613 Laws or Ten Commandments?

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: March 7, 2018

Category: Daily Devotional

Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17

According to one source, there are 613 laws in the Torah, the first five books of our Old Testament. Most of us I suspect are acquainted with the Ten Commandments, which are found first in Exodus 20 and are then repeated in Deuteronomy 5. Of those 613 laws I learned that 248 are “Do’s” and 365 are “Don’ts” That number is really daunting and so I would prefer to try to obey the Ten Commandments than all of those 613 laws.

Of those Ten Commandments, the first four relate to human beings relationship to God. The remaining six concern the relationships between human beings. God gave these Ten Commandments to Moses, who in turn delivered them to the people of Israel. This was a gift! These Ten Commandments were given for the ordering of God’s people’s lives.

A woman said to her husband, “You know I have always wanted to go to the Holy Land … to visit Mount Sinai and see where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Don’t you think that would be a wonderful trip?”

Less than enthusiastically he said, “Yes, I guess it would be good to see that part of our world.”

She replied, “Honey, I just want to scale that mountain and shout those words from the top. Doesn’t that excite you?!”

“Darling,” he answered, “I suppose that would be fascinating, but don’t you think it would be even better if we just stayed home and kept them?”

Take a few minutes today and read the Ten Commandments either from Exodus 20 or from Deuteronomy 5. Then do a little examination as to how well or poorly you are keeping the Ten Commandments,


Dear God, thank You for the gift of the Ten Commandments. Help us to keep them and by so doing please You and enjoy better relationships with our families, friends and even strangers. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.