Gilbert House Fellowship #280: Exodus 18-20

Jebel al-Madhbah at Petra, Jordan

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS were the first instructions given to Moses upon Israel’s arrival at Sinai. And the first command was “you shall have no other gods before me.”

We discuss the commandments and the reasons God had for emphasizing that directive and the one that followed, a prohibition on carved images to represent Him or any other spirit being in heaven, on earth, or “in the water under the earth” (i.e., the abyss). In a nutshell, it’s because the small-g “gods” are real and the pagans believed that idols gave the gods “locality,” sort of like spiritual radio transceivers.

For details on the Amorite kispum ritual, drawn from peer-reviewed, academic, secular research, see our book Veneration.

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Click here for the complete archive of our New Testament Bible studies to date, and click here for the Old Testament studies to date. Or go to for all of the audio.


  1. Speaking of taking the Lords name in vain brought to mind when people say “OMG” or the words. I hate to hear that.

    Also, I have wondered if Oprah asked her pastor or an older believer what it meant when God said He was jealous. I have not heard that she did. What a shame. If she did become a believer, she would be dropped like a hot potato by many who love her now. Lose her influence. To be willing to do that by someone with her power and influence would be really hard to do. The trap of riches and fame. God is able though.

  2. Foreshadow of Pentecost: (19:1 third new moon is the 47th day and 19:11 the third day is day 50, same as the future Pentecost).

    19:14 Type of ritual baptism? Washed in the water of the Word.

    19:18 The fire of Pentecost? True illumination from above (the Holy Spirit brings illumination)

    19:20 Moses went up (type of Rapture?)

  3. The 10 commandments are also in the New Testament:
    No other gods…Matthew 4:10
    No idols…1 John 5:21
    Name of Lord in vain…1Tim0thy 6:1
    Remember Sabbath…Acts 13:42
    Honor mother and father…Ephesians 6: 1-3
    Do not kill…Romans 13:9
    Do not commit adultery…Galatians 5:19-21
    Do not steal…Ephesians 4:28
    Do not bear false witness…Romans 13:9
    Do not covet…Colossians 3:5-6

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