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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

Shorty*: How Do the Ten Commandments Comport with Free-Will?

A Divine Commandment is always fulfilled, to the letter.

An example:

“And Elohim said: “Let there be light”, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).

If that is so.

If divine command, by definition, is always fulfilled:

  • How is it that the same has not materialized with regard to another set of Divine Commandments, the Ten Commandments?
  • How come that since its inception at Mount Sinai, about three thousand and three hundred years ago, we are witnessing violating of the Ten Commandments by the human species throughout history, abundantly, continuously, right, left and center?

And more generally:

How do the Ten Commandments comport with free-will, endowed by The Creator onto humankind, the created?

Free-will is emphasized in the Bible, again and again:

  • “See, I set before you today life, and that which is good; and death, and that which is bad” (Deuteronomy 30:15);
  • “I call Heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; Therefore, choose life that both you and your seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Hebrew prophets, likewise, do not cease to insist (emphasized mine):

  • “He has told thee, O man, what is good and what does Jehovah requires of you, but to do justice and love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

If emphasis on free-will is so prevalent throughout the Bible, and given the wide-spread ignoring of the Ten Commandments, throughout history, how should we account for this seeming inconsistency in the Bible?

The answer to this intriguing question is simple and straightforward:

In its original biblical Hebrew, the Bible does not have a concept of “Ten Commandments”.

Instead, biblical Hebrew for the Ten Commandments is “Devarim”.

The root of this word, in its verbal form, means to speak. “Devarim”, literally, implies divine utterances.

A thorough discussion of this concept, with biblical quotes, is delivered in:

“Diber” or “Dever” – Two Modes of Divine Dialogue with Humankind in a World of Free-Will .

* Shorty is a short post