BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 8, Day 5: Daniel 7

Summary of passage:  Daniel dreams of 4 beasts during the reign of Belshazzar king of Babylon:  a lion, a bear, a leopard, and one with horns.  A little horn appeared among them and spoke.  It was slain and thrown into a fire.  A son of man appeared and was given authority, glory, and sovereignty over all peoples, nations, and men.

The four beasts represent 4 kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome).  Rome is the last and will last the longest.  But in the end Jesus’ kingdom will be established for eternity.


11a)  Daniel saw the son of man come and establish an everlasting kingdom, attended by thousands, and slaying the other beasts.

b)  Jesus is the Ancient of Days in verse 22 and he will judge all.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is in control.  He allows earthly kingdoms to exist.  But in the end, His kingdom shall reign.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It does neither.  It doesn’t trouble me because as a student of history, I know all kingdoms/rulers/countries/tyrants/leaders are transitory and die and Jesus reigns.  It doesn’t encourage me either because the world is a fallen, sad place and even though I know Jesus is coming it doesn’t make living here all that much easier.  I’m ambivalent.

Conclusions:  Weak lesson without reading the commentary due to the fact we are studying prophecy here again and as we’ve learned, prophecy is impossible to understand until it has passed.

We’ve been asked a lot of questions involving encouragement. The definition of encourage is “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; hearten; to spur on, stimulate, to give help or patronage to; foster.”  Our world is so different from Daniel’s world.  Perhaps we know too much. We know all those empires fell.  We have God’s written word about the future and Jesus.  And we have Jesus.  We are so jaded by bad things happening in this world that encouragement is hard to come by.  At least for me, I wall out all the evil happenings in this world, so I’m not a ball of goo.  Thus encouragement is kept at bay as well.

End Notes:  Four winds of heaven connects to Revelation 7:1 and is probably satanic forces.  Four seems to be the number of created universe.  We’re talking Mediterranean Sea here.

Four Visions are Four Kingdoms:  Lion is Babylon, Bear is Medo-Persia, Leopard is Greece, Horned beast is Rome.

A lion is majestic.  A bear is ferocious (think mama bear and her cubs).  A leopard is quick and unexpected.  The horned beast was powerful and lasting.

This is Greece under Alexander the Great who conquered the entire known world in 12 short years. When he died, his empire was divided 4 ways (four heads).  Alexander the Great was a genius–put on earth for the task he performed.  He spread Western culture to most of the known world.  He ushered in the era of rule of the Ptolemiac Kingdom in Egypt.  He forever changed the known world.  He was also taken out most probably by a mosquito (malaria) at the age of 33.  Who else but God could orchestrate such talent and such tragedy?  And all for His divine purposes.

Scholars think the 3 ribs represent the kingdoms Persia conquered:  Egypt, Babylon, and Lydia.

Scholars suggest “the Ancient of Days” is God in Daniel 7:13-14.  Here, the white clothing and hair seem to suggest God and His eternal nature.  Since the son of man is separate here, it makes sense the Ancient of Days is God.  In Daniel 7:22, the “Ancient of Days” is Jesus since he pronounced judgment.  All are one as the Triune God.  We were asked to read this passage in Lesson 3, Day 5.

Fire is judgement in the Bible.

Angels and man surround God as well as books (Book of Life, remembrance, and living).

Revelation 13:5-6 speaks of the boastful words spoken by the Antichrist.

Fun Fact:  The Son of Man was used more than 80 times in the Four Gospels to describe Jesus.

Daniel 2 also discusses the 4 empires–just from man’s perspective.  Here we have God’s.

Daniel is interested most in the fourth beast because it is the most ferocious.

“Against the saints”.  The saints can either be the church or the Jewish remnant (Revelation 12:17; 13:7), causing confusion as to whether we will be on earth for the Tribulation or not.

Most scholars believe the conspicuous horn to be the Antichrist, arising out of some group of ten nations, which in some way has the Roman empire being re-established here on earth.  John Calvin interpreted the 10 rulers as actual Roman emperors, thus saying this prophecy has already been fulfilled.

Number 10:   ten toes (Daniel 2) and ten horns (Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17).

“…time, times and half a time.”  This is three and a half years.  In Revelation (11:2-3, 12:6 and 13:5) this refers to half of the last seven-year period of man’s rule on this earth (the seventieth week of Daniel) otherwise known as the Great Tribulation.

Final thought:  Ready to return to the book of Revelation.

Conclusions to Lesson 8:  In studying Daniel, we are studying a man of faith.  He lived his whole life for God and God rewarded Daniel in return.  He’s a great example of how to live your religion in a secular world.  He stood on faith.  In relation to the book of Revelation, Daniel is one of the people God chose to reveal the future to.  The future we have seen revealed (the fall of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) and the future yet to come (the horn that arose from the 10 horns–the Antichrist).  Albeit the interpretations differ from scholars, God revealed enough to us about the future to be helpful and full of hope.

We see what a life can look like empowered by God.  That is the best lesson of all this week.  This alone is encouraging as we strive for such a life and discouraging as I know my life is no where close to Daniel’s and seems at times impossible to reach.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 8, Day 4: Daniel 6

Summary of passage:  Daniel advanced in the kingdom of Darius of Babylon to the point he was about to be set above the whole kingdom.  His enemies tried to find something to take him down.  All they could find was his God.  So they suggested and had King Darius make a law that says anyone who prays to a god or man except to the king in the next 30 days be thrown into the lions’ den.

Of course, Daniel was discovered praying to God.  Much to Darius’ dismay, he was thrown into the lions’ den.  Darius worried all night.  The next day, Daniel was found unharmed thanks be to God.  The men who had urged the king to issue the decree and their families were thrown into the lions’ den and killed.

Darius issued a decree that God be revered throughout the kingdom.  Daniel prospered throughout Darius’ and Cyrus’ reigns in Persia.


8 )  A decree was issued that no god or man be prayed to except the King of Persia, Darius.  Daniel was a loyal subject of the king, but he was also a loyal subject to the King of Kings.  God won and Daniel prayed to God and he was thrown in the lions’ den.

9)  He was thrown into the lions’ den.  He stood for God.  God saved Daniel.  Darius issued a proclamation that the God of Daniel be revered.

10)  Personal Question.   My answer:  Kingdoms today could be “your little world and anything in it”.  For example, your job, your family, your schools, church, etc.  Truthfully, I’m not really facing any hard choices right now between my faith and the world.  I believe I’m following Him in all that I do and am blessed to be able to do so.  I pray every day for His will and not mine.  I pray for others around the world who do face such choices with such dire consequences.  In the United States, God has blessed the majority of us with an ease in life that we all should be grateful for.

The story alone encourages all Christians to stand tall for Him no matter what the consequences in the big and little things in life.

Conclusions:  I enjoyed just reading the story of the lions’ den again.  Such a powerful story it always strengthens my faith.  What does it have to do with Revelation?  Not sure.  Except to stand for God no matter what kingdom is in power.  The kingdom of God is supreme and no one on earth or in the universe will usurp God.  All kingdoms/governments exist because God allows them to exist for His purposes.  God is in control.

End Notes:  Daniel is in his 80’s now.  He’s been a powerful leader in Persia for six decades and his faith in God has never wavered despite being surrounded by a pagan society.  God used Daniel to spread His name and power to others.  Soon, the Jews will be allowed to return to the land of Canaan and rebuild their temple.  I’m sure the leadership and example of Daniel has gone a long way in bringing this to fruition.

Daniel was such a shining example of integrity that his political enemies had to make up something.  Not the first time man will resort to lies for political gain.

The men played off Darius’ pride.  Darius agreed immediately to such a decree.  Why not?  Who wouldn’t want to be worshipped for 30 days?  Also, this would bring some of the conquered peoples together.

The edict could not be undone because the king was thought to represent the gods.  And what god was ever wrong?

In today’s society, it seems as if men are the ones making our lives miserable by hiring or firing us, breaking our hearts, evicting us, etc.  Really God is in control of everything.  Obey Him and we will never be heartbroken or miserable or downtrodden.  Circumstances come and go but not God.

Daniel changed nothing after the decree.  He still prayed–no more, no less.

Darius did not blame others; the fault was his.  He took responsibility.  Great lesson for us.  Albeit we make foolish mistakes, God can and will amend them for good.  Like with Daniel here.  And the king never stopped working to fix his mistake.  Another good lesson for us.

Sealing the stone was for Daniel’s protection so his enemies couldn’t break in and kill him if they so desired.

Daniel had lions and angels for company all night.  Who wants to sign up for that?

Daniel did not wrong the king with malicious intent.

Daniel was saved by faith alone.  God honored and protected him.  Daniel’s testimony shone God to others.  This should be the pattern for our lives as well.

Key Point:  After the exile in Babylon, the Jews are never known again to practice idolatry. Lesson learned the hard way but one that has lasted!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 8, Day 3: Daniel 2

Summary of passage:  King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by dreams.  He asked his sorcerers, magicians, enchanters, and astrologers to interpret his dreams for him but if they were wrong, he’d kill them and destroy their houses.  If they were right, he’d reward them.  Not trusting his advisors, the King asked them to tell him the dream first, then the interpretation so he’d know they weren’t lying to him.

The advisors told him what he was asking was impossible.  The King, angry, ordered all the wise men killed.  Daniel, wisely, asked for time.  He, Hannah, Mishael, and Azariah asked God for help.  God answered.  Daniel praised.

Daniel told the King his dream:  Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a statue made of various metals.  A rock struck the statue and turned it into chaff, becoming a huge mountain and filling the earth.  Daniel’s interpretation:  the metals represented different kingdoms with the golden top being Babylon that will conquer one another.  God will set up His kingdom which will conquer all and endure forever–that was the rock cut out of the mountain.

King Nebuchadnezzar praised God and rewarded Daniel with ruler over the entire province of Babylon.  Daniel had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego appointed administrators as well.


6a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He praised His name, wisdom, and power.  God changes times and seasons, He sets up kings and deposes them, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning, He reveals deep and hidden things, He knows what lies in darkness and what light dwells within.

Daniel thanked and praised God for having given him wisdom and power, made known to him what he asked, and made known the dream.

I learned nothing I didn’t know before:  God is ruler of all earthly kingdoms and people.  He stands above and they exist only because He allows them to exist.  His kingdom is the only eternal kingdom.

Summation:  Praise for power, might, and communication to man.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Given us a house, given me hope my novel may be published by having agents interested in it, kept my husband’s job safe, healed some physical pain I’ve had this year, made my kids happy with all their activities, blessed us financially, and all the little daily things such as food, clothing, shelter, pets, etc.

7a)  Kingdoms exist only because God allows them to exist.  Kingdoms come and go upon God’s will.  Only God’s kingdom is forever and eternal.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My faith and my life lies with Him.  Period.

Conclusions:  Similar questions we’ve had before for 7b–hope the Second Coming gives us.  This passage relates to Revelation–the fact God’s kingdom is eternal and He will set up one that will never be destroyed (Second Coming).  Great reminder that kingdoms (governments for us) are transitory by God’s design.  Why worry over something God has?  Good lesson despite the preponderance of personal questions.

End Notes:  Debate continues over whether or not Nebuchadnezzar remembered the dream or not.  It’s hard to say from this passage.  What Nebuchadnezzar was asking from his advisors was not a stretch–their job was to be in contact with gods–the ones who sent Nebuchadnezzar the dream in the first place–so why shouldn’t they be able to tell it to him?

The Babylonians believed dreams were how the gods communicated to people.  If you try to remember this,  you can see how important this dream was to the King of Babylon and how important its interpretation would be.

Fun Fact:  Daniel 2:4-7:28 is written in Aramaic.  This is the only section of the Bible written in Aramaic.  Only the book of Ezra is similarly split.

Why?  Aramaic was the most common language of the people at this time (Alexander the Great is still 300 years away from conquering these peoples and spreading Greek culture and language throughout Asia).  Scholars say the people would have been interested in these sections of the Bible so Aramaic made it accessible to more people.  Furthermore, the astrologers spoke in Aramaic.

The astrologers knew only a god could interpret the dream.  Obviously, no god they knew could.

Why kill all your intelligent men?  Nebuchadnezzar was a new king at this time.  Perhaps he was seeking a reason to rid himself of the old king’s advisors and start anew.  He was probably also testing their loyalty to him and not to the old king (his father).

What do you do in a crisis?  What Daniel did.  Stay calm, ask God, listen and wait on God.  Awesome!

The power of prayer with friends! Awesome!

God reveals Himself to us.  It’s our job to understand His revelations–not to understand God’s ways.

Praising God indicates our faith.

Daniel gave God all the credit and diminished himself.  Do we?

Note the order of the metals–from most precious to least:  gold, silver, bronze, iron, clay–all destroyed by a mere rock–Jesus is the Rock.

The other three kingdoms:  Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.  Babylon was at the top because it was an absolute monarchy.  The others were in a sense but by the time we get to Rome, power by the people had taken root.  God is our absolute monarch and is the ideal kingdom.

Babylon lasted 66 years.  Medo-Persia 208.  Greece 185.  Rome over 500.

This prophecy is still in the future.  We will get to the number 10 (Daniel 7:24; Revelation 17:12).  Rome was the last great empire and not one single event (the shattering of the statue) has eliminated governments today.

Interesting how man begins with gold and ends up as dust.  Amazing God’s power and our insignificance.

Friends were promoted as well–they helped when they prayed together.  Powerful!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 8, Day 2: Daniel 1

Summary of passage:  Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, conquered Jerusalem and carried off artifacts from the temple of God.  He brought in some Israelites of royal blood to train for the king’s service.  Among these was Daniel as well as the famous Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Daniel refused to partake of the royal food offered and instead consisted of vegetables and water.

God gave these four increased knowledge and He blessed Daniel with the ability to understand dreams and visions.  These four were the best than the pagan magicians and enchanters in the whole kingdom and were prominently rewarded.  They served Nebuchadnezzar through King Cyrus.


3)  Daniel resolved not to defile himself with royal food and wine.  He set up a test for ten days to consist on nothing but vegetables and water and at the end of ten days he and others looked healthier and better nourished than those eating royal food.  Result:  Daniel did not have to defile himself.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer;  God gave them knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.  He gifted Daniel with the ability to understand visions and dreams.  They rose in prominence in the Babylonian political realm.  This shows me how God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.  He rewards faithfulness.  God is good.  God never abandons His people.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Daniel is the prime example of a Christian living amongst pagans. He excelled with God’s help, achieving success without bending his own principles of integrity and personal and religious beliefs.  He’s the perfect example of how one can serve both God and the state.  His story is encouraging especially today where society is pushing beliefs against the Bible on others.  If we are faithful, God will be as well.

Conclusions:  I’m always skeptical as to why we interrupt our study of one book of the Bible and jump to another book.  I’m so chronologically oriented that I’d prefer to chug on through the book and then come back to others at the end of the study.  I like Daniel and studying him but we can do that in the “study of Daniel”.  I’d rather have spent this time on exploring the subtle nuances of the book of Revelation.  There is so much in Revelation we could spend years studying it.  Will be interested to see how this connects with this study.

End Notes: We are now in the 500’s BC–close to 600 years before Revelation was written.  Nebuchadnezzar showed his sagacity by taking the young men for indoctrination.  This was the best and brightest Judah had to offer and he didn’t want them rising up against him.

Food was a big deal back then.  Royalty obviously ate better than the plebeians–MUCH better.  Most peasants’s diet consisted of watered-down wine, bread or other grains, and little meat.  Royalty ate meat, vegetables, and other exotic foods.  This tactic was to turn the captives dependence on Babylon.

This food was not kosher (acceptable food that satisfies the Jewish law) and was food used to sacrifice to idols and was used socially.  Daniel wanted no part of it.

Great example of being faithful to God in the little things.  Faith first.  The rewards.

Also note Daniel’s protest is peaceful and courteous.  You gain nothing with meanness.  Furthermore, he showed concern for the chief who was worried about repercussions.  He did not put that man’s life at risk.  Godly wisdom at its best.

Just for Fun:  Actual menu served at a royal feast in 1387 (Medieval Times):

14 oxen lying in salt

2 oxen, fresh

120 heads of sheep, fresh

120 carcasses of sheep, fresh

12 boars

14 calves

140 piglets

300 marrow bones

lard and grease, enough

3 tons of salt venison

3 does of fresh venison

50 swans

210 geese

50 capons of high grease

8 dozen other capons

60 dozen hens

200 pair rabbits

4 pheasants

5 herons and bitterns

6 young goats

5 dozen young hens for jelly

12 dozen young hens to roast

100 dozen pigeons

12 dozen partridges

8 dozen young rabbits

10 dozen curlews

12 dozen whimbrels

12 cranes

wild fowl, enough

120 gallons milk

12 gallons cream

40 gallons of curd

3 bushels of apples

11 thousand eggs

Taken from It’s Disgusting and We Ate it! by James Solheim

Typical Roman Fare (Taken from Ancient Agriculture by Michael & Mary B Woods):

The poor Romans lived on bread, olives, mashed beans, chickpeas, wine, cheese, salted fish, and very small amounts of meat.  A treat would be honey, milk, or porridge.

Rich Romans had lavish banquets, a sampling of which would consist of oysters, mussels, swans, venison, lobsters, pheasants, pig, duck, turkey, gazelle, etc.

Wealthy Romans would often stuff themselves at these banquets and then would visit the vomitorium, a room just off the banquet hall, where they would stick a straw down their throats, vomit, and then return to stuff themselves again.

All such a waste when the poor all around would be starving.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 8, Day 5: Exodus 20:18-26

Summary of passage:  The Israelites were afraid upon hearing God speak and asked Moses to speak to them now on for God because they were sure they would die if God continued to speak to them.  Moses told them to not be afraid and that God was testing them so that they would have the fear of God in them and they wouldn’t sin.

God told Moses to tell the people to not make any gods of silver or gold alongside of him.  Instead, make altars and sacrifice to Him and He will bless them.


10a)  One is fear to the point of death or tormenting fear out of guilt; the other is a healthy fear which makes you do things you normally wouldn’t do because you are afraid of the consequences.  This leads to honor and reverence.  One is irrational; the other rational.

b)  The irrational fear can lead to sin in an effort to protect yourself.  You are so afraid that you’d do anything. This fear can drive you crazy.  The rational fear allows you to think through your actions first because of the consequences of your actions. This can lead to a better life if you think for example of how your words would hurt others before speaking them.  One leads to despair; the other leads to obedience and love.

Think of it like a parent:  we discipline out of love.  Our kids feel that love because we are teaching them how to be a human in this world.  God is our parent.  We should revere and fear Him.  For His love is beyond anything imaginable.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be honest, neither.  I don’t have a trembling fear for my life nor am I guilt-ridden.  Nor do I think I fear God enough for the consequences of my actions.  I am too selfish sometimes and thus should work more on this.  I fear I fail more than I would if I did fear Him more.  I think fear resides just sometimes it’s so repressed I don’t know it’s there when I should know it’s there.

11a)  That they have seen for themselves God speaking from heaven.  He is a spirit and not an image.  So we must worship Him as well with our spirit.

b)  To make any gods of silver or gold to go alongside Him.

c)  We worship God with our hearts.  We worship Him as the Holy Trinity.  We worship Him as the unseen Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us.  We worship His mightiness and His presence.  We do not worship the church or altar or any graven image of Him.

12)  Our God is not a God of adornment.  He does not need fancy or expensive gold and silver.  He is seeking our hearts and whatever you bring with the right heart is sufficient.  He would probably accept no altar but just the sacrifice if it was made from the heart.  Furthermore, an altar of dressed stone would draw attention more to the carver and “what a beautiful altar” it is.  This is all about God as it should be. Simple suffices.

13)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  Wherever God is honored, He will come and bless you.  It gives me the hope that as long as God is honored, I will be blessed.  And even in my failings, God will bless me as I atone for my sins–ask forgiveness, receive His grace, and accept Jesus as my Savior.  All this He blesses.

Conclusions:  Good questions on healthy fear of God and the fleshing out of how God desires our hearts and our atonements for our sins, not meaningless presents covering in gold.  And as I honor God, He will bless me.  Honor His name and receive.  Simple!

Reminds me of those plaques with Joshua 24:15:  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

End Notes:  Most encounters with God in the Bible inspire fear instead of awe.  I hope I would be awed and honored and desire more and more like Moses did, but it’s hard to say.

The Hebrew word here for lightning is the same as found in Genesis 15 when Abraham makes his covenant with God.

Note how Moses stands in the place where Jesus will stand in the future–between us and God.

1 John 4:18-19:  “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us.”

Interesting to Note:  God knew we would sin; hence, His provision of atonement with the offerings and the sacrifices.  How wonderful is our God!

God did not want human flesh to be seen on His altar because it was impure.

Personal Commentary:  To be honest, this passage stumped me.  I didn’t get much out of it.  Thus, I did resort to commentary to tell me what I was missing.  As a result, you see my answers.  Before, there were blanks.  Now, I feel like I got it somewhat.  I feel like I understand God and what He desires from me a bit more.  I feel closer to Him ever so slightly.  And this was all due to commentary from someone else who told me what God was trying to get at here.

So to those of you who struggle with the meaning of God’s word:  you are not alone.  Thousands of years and language barriers and translations is just one obstacle we must overcome. Not to mention how God’s ways are not ours.  So my encouragement:  keep at it.  Keep striving and learning and reading and re-reading the passages.  Yes, God will speak to you.  But He also speaks through others who have taken the time to write down analysis.  Take heart!  He is here.  Next to you.  And He will meet you so that you may know Him and be closer to Him.  Even if it’s just a millimeter.  And I’ll take every millimeter I can get!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 8, Day 4: Exodus 20:12-17

Summary of passage:  The last six Ten Commandments given to Moses by God that apply to people’s relationships with one another.

Honor your father and mother.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.


9)  Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16:  Honor your father and mother.  God promised if you do you may live long in the land the Lord gave you and Deuteronomy adds so that it may go well with you in the land.  Ask God to have a good relationship with my parents.

Exodus 20:13:  You shall not murder.  Ask God to tame my anger.

Exodus 20:14:  You shall not commit adultery.  Ask God to tame my emotions and capture my thoughts.

Exodus 20:15:  You shall not steal.  Ask God to tame my selfishness.

Exodus 20:16:  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  Ask God to quiet my tongue and follow Jesus’ Golden Rule and not engage in gossip.

Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21:  You shall not covet or set your desire on anything that belongs to your neighbor including his house, wife, servant, ox, donkey, etc.  Ask God to have peace with what I have and to focus on Him and His purpose for my life; the rest will take care of itself.

Conclusions:  Short but sweet.  These commandments are very straightforward so us dumb humans can comprehend them. Sometimes I think relationships with people are harder than a relationship with God because God is perfect and people are not.  Most of us will never murder one another but we could with our words and our spite.  Adultery can be committed in the mind as well.  Stealing is as simple as not paying for a forgotten item in a grocery cart.  Gossip for us women is hard to avoid but we can choose to not engage in it.  Coveting (desiring something that doesn’t belong to you) is especially hard for us in the Western World who are bombarded by advertisement and celebrities that fuel this desire and our lax culture who say it’s okay to want what others have.  If we have God, we have enough and I believe this is God’s point here.  You should desire Him more than anything else in this world.  Nothing else matters.

End Notes:  Fifth Commandment:  Care for your parents throughout their days.  Not all that long ago, it was customary for your parents to live with you until they died.  Now we shove them in homes and pay others to care for them.  Care for your parents as they have cared for you.

Sixth Commandment:  The two words in Hebrew here means “unjustified killing”.  This does not prohibit justified killing i.e. self-defense, etc.  Jesus expanded this to mean killing in the heart as well (Matthew 5:21-26) and wishing they were dead.

Seventh Commandment:  The Old Testament clearly outlaws adultery and the punishment is death (Deuteronomy 22:22).  The Old Testament also addresses sleeping with a virgin and the punishment for that (usually marriage–Exodus 22:16), which is pre-marital sex.  Again, Jesus expanded this in Matthew 5:27-30 to mean even just looking at someone in a desireous way can be committing adultery if it is committed in the heart.

Eighth Commandment:  We can also steal from God what is rightfully His by not fulfilling His commands such as tithing or serving Him or anything else that involves giving of ourselves up to Him. (Malachi 3).

Ninth Commandment:  This is also slander and gossip and lying.  This was the sin that sent Jesus to the cross when false witness after false witness testified against him.  Satan is behind it all and instead of “speaking our minds”, we should prayerfully control our tongues first–something I’m bad at.

Tenth Commandment:  This one is aimed at our hearts.  There is nothing wrong with desiring things except when it is something possessed by another.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 8, Day 3: Exodus 20:1-11

Summary of passage:  God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.  Here, we study the First Four, which address the people’s relationship with God.

1)  You shall have no other gods before me.

2)  You shall have no idols of any form for I am a jealous God.

3)  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4)  Keep the Sabbath holy.


7a)  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a tough one.  In every way.  God’s grace, love, mercy, understanding, light.

8 )  Exodus 20:3:  You shall have no other gods before me.  Ask God to always have Him at my center.

Exodus 20:4-6:  You shall have no idols of any form.  God warns that he will punish the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hat him but show love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and Keep His commandments.  Ask God to have Him at my center and to listen to Him and not to the world.

Exodus 20:7:  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.  God warns He will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.  Ask God to temper my anger and keep a clean mouth.

Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15:  Keep the Sabbath holy.  God blessed the Sabbath.  Ask God to allow me to rest in Him always and forever.

Conclusions:  I like how the Ten Commandments are broken up, especially after yesterday which I thought was a lot to take in.

End Notes:  We cannot underestimate the weight of the Ten Commandments here and what it meant.  Finally, for the first time in the history of the world, mankind (specifically the Israelites) have a binding treaty with their God.  For millenia, people worshipped fickle gods who may or may not be pleased with offerings or with their behavior.  Here, God has told His people exactly what He expects from them and what will please Him and how to live their lives.  This is a momentous occasion and the people know it.

This concept is very hard for those of us who have known God our entire lives to go back 4000 years. Can you imagine the hope?  God is promising if you obey Him, He will take away diseases, struggles, and war and usher in a secure, wealthy society.  It’s almost as if God is offering us a second chance after the Fall.  Can you know imagine and take in the heartbreak of God when His people failed Him again?

We must remember the people THEMSELVES heard God speak these words.  They were so afraid that they asked Moses to be the one to deliver God’s words from now on (Exodus 20:18-19).  Can you imagine?  I want to hear God’s voice!!

Are the Ten Commandments new?  No.  These are laws that have been in the heart of man since Adam.  They are deep in our consciouses, rooted in nature, rooted in our souls.  God just put these into words.

This is God’s Laws, NOT Moses’ laws despite the fact they are commonly known as the Mosaic Law.  God spoke these, NOT Moses.  This is ALL God.  NO man is above God. He is the highest law of the land.

The Code of Hammurabi, the closest analogy to God’s laws at this time, focuses on the ruler, Hammurabi. It is laws about his supremacy, not any god, much like rules from our government today.

God is the ultimate authority, not man’s fickleness or idea of what is right or wrong.  We need God’s moral code to teach us, to guide us, to set expectations and consequences if we fail, to serve as an impetuous.  Otherwise, it would be all about “me” and not about Him or others.

The Commandments and all of God’s decrees are a gift from Him to His people.  Without them, we’d be lost.  We need the moral guidance, instruction, and impetuous.  Otherwise, life would have no meaning.

First Commandment:  The Commandments are listed in order of importance.  We must remember polytheism is the norm.  Monotheism is a new idea.  Here God takes great pains to say He is the only one out there.

Note how first God delivers the Egyptians.  First He provides for them.  First He meets their needs.  Then He issues His laws.  He blesses first, then asks for obedience.  Amazing!

Second Commandment:  Again, this time period has people worshipping thousands of man-made objects. God spoke with words, not images.  God is a Spirit, not an object.

God must be supreme for our own good, not God’s.  With Him at the center, we flourish.  With other things at the center, we sin.

As long as you love God, you will not be punished.

Third Commandment:  Self explanatory.  Revere God and His name.

Fourth Commandment:  Remember the Rest.  Remember that we rest in Him through Jesus. Every day should be a rest as we remember the finished work of God.  We remember and celebrate God every day, not just on Sundays.

But as God rested physically, so should we.  From work.  We are not to be idle.  We are to work, THEN rest.

Under the New Covenant, no one is under obligation to observe a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11). Galatians 4:10 says Christians are not bound to observe any day or week in particular. “The rest we enter into as Christians is something to experience every day, not just one day a week – the rest of knowing we don’t have to work to save ourselves, but our salvation is accomplished in Jesus (Hebrews 4:9-10).”  Credit to Enduring Word commentaries.