Photo and Commentary ©2024 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, March 30, 2024

A little over a week ago, passing by a neighbor’s yard, I got a chuckle out of this lawn-edging block. It looks a little like the Ten Commandments—except that there’s an extra hump. So what does this mean? Are there fifteen, not ten, commandments?

Actually, there are 613. According to Jewish scholars, that’s how many commandments Moses relayed from God, after God spoke the Ten. These commands deal with three basic areas: ceremonial laws, which prescribed which sacrifice to bring for which sin; civil laws, which gave rules for governing the nation; and health laws (sanitation, clean and unclean meats, how to decide whether or not you have leprosy, and so on.)

No, wait. There are actually only two commandments—two main ones. In response to a questioner, Jesus listed them in Matthew 22: “Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37 – 40 NKJV)

So what’s the answer to this multi-commandment dilemma? It’s far simpler than you might think. Check out the link below for some of what the Bible says about this complicated but beautiful subject.