is that not keeping your mind of heavenly things instead of the material earth.   JC said to seek the Kingdom of God within first and all else would follow.

Now let's try Ex 20:5: "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"

I did not find anything signifant, other that there was not, a "not" there.  Sometimes there is a not Hebrew word to translate and sometimes not.

On to Ex 20:6 where the traditional translation is "And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

My new translation is: "Offer lovingkindness [to] thousand beloved friends [to] preserve [my] precepts of wisdom.

Here God is suggesting that lovingkindness to many will preserve wisdom.

What about Ex 20:7? "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

Here I found a radically different meaning in the lexicon. It was: "Existing One God, nothingness, the Existing One innocent to lift up in exultation and forgiveness, the reputation of nothingness."

Here I found a declaration of innocence with a description of how vast God is. Nothingness pervades the universe and us. We are actually mostly vacuum from a scientific point of view.

This was a God talking of innocence and forgiveness and nothingness that can have no name or blame. An ancient Hebrew tradition was that the name of God could not be uttered.

On Ex 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." 

My new translation was more challenging like JC. It was "Keep in remembrance the day of atonement daily as the holy of holies."

It went from a weekly challenge to a daily challenge. It is a key to the Kingdom to remember holiness daily.

What about those daily work days? Traditionally Ex 20:9 says: "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:"

My new translation is again more challenging. It was "Six days serve me doing everything in your occupation." It was again remembering and learning the value of serving God.

What about that Sunday? In the old tradition, Ex 20:10 was "But the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates."

My translation was about a more inclusive and about celebration of God and Sunday: "Seventh day of atonement, the Existing One God celebrates everything of work, of male children, female children, male servants, female servants, beasts, strangers, Heaven, Hell."

It was more inclusive. It was more lively. 

In Ex 20:11 the traditional translation was: "For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

My translation was: "Sixth time the Existing One made heaven, earth, sea; everything permitted seventh time the Existing One blessed the day of atonement, treat time as sacred."

I got a sense of eternal blessing.

The traditional Ex 20:12 was: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

My new translation was: "Be Rich and Honorable Mother, Father, today on all the earth which the Existing One God bestows."

I sense was one of God wanting us to lead a blessed and good life. By praying for a good life for our fathers and mothers we are praying for the same for ourselves.

The traditional Ex 20:13 was "Thou shalt not kill." 

The one Hebrew word had been translated as slayer 16 times, as murdrer 14 times, as kill 5 times, as murder 3 times, as slain 3 times, as manslayer 2 times, as killing 1 time, as slyeth 1 time and as death 1 time.   

When you google "How many did God kill in the bible" you get large numbers.  So that would be God 1.0 of the limited tribe of the Old Testament.  Jesus healed some and brought some back to life in the New Testament.  That would be God 2.0 of the one tribe of the whole world.   Reminds me of being slain in the spirit.  No one can get you until it is your time.

The traditional Ex 20:14 was "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

If God 1.0 is jealous, it would make sense to do adultry with God 2.0. Jesus.  Then there would be no other adultry.  The Hebrew word used was translated as adultery 17 times, adulterer 8 times, adulteress 4 times, and adulterous 1 time.

The traditional Ex 20:15 was: "Thou shalt not steal."

The Hebrew word used was translated a steal 30 times, steal away 7 times, carry away 1 time and brought 1 time.  Romatic thought would be to be stolen away by Jesus.

The traditional Ex 20:16 was: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

The new positive translation I found was: "Answer the deceptions in testimony about intimate friends."

It was a plea for us supporting our friends when others try to deceive us about them. God was asking us to do positive gossip. To speak well of others. To prize them.  To have intimate friends.

The traditional Ex 20:17 was: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's. This was certainly good advice to get along in this world.

In addition I found a deeper meaning that was: "Take pleasure in preciousness of friend within. Delight in preciousness of companion wife, worshiper of God, concubine, bull, ass, totality, intimate friend."

Here was a key of seeing the preciousness of all that we experience. Here was God again saying that he was in all. JC said he was in the least of us so that would include the most of us.

What do these new translations sing to you? These translations are more meaningful to me. They give me deeper clues to loving my God and his people. 

The Holy Spirit is also called the Comforter. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Truth that will lead us to All Truth. There was a time that I surrendered to whatever the Ultimate Truth is. Truths just keep showing up.

When I had my physical birth, I just grew as I let go and let God grow me. It is the same surrendering to Jesus to grow after a spiritual birth. It is a form of letting Jesus slay you.

How do you get this spiritual birth? By wanting your spiritual rebirth more than anything else. By having your intention to experience your spiritual rebirth. By taking actions towards your spiritual rebirth. By being willing to die to the world. 

There is a story of how a Pharisee came to John the Baptist. He cried out "I thirst for Righteousness." John took him by the scruff of the neck and plunged his head into the river Jordan.

John held him under until he stopped struggling. John then pulled him up as he sputtered and struggled for breath. John said: "When you thirst for righteousness as much as you just thirsted for your breath, you will find righteousness."

Of course, the righteousness that he may have thirsted for may have been just filthy rags in God's eye, but that is another story.

(C) 2016 Michael Foster, M. A.


Exodus 20 from DPBible 0.5.1.1 with KJV - King James Version (1769) with Strongs Numbers and Morphology:  Source

20 And God 'elohiym spake dabar8762 all these words dabar, saying 'amar8800,
2 I am the Lord Yhovah thy God 'elohiym, which have brought yatsa'8689 thee out of the land 'erets of Egypt Mitsrayim, out of the house bayith of bondage `ebed.
3 Thou shalt have no other 'acher gods 'elohiym before me paniym.
4 Thou shalt not make `asah8799 unto thee any graven image pecel, or any likeness tmuwnah of any thing that 'aher is in heaven shamayim above ma`al, or that is in the earth 'erets beneath, or that is in the water mayim under the earth 'erets:
5 Thou shalt not bow down shachah8691 thyself to them, nor serve `abad8714 them: for I the Lord Yhovah thy God 'elohiym am a jealous qanna' God 'el, visiting paqad8802 the iniquity `avon of the fathers 'ab upon the children ben unto the third shillesh and fourth ribbea` ' generation of them that hate sane'8802 me;
6 And shewing `asah8802 mercy checed unto thousands 'eleph of them that love 'ahab8802 me, and keep shamar8802 my commandments mitsvah.
7 Thou shalt not take nasa'8799 the name shem of the Lord Yhovah thy God 'elohiym in vain shav'; for the Lord Yhovah will not hold him guiltless naqah8762 that taketh nasa'8799 his name shem in vain shav'.
8 Remember zakar8800 the sabbath shabbath day yowm, to keep it holy qadash8763.
9 Six shesh days yowm shalt thou labour `abad8799, and do `asah8804 all thy work mla'kah:
10 But the seventh shbiy`iy day yowm is the sabbath shabbath of the Lord Yhovah thy God 'elohiym: in it thou shalt not do `asah8799 any work mla'kah, thou, nor thy son ben, nor thy daughter bath, thy manservant `ebed, nor thy maidservant 'amah, nor thy cattle bhemah, nor thy stranger ger that is within thy gates sha`ar:
11 For in six shesh days yowm the Lord Yhovah made `asah8804 heaven shamayim and earth 'erets, the sea yam, and all that in them is, and rested nuwach8799 the seventh shbiy`iy day yowm: wherefore the Lord Yhovah blessed barak8765 the sabbath shabbath day yowm, and hallowed qadash8762 it.
12 Honour kabad8761 thy father 'ab and thy mother 'em: that thy days yowm may be long 'arak8686 upon the land 'adamah which the Lord Yhovah thy God 'elohiym giveth nathan8802 thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill ratsach8799.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery na'aph8799.
15 Thou shalt not steal ganab8799.
16 Thou shalt not bear `anah8799 false sheqer witness `ed against thy neighbour rea`.
17 Thou shalt not covet chamad8799 thy neighbour 'srea` house bayith, thou shalt not covet chamad8799 thy neighbour 'srea` wife 'ishshah, nor his manservant `ebed, nor his maidservant 'amah, nor his ox showr, nor his ass chamowr, nor any thing that is thy neighbour 'srea`.