Deuteronomy 5:6
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
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(6) I am the Lord thy God.—It should never be forgotten that this sentence is an integral part of the Decalogue, and also the first part. The declaration of Divine relationship, with all that it implies—the covenanted adoption of Israel by Jehovah—precedes all the requirements of the Law. The Law is, therefore, primarily a covenant in the strictest sense.

Deuteronomy 5:6. I am the Lord thy God — The ten commandments, delivered Exodus 20., are here repeated, with some small difference of words, but the sense is perfectly the same. There being little said concerning the spiritual meaning of the ten commandments in the notes there, it may not be improper to add a few inquiries here, which the reader may answer between God and his own soul.

5:6-22 There is some variation here from Ex 20 as between the Lord's prayer in Mt 6 and Lu 11. It is more necessary that we tie ourselves to the things, than to the words unalterably. The original reason for hallowing the sabbath, taken from God's resting from the work of creation on the seventh day, is not here mentioned. Though this ever remains in force, it is not the only reason. Here it is taken from Israel's deliverance out of Egypt; for that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed. In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm. How sweet is it to a soul truly distressed under the terrors of a broken law, to hear the mild and soul-reviving language of the gospel!Compare Exodus 20 and notes.

Moses here adopts the Ten Words as a ground from which he may proceed to reprove, warn, and exhort; and repeats them, with a certain measure of freedom and adaptation. Our Lord Mark 10:19 and Paul Ephesians 6:2-3 deal similarly with the same subject. Speaker and hearers recognized, however, a statutory and authoritative form of the laws in question, which, because it was familiar to both parties, needed not to be reproduced with verbal fidelity.

6-20. I am the Lord thy God—The word "Lord" is expressive of authority or dominion; and God, who by natural claim as well as by covenant relation was entitled to exercise supremacy over His people Israel, had a sovereign right to establish laws for their government. [See on [115]Ex 20:2.] The commandments which follow are, with a few slight verbal alterations, the same as formerly recorded (Ex 20:1-17), and in some of them there is a distinct reference to that promulgation. The ten commandments, delivered Exo 20, are here repeated with some small difference of words, but the sense is perfectly the same, and therefore the explication of them must be fetched thence.

I am the Lord thy God,.... This is the preface to the ten commandments, and is the same with that in Exodus 20:2; see Gill on Exodus 20:2, and those commands are here delivered in the same order, and pretty near in the same words, with a little variation, and a few additions; which I shall only observe, and refer to Exodus 20:1 for the sense of the various laws. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
6. ‘The Preface’ to the Ten Commandments: the same as in Exodus 20:2. The phrases used, though occurring much more frequently in D, are also found (either exactly as here or with grammatical variations) in J and E (see on Exodus 20:2); so it is difficult to say whether the original form was simply I am Jehovah or the long one before us. A Preface longer than each of the separate words is not unnatural; yet the original may have been simply I am Jehovah thy God as in ch. 6.

The Preface states the Lawgiver’s Name, and His obligations upon Israel, ‘whereby He prepares their minds for obedience1[124],’ by calling on their loyalty and gratitude. This tenderness of the Preface (Matthew Henry contrasts it with the awfulness of the Theophany from which it issues) and its appeal to high motives are characteristic of D. But in all the traditions of the origins of Israel’s religion the note of redemption is fundamental; Grace is prior to Law, God’s saving deeds to His commandments. The stress laid upon the Preface by theologians in their practical application of the Decalogue to Christianity is therefore just. The form of the Preface is similar to the opening phrases on several Semitic royal monuments: the Moabite stone, ‘I am Mesha son of Kemosh’; the Byblus stele, ‘I am Yeḥawmilk, King of Gebal, etc.’; the Sidon sarcophagus, ‘I am Tabnith … King of the Sidonians, etc.’ But see Driver, Sam.2 p. xxiv. The prologue to the Code of Ḫammurabi is a record of the lawgiver’s achievements.

[124] Calvin.

house of bondage] bondmen, see on Deuteronomy 6:12.

Verse 6. - I am Jehovah thy God. "The Law, the establishing rule for men, can proceed only from him who alone and over all stands fast; i.e. from God, specially as Jehovah. The eternal, unchangeable One, since he demands the obedience of faith (is not merely the moral imperative), must not only reveal himself, but in revealing himself must claim Israel as loyal and faithful; thy God" (Schroeder). Deuteronomy 5:6In vv. 6-21, the ten covenant words are repeated from Exodus 20, with only a few variations, which have already been discussed in connection with the exposition of the decalogue at Exodus 20:1-14. - In Deuteronomy 5:22-33, Moses expounds still further the short account in Exodus 20:18-21, viz., that after the people had heard the ten covenant words, in their alarm at the awful phenomena in which the Lord revealed His glory, they entreated him to stand between as mediator, that God Himself might not speak to them any further, and that they might not die, and then promised that they would hearken to all that the Lord should speak to him (Exodus 20:23 -31). His purpose in doing so was to link on the exhortation in vv. 32, 33, to keep all the commandments of the Lord and do them, which paves the way for passing to the exposition of the law which follows. "A great voice" (Exodus 20:22) is an adverbial accusative, signifying "with a great voice" (cf. Ges. 118, 3). "And He added no more:" as in Numbers 11:25. God spoken the ten words directly to the people, and then no more; i.e., everything further He addressed to Moses alone, and through his mediation to the people. As mediator He gave him the two tables of stone, upon which He had written the decalogue (cf. Exodus 31:18). This statement somewhat forestalls the historical course; and in Deuteronomy 9:10-11, it is repeated again in its proper historical connection.
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