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Bible Commentaries

Scofield's Reference Notes

Exodus 20



Verse 1

So Moses

The Mosaic Covenant,

(1) given to Israel

(2) in three divisions, each essential to the others, and together forming the Mosaic Covenant, viz.: the Commandments, expressing the righteous will of God Exodus 20:1-26 the "judgments," governing the social life of Israel; Exodus 21:1 to Exodus 24:11 and the "ordinances," governing the religious life of Israel; Exodus 24:12 to Exodus 31:18. These three elements form "the law," as that phrase is generically used in the New Testament (e.g.) Matthew 5:17; Matthew 5:18. The Commandments and the ordinances formed one religious system. The Commandments were a "ministry of condemnation" and of "death" 2 Corinthians 3:7-9 the ordinances gave, in the high priest, a representative of the people with Jehovah; and in the sacrifices a "cover" (see "Atonement," (See Scofield "Leviticus 16:6") for their sins in anticipation of the Cross; Hebrews 5:1-3; Hebrews 9:6-9; Romans 3:25; Romans 3:26. The Christian is not under the conditional Mosaic Covenant of works, the law, but under the unconditional New Covenant of grace.; Romans 3:21-27; Romans 6:14; Romans 6:15; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:10-14; Galatians 3:16-18; Galatians 3:24-26; Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 10:11-17. See NEW COVENANT.

(See Scofield "Hebrews 8:8")

See,for the other seven covenants:

EDENIC (See Scofield "Genesis 1:28"); ADAMIC See Scofield "Genesis 3:15"; NOAHIC See Scofield "Genesis 9:1"; ABRAHAMIC See Scofield "Genesis 15:18"; PALESTINIAN See Scofield "Deuteronomy 30:3"; DAVIDIC See Scofield "2 Samuel 7:16"; NEW See Scofield "Hebrews 8:8".

Verse 4

shalt not make

There is a threefold giving of the law. First, orally, in Exodus 20:1-17. This was pure law, with no provision of priesthood and sacrifice for failure, and was accompanied by the "judgments"; Exodus 21:1 to Exodus 23:13; relating to the relations of Hebrew with Hebrew; to which were added Exodus 23:14-19 directions for keeping three annual feasts, and Exodus 23:20-33 instructions for the conquest of Canaan. These words Moses communicated to the people. Exodus 24:3-8. Immediately, in the persons of their elders, they were admitted to the fellowship of God. Exodus 24:9-11.

Second, Moses was then called up to receive the tables of stone. Exodus 24:12-18. The story then divides. Moses, in the mount, receives the gracious instructions concerning the tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifice (Exodus 25-31.) Meantime (Exodus 32.), the people, led by Aaron, break the first commandment. Moses, returning, breaks the tables "written with the finger of God."; Exodus 31:18; Exodus 32:16-19.

Third, the second tables were made by Moses, and the law again written by the hand of Jehovah Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:28; Exodus 34:29; Deuteronomy 10:4.

Verse 18

afar off

For contrast between law and grace, cf. Ephesians 2:13; Luke 1:10 with Hebrews 10:19-22.

Verse 20


(See Scofield "Psalms 19:9").


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Exodus 20:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

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