Sunday, February 17, 2013

Exploring the Commandments Part 2-The Topics

This is part 2 in a multi-blog series (you can read part 1 here). I created this series to take an in-depth look at the commandments, by sorting them into overarching categories/topics. Each blog post will go in depth on a topic or two, and emphasize a few commandments of note in each one. What categories did I come up with?

(The original list of all 613 commandments in their textual order that I used came from the site Hebrew4Christians. <>*)

1. God: How does God instruct us to interact with Him?

2. Idols: Instructions about idols…don’t.

3. Sabbath: Instructions on the 4th of 10 commandments, concerning the day of rest.
4. Feasts of the Lord: Instructions on the 7 feasts of the Lord. This one will become a 7-9 blog mini-series due to my excitement (in the future).

5. Torah and Leaders: Instructions regarding the Word of God and leaders.

6. Business Ethics: Instructions

7. Welfare/Protection for the Marginals: Instructions for protecting those on the margins of society (women, children, orphans)

8. Servants/Inferiors: Instructions for interacting with those of a lower social status.
9. Judges: Instructions for justice.

10. False Prophets: Instructions about false prophets and its toleration…don’t.
11. Witchcraft: Instructions about witchcraft and its toleration…don’t.
12. Family: This is an overarching category. All instructions are divided into the two main categories below.
      a) Parent-Child: Instructions concerning interacting with parents.
      b) Marriage: Instructions concerning marriage.
            1. Adultery: Instructions concerning adultery…don’t.

13. Rebellious Cities: Instructions for dealing with cities in rebellion.
14. Other Nations: Instructions for interacting and remembering other nations.
15. Sanitation: Instructions concerning basic sanitation.
      a) Lepers/Unclean: Instructions for concerning those who are unclean.
16. Clothing: Instructions concerning clothing.
17. Other: Instructions that I couldn’t sort into another category.

Does every commandment apply to every person?
      Many commandments specifically are for priests. If you aren't a priest, it's not applicable.
      Many other commandments are for the population as a whole. They do apply.

18. Specific People or Region: This is another overarching category. All the instructions fit into one of the categories below. These commandments are for specific people or regions. Only those taking the Nazarite vow or a priest need to concern themselves with those categories. With no temple (and a commandment saying only sacrifice at the temple), the temple and offerings/sacrifices can’t be put into practice. Jesus is more concerned with what comes out of our mouth than what goes in (and see “take Peter kill and eat), so the dietary isn’t binding.
      a) Nazarite Vow: Instructions concerning the Nazarite vows.
      b) Priests: Instructions for priests.
      c) Temple: Instructions regarding the temple.
      d) Offerings/Sacrifices: Instructions regarding sacrificing (at the temple)
      e) Dietary: Instructions regarding dietary restrictions.

Here is my master list of all 613 commandments, sorted into these 18 over-arching categories.

Parsons, John J.. "Taryag Mitzvot 613 Commandments of Torah." Hebrew4Christians. Web. 2004. <>. 
*used with the author's permission

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