The Ten Commandments are not part of the Law of Moses

Richard Anthony

Please, allow me to show you how the scripture itself proves that the "Ten Commandments" and the "law of Moses" are two completely separate laws. I will discuss seven points.

Simply stated, The "Law of Moses" has been known mainly as the "commandments of Moses" throughout the scripture, but can also be known as the commandments of God. On the other hand, the Ten Commandments are known only as the direct commandments of God, and never ever as the "commandments of Moses." And if they are not known as the commandments of Moses in the scripture, what right have we to call it such?


The major point of difference between these two laws is the way they were recorded:

Exodus 31:18, "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."

No one can confuse the Ten Commandments writing with the way the Mosaic law was produced:

Deuteronomy 31:9, "And Moses wrote this law."


Another major point of difference between these two laws is the way they were given to God's People.

Deuteronomy 4:36; 5:22, "Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: ...These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me."

It's important to notice that after God wrote the Ten Commandments, he "added no more" to this Law, yet God gave Moses statutes, precepts, judgments, and ordinances afterwards. If the Mosaic law was part of the Ten Commandments, there would be a contradiction here, because God did add more to this law! But there was no contradiction, because God considered the Ten Commandments to be a separate Law. The Ten Commandments were spoken by God himself to the people, so that God would instruct them. There was no mediator involved! Moses was not the mediator of the Ten Commandments. But he was the mediator of the sacrificial laws:

Exodus 33:9, "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses."

2 Chronicles 34:14, "...Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses."

Unlike the Ten Commandments, in which God talked directly to the people, the sacrificial and ceremonial laws were spoken to Moses only. Moses was the mediator of these temporary laws, but not the Ten Commandments.


God made known this distinction to Moses, and Moses explained it to the people at Mt. Horeb:

Deuteronomy 4:13-14, "And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it."

Please notice how Moses clearly separated the Ten Commandments which "he commanded you", from the statutes which "he commanded me" to give the people. The big question now is whether those statutes and judgments were designated as separate and distinct "law".

[See also Exodus 19:7; 39:1,5,7,21,26,29,31,32,42,43; 40:19,21,23,25,27,29,32 and Leviticus 7:38; 8:9,13,17,21,29: 9:10; 27:34]


2 Kings 21:8, "Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them."

Here we are assured that the statutes which Moses gave the people were called a "law". Two different laws are being described now. God speaks of the law "I commanded" (The Ten Commandments) and also of the law "Moses commanded" (the law of Moses).

[See also Leviticus 9:5 and Deuteronomy 33:4 for the commandments of Moses. Deuteronomy 6:2; 8:11; 11:22,27,28; 13:18; 15:5; 19:9; 27:10; 28:1,13,15 and Joshua 22:5 for two different laws. And Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 for the commandments of God]


Daniel was inspired to make the same careful distinction:

Daniel 9:11, "Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him."

Once more we see "thy law" (God's law, the Ten Commandments) and "the law of Moses" (the commandments of Moses), and are different in content. There are no curses recorded in the Ten Commandments that God wrote. Only the book of Moses has curses (Deuteronomy.29:20,21,27, 2 Chron.34:24).

[See also Exodus 20:6 for a passage on how the Ten Commandments were considered God's commandments, and not Moses' commandments]


The following verses show that the "Ten Commandments" and the "law of Moses" are 2 separate laws, because they were separated physically:

Deuteronomy 31:24-26, "And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee."

The book of statutes and judgments which Moses wrote in a book was placed in a pocket on the side of the ark. In contrast, the Law written by God on tables of stone was placed inside the ark of the covenant.

Exodus 25:16, "And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee."

The spiritual lesson of this physical separation is that we are to spiritually separate the Ten Commandments from the laws of Moses.


And, finally, the most important point. Did you know God himself wrote the Ten Commandments a second time? Moses broke the first Ten Commandments.

Exodus 34:1, "Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto first; and I will write upon the tablets the words that were on the first tables, which thou didst break."

Deuteronomy 10:1 "...Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount; and make thee an ark of wood."

Now, first of all, if the Ten Commandments were part of the Law of Moses, there would be no need for God to write the Ten Commandments a second time after Moses broke the original Ten Commandments. Why? Because the Ten Commandments would already exist inside, and be included in, and be a part of, the book of Moses. The book of Moses still existed at that time, and was still being observed. But God decided to write the ten commandments a second time, which would have been meaningless if it was considered a part of the law of Moses, or the book of Moses. So obviously, God considered His Law (His Ten Commandments), to be separate from the Law of Moses (the commandments of Moses). This shows that the two laws are to be considered separate and distinct laws from each other.

An Illustration

You and I can enter into a Covenant with each other. Our covenant can be an agreement for you to do one thing and I another. Our covenant can also be based upon the Ten Commandments. We will agree to not steal, murder, or commit adultery. Now, does this mean the Ten Commandments did not exist before we entered into our covenant with each other? No, it does not. Here's another question. When our covenant passes away because we fulfilled our agreement with each other, does that mean the Ten Commandments, which this covenant was based upon, are also passed away? No, it does not.

This illustrates how I see the Ten Commandments. Before Moses confirmed the covenant, it was a sin to steal, murder, commit adultery, etc. These laws existed before the covenant at Sinai happened. And after this covenant waxed old, and was replaced with a new covenant, the laws that say do not steal, murder, and commit adultery did not pass away with the old covenant. God still expects us to obey those laws, which reflect His Will.


To summarize, we can note several distinctions in the two laws. They had different authors, were originally written on different materials, were spoken by different law-givers, were placed in different locations in the ark, and they had totally different content. This shows, by example, how they are to be considered and treated as separate laws. In addition, the Ten Commandments were spoken from God's mouth (Exodus 19:19; 20:1, Deuteronomy.4:10,12; 5:22-26; 18:16, Nehemiah 9:13), and God said he would not "alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34). The Ten Commandments went out of God's lips, so the Ten Commandments could not have been altered!

To give you a hypothetical situation, if the Ten Commandments were a part of the book of Moses, then whatever happens to the book of Moses must also, by definition, happen to the Ten Commandments. Don't you agree?

Well, if the Ark caught on fire, and the book of the covenant (Exodus 24:7), the law of Moses, suddenly burned to a crisp, would the Ten Commandments be burned up as well? No! But will the law of ordinances be burned up? Yes! The priesthood laws? Yes! The sacrificing laws? Yes! The Ten Commandments on Stone? No! Why? Because they were recorded on different materials. The tables of stone symbolize the imperishable nature of the Ten Commandments!

Now, here's a real example that will prove that they are two separate laws. Does God still expect us to sacrifice lamps, heifers, and other animals today, to atone for our sins? No, these sacrificial laws were changed. Does God still expect us to not steal, murder, lie, and commit adultery? Yes! Therefore, this simple fact that God does not expect us to obey the sacrificial laws of the Old Covenant, but does expect us to keep the laws of the Ten Commandments, prove that they are not part of the same law!

Moses' law was the temporary, ceremonial law of the Old Testament. It regulated the priesthood, sacrifices, rituals, meat and drink offerings, etc., all of which foreshadowed Christ Jesus. This law was added "till the seed should come," and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16,19). The ritual and ceremony of Moses' law pointed forward to Christ, and this law came to an end, but the Ten Commandments (God's law) "stand fast for ever and ever." (Psalm 111:8).

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