Exodus 20:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”

King James Bible
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

American Standard Version
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Moses said to the people: Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that the dread of him might be in you, and you should not sin.

English Revised Version
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said to the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Exodus 20:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The other Five Words or commandments, which determine the duties to one's neighbour, are summed up in Leviticus 19:18 in the one word, "Love thy neighbour as thyself." The order in which they follow one another is the following: they first of all secure life, marriage, and property against active invasion or attack, and then, proceeding from deed to word and thought, they forbid false witness and coveting.

(Note: Luther has pointed out this mirum et aptum ordinem, and expounds it thus: Incipit prohibitio a majori usque ad minimum, nam maximum damnum est occisio hominis, deinde proximum violatio conjugis, tertium ablatio facultatis. Quod qui in iis nocere non possunt, saltem lingua nocent, ideo quartum est laesio famae. Quodsi in iis non praevalent omnibus, saltem corde laedunt proximum, cupiendo quae ejus sunt, in quo et invidia proprie consistit.)

If, therefore, the first three commandments in this table refer primarily to deeds; the subsequent advance to the prohibition of desire is a proof that the deed is not to be separated from the disposition, and that "the fulfilment of the law is only complete when the heart itself is sanctified" (Oehler). Accordingly, in the command, "Thou shalt not kill," not only is the accomplished fact of murder condemned, whether it proceed from open violence or stratagem (Exodus 21:12, Exodus 21:14, Exodus 21:18), but every act that endangers human life, whether it arise from carelessness (Deuteronomy 22:8) or wantonness (Leviticus 19:14), or from hatred, anger, and revenge (Leviticus 19:17-18). Life is placed at the head of these commandments, not as being the highest earthly possession, but because it is the basis of human existence, and in the life the personality is attacked, and in that the image of God (Genesis 9:6). The omission of the object still remains to be noticed, as showing that the prohibition includes not only the killing of a fellow-man, but the destruction of one's own life, or suicide. - The two following commandments are couched in equally general terms. Adultery, נאף, which is used in Leviticus 20:10 of both man and woman, signifies (as distinguished from זנה to commit fornication) the sexual intercourse of a husband with the wife of another, or of a wife with the husband of another. This prohibition is not only directed against any assault upon the husband's dearest possession, for the tenth commandment guards against that, but upholds the sacredness of marriage as the divine appointment for the propagation and multiplication of the human race; and although addressed primarily to the man, like all the commandments that were given to the whole nation, applies quite as much to the woman as to the man, just as we find in Leviticus 20:10 that adultery was to be punished with death in the case of both the man and the woman. - Property was to be equally inviolable. The command, "Thou shalt not steal," prohibited not only the secret or open removal of another person's property, but injury done to it, or fraudulent retention of it, through carelessness or indifference (Exodus 21:33; Exodus 22:13; Exodus 23:4-5; Deuteronomy 22:1-4). - But lest these commandments should be understood as relating merely to the outward act as such, as they were by the Pharisees, in opposition to whom Christ set forth their true fulfilment (Matthew 5:21.), God added the further prohibition, "Thou shalt not answer as a false witness against thy neighbour," i.e., give false testimony against him. ענה and בּ: to answer or give evidence against a person (Genesis 30:33). עד is not evidence, but a witness. Instead of שׁקר עד, a witness of a lie, who consciously gives utterance to falsehood, we find שׁוא עד in Deuteronomy, one who says what is vain, worthless, unfounded (שׁוא שׁמע, Exodus 23:1; on שׁוא see Exodus 23:7). From this it is evident, that not only is lying prohibited, but false and unfounded evidence in general; and not only evidence before a judge, but false evidence of every kind, by which (according to the context) the life, married relation, or property of a neighbour might be endangered (cf. Exodus 23:1; Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 19:15; Deuteronomy 22:13.). - The last or tenth commandment is directed against desiring (coveting), as the root from which every sin against a neighbour springs, whether it be in word or deed. The חמד, ἐπιθυμεῖν (lxx), coveting, proceeds from the heart (Proverbs 6:25), and brings forth sin, which "is finished" in the act (James 1:14-15). The repetition of the words, "Thou shalt not covet," does not prove that there are two different commandments, any more than the substitution of תּתאוּה in Deuteronomy 5:18 for the second תּחמד. חמד and התאוּה are synonyms, - the only difference between them being, that "the former denotes the desire as founded upon the perception of beauty, and therefore excited from without, the latter, desire originating at the very outset in the person himself, and arising from his own want or inclination" (Schultz). The repetition merely serves to strengthen and give the great emphasis to that which constitutes the very kernel of the command, and is just as much in harmony with the simple and appropriate language of the law, as the employment of a synonym in the place of the repetition of the same word is with the rhetorical character of Deuteronomy. Moreover, the objects of desire do not point to two different commandments. This is evident at once from the transposition of the house and wife in Deuteronomy. בּית (the house) is not merely the dwelling, but the entire household (as in Genesis 15:2; Job 8:15), either including the wife, or exclusive of her. In the text before us she is included; in Deuteronomy she is not, but is placed first as the crown of the man, and a possession more costly than pearls (Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 31:10). In this case, the idea of the "house" is restricted to the other property belonging to the domestic economy, which is classified in Deuteronomy as fields, servants, cattle, and whatever else a man may have; whereas in Exodus the "house" is divided into wife, servants, cattle, and the rest of the possessions.

Exodus 20:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

fear not

1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said to the people, Fear not: you have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD...

Isaiah 41:10 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you...

prove

Exodus 15:25,26 And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet...

Genesis 22:1,12 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am...

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you...

Deuteronomy 13:3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you...

his fear

Genesis 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

Deuteronomy 6:2 That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, you, and your son...

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him...

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth...

Nehemiah 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine...

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Cross References
Exodus 14:13
And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.

Exodus 15:25
And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them,

Deuteronomy 4:10
how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.'

Deuteronomy 6:2
that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.

Deuteronomy 6:24
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.

Deuteronomy 8:2
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.

Deuteronomy 13:3
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Jump to Previous
Afraid Eyes Faces Fear Fearing Kept Moses Order Prove Sin Sinning Test Try Won't
Jump to Next
Afraid Eyes Faces Fear Fearing Kept Moses Order Prove Sin Sinning Test Try Won't
Links
Exodus 20:20 NIV
Exodus 20:20 NLT
Exodus 20:20 ESV
Exodus 20:20 NASB
Exodus 20:20 KJV

Exodus 20:20 Bible Apps
Exodus 20:20 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 20:20 Chinese Bible
Exodus 20:20 French Bible
Exodus 20:20 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Exodus 20:19
Top of Page
Top of Page