The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit
Yeshivat Har Etzion
This parasha series is dedicated
in memory of Michael
Dedicated in memory of Dr. William Major z"l.
Dedicated in memory of Danny Schwartz z"l - may his family be
comforted among the mourners of Zion veYerushalayim.
Dedicated in honor of our soldiers - civilian and military -
may their tears one day be turned into tears of joy. May HaKadosh Barukh Hu have
mercy upon His people and upon His land. Am HaNetzach lo mefached mi-derekh
Differences between the First and Second Appearances
of the "Ten Commandments"
By Rav Mordechai Sabato
Mazal tov to Harav Aharon and Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein upon the
marriage of their son Shai to Rivka Nahir. May they be zocheh to build a bayit
In last week's shiur on parashat Devarim, we noted that the
main component of Sefer Devarim is the "commandments speech," which begins in
chapter 5 and concludes at the end of chapter 26. At the outset, Moshe repeats
the Ten Commandments. In this shiur, we shall review the differences between the
Ten Commandments as recorded in Sefer Shemot and as recorded in Sefer Devarim,
and try to understand their significance.
a. THE PLACE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN SEFER DEVARIM
Let us first clarify the place of these Commandments in Moshe's
speech. He introduces his speech with the following words (Devarim 5):
(1) Moshe called to all of Israel and said to them: Hear,
Israel, the statutes and the judgments which I speak to you this day; learn them
well and observe them to do them. (2) The Lord your God forged a covenant with
us at Chorev. (3) It was not with our forefathers that God forged this covenant
but rather with us we, all of us who are alive here today. (4) Face to face
God spoke with you at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire. (5) I stood
between God and you at that time, to tell you God's word (for you feared the
fire and did not ascend the mountain), saying...
This introduction is followed by the Ten Commandments (ibid.
6-18), and then Moshe recounts the nation's answer, after hearing the
Commandments, and God's response to that answer (ibid. 19-30). At the beginning
of chapter 6, Moshe repeats the preamble to the commandments speech:
This is the commandment the statutes and the judgments
which the Lord your God commanded to teach you to perform in the land to which
you are passing over, to inherit it.
Then, starting from verse 4, Moshe begins a lengthy recounting
of many commandments.
Why does Moshe need to repeat his introduction again at the
beginning of chapter 6, after uttering a very similar preamble at the beginning
of chapter 5?
In my shiur on parashat Devarim, I noted that in many instances
the text repeats a statement that was previously recorded because there was a
diversion from the subject in the middle. I also noted the fact that Rashi makes
mention of this literary principle in his commentary on Shemot 6:30:
"Moshe said before God" This is the statement that he already
made above (Shemot 6:12): "But Bnei Yisrael have not listened to me." The text
repeats it here because there was a change of subject. This is a textual
technique, much like a person who says, "Let us get back to the subject."
We may explain the repetition of what was said in 5:1 again in
6:1 on the basis of the same principle.
In order to understand what the change in subject was in our
case, let us turn our attention to chapter 5, verses 1-5, as quoted above.
Attention should be paid to the tension between verse 1 and verses 2-4. In verse
1, the emphasis is on "the statutes and the judgments which I SPEAK to you,"
while in verses 2-4 Moshe emphasizes, "the LORD OUR GOD forged a covenant with
us at Chorev
FACE TO FACE GOD SPOKE WITH YOU." The covenant forged at Chorev
was made directly with God; God spoke with the nation face to face. This
covenant, then, is different from the commandments speech, in which it is Moshe
who speaks to the nation. The Ten Commandments, referred to here as the
"covenant of Chorev," are not a list of the "statutes and judgments which I
speak to you," for these the nation heard directly from God. The Ten
Commandments, together with verses 2-5, which are their introduction, therefore
represent a deviation from the main subject the statutes and judgments which
the nation is hearing from Moshe personally. In the second part of chapter 5,
starting from verse 19, Moshe explains to the nation why they did not hear the
rest of the statutes and judgments directly from God:
It was, was you heard the voice from amidst the darkness, with
the mountain burning with fire, that you approached me all the heads of your
tribes, and your elders and you said: Behold, the Lord our God has allowed us
to behold His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from amidst
the fire. This day we have seen that God speaks with man, and he lives. Now why
shall we die, for we shall be consumed by this great fire; if we continue to
hear any more the voice of the Lord our God, we shall die. For who, of all
flesh, can hear the voice of the living God speaking from amidst the fire as
we have done and live? You go close and hear all that the Lord our God will
say, and you speak to us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we shall
hear, and we shall do. (5:19-23)
In these verses, Moshe emphasizes that it was the people
themselves who did not wish to hear God's voice directly any more; it was they
who asked Moshe to liaise between God and them. God accepts their request:
God listened to the voice of your words when you spoke to me,
and God said to me: I have heard the voice of the words of this nation, which
they have spoken to you; they have said well all that they have spoken. If only
they would have such a heart to fear Me and to observe all My commandments for
all time, that it may be good for them and for their children forever! Go tell
them: "Go back to your tents." As to you stand here with Me and I shall speak
to you all of the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which you shall
teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to inherit it.
Attention should be paid to the similarity between God's words
in verse 27, and Moshe's words to the nation in 6:1
As to you stand here with Me and I shall speak to you all of
the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which you shall teach them,
that they may do them in the land which I give to them to inherit it. (5:27)
This is the commandment the statutes and the judgments which
the Lord your God commanded to teach you to perform in the land to which you are
passing over, to inherit it. (6:1)
We already noted that the statement in 6:1 is the same as the
statement in 5:1. The repetition arises from the fact that from 5:2 onwards
Moshe deviates from the subject: he does not launch immediately into the
statutes and judgments that are the complement to the Ten Commandments, which he
wants to teach them; rather, he tells them the story of the Revelation at Sinai
and the covenant of Chorev. It should be emphasized that the nation did not
actually need to hear and learn the Ten Commandments from Moshe, since they had
heard them directly from God; they needed Moshe only for the rest of the
commandments, statutes and judgments. It is to these commandments that Moshe
returns at the beginning of chapter 6, and for this reason he repeats there his
opening statement from the beginning of chapter 5. The Ten Commandments are
mentioned here not as part of the commandments speech, but rather as an
introduction and preamble to them. By mentioning the Ten Commandments and the
story surrounding them, Moshe wants to explain how it came to be that the nation
is hearing God's commandments from Moshe.
Furthermore, a study of the "commandments speech" - starting in
chapter 6 shows that Moshe presents it in a structure similar to that of the
Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments represent the general principles, as it
were, and the commandments speech presents the details. The scope of this shiur
does not allow for elaboration of this principle; I shall note only that Moshe
starts the commandments speech with the declaration, "Hear, Israel: the Lord our
God - the Lord is One," which is actually a summary of the first two of the Ten
Commandments. Moshe concludes the list of commandments in parashat Va-etchanan
with a declaration that parallels in chiastic form the declaration at the
end of the first two Commandments:
You shall not bow down to them, nor shall you worship them, for
I am the Lord your God, a jealous Deity Who visits the sins of the fathers upon
the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations, for those who hate
Me, and Who performs kindness to the thousandth generation to those who love Me
and observe My commandments. (5:9-10)
You shall know that the Lord your God is the God, the Faithful
Deity, Who preserves the covenant and kindness for those who love Him and who
observe His commandments, for a thousand generations, and Who repays those who
hate Him to His face, to destroy them. He will not tarry to repay him that hates
Him, to his face. (7:9-10)
It would appear that the discrepancy between the printed word
and the traditional rendition of it, in 5:10 "His commandments," in the text,
read as "My commandments" is related to this parallel. The verbal form
certainly suits the literal meaning of the text, for the first two Commandments
were uttered by God in the first person. The written form, then, appears to be
aimed at hinting to the parallel with Moshe's words in 7:9, and teaches that the
Ten Commandments are indeed God's words, but now they are being spoken by
In summary, the Ten Commandments are not part of Moshe's
commandments speech, but they serve as an introduction to it. They are the basis
upon which Moshe constructs the commandments speech: the commandments in this
speech complement the Ten Commandments which Israel heard with their own ears at
Sinai. In the shiur on parashat Re'eh, I shall hopefully return to this
b. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SHEMOT AND DEVARIM
Let us now discuss the differences between the Commandments in
Sefer Shemot and the Commandments in Devarim. We shall begin by presenting the
differences in capital letters:
(2) I am the Lord your God Who took you out of the land of
Egypt, from the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
(3) You shall not make yourself an idol or any likeness that is
in the heavens above or that is on the earth below, or that is in the water
beneath the earth.
(4) You shall not bow down to them, nor shall you worship them,
for I the Lord your God am a jealous Deity, visiting the sins of the fathers
upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation, for those who
(5) and performing kindness to the thousandth generation for
those who love Me and observe My commandments.
(6) You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain,
for God will not clear him who takes His Name in vain.
(7) REMEMBER the Shabbat day to sanctify it.
(8) Six days you shall work and perform all your labor.
(9) But the seventh day is Shabbat for the Lord your God; you
shall not perform any labor you and your son and your daughter, your
manservant and your maidservant, and your beast, and the stranger who is in your
(10) FOR IN SIX DAYS GOD MADE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, THE
SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, AND HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY, THEREFORE GOD
BLESSED THE SHABBAT DAY AND SANCTIFIED IT.
(11) Honor your father and your mother in order that your days
be lengthened upon the land which the Lord your God gives to you.
(12) You shall not murder;
You shall not commit adultery;
You shall not steal;
You shall not bear FALSE witness against your neighbor.
(13) You shall not covet your neighbor's HOUSE, nor SHALL YOU
COVET your neighbor's WIFE, nor his manservant nor his maidservant, NOR his ox
or his ass, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
(6) I am the Lord your God Who took you out of the land of
Egypt, from the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
(7) You shall not make yourself an idol any graven image that
is in the heavens above or that is on the earth below, or that is in the water
beneath the earth.
(8) You shall not bow down to them nor shall you worship them,
for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous Deity, visiting the sins of the fathers
upon the children, to the third and to the fourth generation, to those who hate
(9) and performing kindness to the thousandth generation to
those who love Me and perform My commandments [lit: "His commandments"].
(10) You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain,
for God shall not clear him who takes His name in vain.
(11) OBSERVE the Shabbat day to sanctify it, AS THE LORD YOUR
GOD COMMANDED YOU.
(12) Six days shall you work and perform all your labor.
(13) But the seventh day is a Shabbat to the Lord your God; you
shall not perform any labor you, and your son and your daughter, and your
manservant and your maidservant, AND YOUR OX AND YOUR ASS and ALL your beasts,
and the stranger who is within your gates, IN ORDER THAT YOUR MANSERVANT AND
MAIDSERVANT CAN REST LIKE YOU DO,
(14) AND YOU SHALL REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE A SERVANT IN THE LAND
OF EGYPT, AND THE LORD YOUR GOD BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THERE WITH A STRONG HAND AND
AN OUTSTRETCHED ARM, THEERFORE THE LORD YOUR GOD COMMANDS YOU TO KEEP THE
(15) Honor your father and your mother AS THE LORD YOUR GOD HAS
COMMANDED YOU, in order that your days be lengthened and IN ORDER THAT IT BE
GOOD FOR YOU upon the land which the Lord your God gives to you.
(16) You shall not murder;
nor shall you commit adultery;
nor shall you steal;
nor shall you bear VAIN witness against your neighbor,
(17) Nor shall you covet your neighbor's WIFE, nor shall you
DESIRE your neighbor's HOUSE, HIS FIELD, his manservant or his maidservant, his
ox or his ass, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.The
differences may be grouped into the following categories:
A. Omissions and additions of the conjunctive "vav"
B. Differences in style: "Remember" as opposed to "observe";
"false witness" as opposed to "vain witness"; "you shall not covet" as opposed
to "you shall not desire."
C. Additions: "As the Lord your God commanded you"; "your ox
and your ass and all your beasts"; "in order that your manservant and
maidservant can rest as you do"; "in order that it be good for you"; "his
D. Differences in order: in the commandment "you shall not
covet," the text in Shemot mentions first the house and afterwards the wife; in
Devarim the order is reversed.
E. Different reasons given for the commandment of Shabbat.
c. RABBINIC EXPLANATIONS OF THE DISCREPANCIES
In explaining the differences between the Commandments in
Shemot and the Commandments in Devarim, we find two major approaches among the
commentaries. The first arises from the following Talmudic passage:
Rabbi Chanina ben Agil asked Rabbi Chiya bar Abba: For what
reason do the first Commandments not mention "good," while the second
Commandments do mention "good"? [Rashi explains that this refers to the
commandment to honor parents, in which we are told, "In order that it be good
He answered him, Before you ask me why the text mentions "good"
there, you should first ask whether or not it mentions good, for I do not know
whether or not it mentions good. Go to Rabbi Tanchum bar Chanilai, who was in
close contact with Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who was proficient in the "aggada."
[Rabbi Chanina] went to him, and [Rabbi Tanchum] said: I did
not hear it from [Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi], but this is what I heard from
Shemuel bar Nachum, uncle of Rav Achi son of Rabbi Chanina (and some say the
grandfather of Rav Ahi son of Rabbi Chanina): "[The word 'good' was omitted from
the first tablets] because they were ultimately destined to be broken."
And what does it matter that they were destined to be broken?
Rav Ashi said: Heaven forefend that good should cease from Israel. (Bava Kama
Rabbi Chanina's question pertains to one of the differences
between the formulation of the Ten Commandments in Sefer Shemot and their
formulation in Sefer Devarim. Rabbi Tanchum bar Chanilai's answer, in the name
of Shemuel bar Nachum, teaches that to his view the Ten Commandments in
Shemot are what was written on the first set of tablets, while the formulation
in Sefer Devarim represents what was written on the second set of tablets.
This approach, which certainly has merit on the level of
homiletical interpretation (derash), is difficult to accept on the literal
level, since according to the simple meaning of the text, Moshe conveys in Sefer
Devarim the same Ten Commandments given on Mount Sinai prior to the sin of the
The other approach, prevalent among most of the commentators,
regards the Ten Commandments as recorded in Sefer Shemot as an exact quotation
of God's words, while in Sefer Devarim they are Moshe's paraphrase. In Sefer
Devarim, the Ten Commandments are brought within the framework of Moshe's
recollection of the Revelation at Sinai as an introduction to the commandments
speech. In this recollection, Moshe allows himself certain slight changes for
the purposes of clarification and emphasis. A prominent representative of
this approach is Ibn Ezra:
For the Ten Commandments written in parashat Shemot are the
words of God, with no additions or omissions, and these alone were written on
the Tablets of Testimony
while the Ten Commandments written in parashat
Va-etchanan were uttered by Moshe. (long commentary, Shemot 20:1)
Ibn Ezra brings powerful support for this view: "The complete
proof for this is that [in Va-etchanan] it is written twice, 'as the Lord your
God commanded you.'" In other words, two of the Commandments in Va-etchanan
contain the expression, "as the Lord your God commanded you" once in the
commandment concerning Shabbat, and then again in the command to honor parents.
Moshe's use of this expression, to Ibn Ezra's mind, is meant to hint at God's
words uttered on Mount Sinai. It appears that Ibn Ezra's intention here was
indeed to explain the literal text. Further on, I shall suggest a slightly
different explanation for these words and try to explain why this addition is
mentioned specifically in the context of these Commandments.
Among the commentators who adopt this approach there are two
sub-categories. One school seeks to diminish and muffle the significance of the
differences between the Ten Commandments in Shemot and those in Devarim. An
outstanding representative of this school is Ibn Ezra in his above commentary.
For example, he writes there: "'Vain' and 'false' mean the same thing, likewise
'covet' and 'desire' are twins." In other words, one should not be so finicky
about the changes that Moshe introduces; what we have is the same message in
different words. This is what Ibn Ezra declared in the introduction to his
Know that the words are like bodies, and the meanings like
the souls. And the body is like a vessel for the soul. Therefore, the rule of
the wise, with regard to any language, is to adhere to the meaning and not to
worry about differences in phrasing, since they mean the same thing.
The other school maintains that the reason for each and every
one of the differences should be sought. I believe that this approach is the
correct one. After all, the text teaches us, "It is not an empty thing for you"
(32:47), and the Sages teach: "If it is empty it is from you; i.e., you do not
know how to explain it" (Bereishit Rabba, 1). Let us attempt, therefore, to
explain as far as we are able - the reason for the changes.
d. YOU SHALL NOT COVET
Let us begin with the discrepancies in the commandment, "You
shall not covet." Concerning the reversed order of the wife and the house, Ibn
God said: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house" because
wise people first purchase a house, then marry a wife, then acquire a manservant
and maidservant, and an ox and a donkey to plow his field; thus, they are listed
in this order in this parasha. But Moshe lists them in a different order, for
young men first desire a wife, and only afterwards a home.
In Ibn Ezra's view, the list as it appears in Shemot reflects
the proper order, while the list in Moshe's speech reflects the reality. In
other words, God's words relate to the ideal situation, while Moshe describes
the practical situation as it is. We have already noted that Ibn Ezra attributes
no significance to the difference between "coveting" and "desiring."
As I see it, despite the originality of this interpretation, it
is difficult to accept it as representing the literal meaning of the text. I
shall therefore propose a different explanation for this discrepancy, which
appears better suited to the literal text. I maintain that the text in Shemot is
constructed in the form of the general and the particular: "You shall not covet
your neighbor's house" is the general principle, the details of which are "you
shall not covet your neighbor's wife nor his manservant nor his maidservant nor
his ox nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor." The word
"house" here does not mean to refer just to the physical dwelling, but rather is
an abstract term including all that belongs to one's neighbor: "your neighbor's
wife, his manservant and his maidservant, his ox and his donkey, and all that
belongs to your neighbor." All of these details, with the wife at the top of the
list, together create the concept of "house." Indeed, our Sages teach: "Rabbi
Yossi said: I have never called my wife, 'my wife'; rather, I call my wife 'my
home'" (Shabbat 118b).
In Sefer Devarim, on the other hand, Moshe divides the
commandment into two levels, drawing a distinction between coveting one's
neighbor's wife and having a desire for one's neighbor's property. Here the word
"house" is mentioned in its simplest sense a dwelling place. Moshe thereby
seeks to make clear that the severity of coveting someone else's wife is
immeasurably greater than the severity of coveting property. Property, once
taken, may be returned, but the coveting of someone's wife damages the delicate
fibers that connect a person's soul to the woman who shares his life, and
undermines the family unit irreparably. The difference between coveting a wife
and desiring a house or field is almost like the difference between kidnapping
people and stealing money. For this reason, Moshe mentions the coveting of the
wife before the desire for property.
It may also be for the same reason that Moshe uses different
terminology: a woman is "coveted," while property is "desired." "Desire" (in
Hebrew "ta'ava") usually implies something material, while "coveting" (chemda)
tends more towards the spiritual and emotional. Moreover, it may be that in
Sefer Devarim, as opposed to Shemot, coveting a wife and desiring property are
being presented as two separate commandments. It is possible, then, that in
Devarim Moshe joins "I am the Lord your God" and "You shall have no other gods"
into the same commandment, while separating "You shall not covet your neighbor's
wife" from "You shall not desire your neighbor's house
and everything that
belongs to your neighbor," into two commandments.
It is certainly true that the text in Shemot does not mean to
suggest equality between the severity of coveting someone's wife and that of
coveting his property. A hint at this is to be found in the fact that although
the wife is included in the list of things that belong to one's neighbor, as an
elaboration of "your neighbor's house," she is nevertheless distinguished from
the rest, since "your neighbor's wife" is mentioned separately at the beginning
of the list, in contrast to "his manservant and his maidservant, his ox and his
donkey, and all that belongs to your neighbor," which are lumped together.
Nevertheless, the text lists them together under the heading of "your neighbor's
house" in order to establish the prohibition of coveting "all that belongs to
your neighbor" upon its common, fundamental foundation: anything that belongs to
your neighbor is prohibited to you, because it belongs to him, and it makes no
difference how severe the infraction.
This difference may also be related to the fact that in Sefer
Devarim all of the latter Commandments are joined together, starting with "You
shall not murder," using the conjunctive "vav." We may explain that in Shemot,
each of these prohibitions is mentioned independently so as to express its
power, independence, and wholeness. In Devarim, these prohibitions are presented
as a collection a sort of list of demands and a progression: You shall not
murder, nor shall you commit adultery, nor steal, nor give false witness, nor
covet, nor desire. These are prohibitions of action, speech, and thought from
the most severe to the least severe, from the most basic requirement to the
requirement that demands a higher moral level. Each demand on the ladder is
greater than the previous one.
e. YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS
Let us now address the difference between "You shall not bear
false witness ('ed sheker') against your neighbor" and "You shall not bear vain
witness ('ed shav') against your neighbor." As noted previously, Ibn Ezra
maintains that there is no difference in meaning between these two terms, and he
makes no attempt to explain the reason for the change in formulation. Ramban, in
his commentary on 5:15, writes:
The meaning of "You shall not bear vain witness against your
neighbor" is to prohibit giving testimony about one's neighbor that is
insignificant and that will not render him guilty of anything in court. For
instance, a person may not testify that "So-and-so said said to give money to
another person, and he did not accept it." For "vain" means something
The word "shav" is mentioned in Tanakh both in the sense of
"worthless" or "for nothing," as Ramban explains here (see also Yirmiyahu 2:30),
and in the sense of "falsity," as Ibn Ezra explains (see also Yechezkel 13:8).
It appears that the context here tends more towards Ibn Ezra's explanation, and
the expression "la-shav" here means something false.
Nonetheless, we must understand why Moshe uses a different term
here from the one used in Sefer Shemot. It is possible that by using the word
"la-shav," Moshe seeks to connect the Commandment, "You shall not take the Name
of the Lord your God in vain ('la-shav')" with the Commandment, "You shall not
bear false witness against your neighbor." He wants to teach us that false
testimony against one's neighbor is considered as severe a transgression as
using God's Name in vain. Support for this hypothesis may be found in the fact
that the word "shav" is mentioned nowhere in the Torah other than in the
Commandment "You shall not take God's Name in vain" in Shemot and in Devarim,
and in the Commandment "You shall not bear false witness" in Devarim, as well as
in one other place in Shemot, 23:1 "You shall not raise a false rumor" which
also belongs to the context of false testimony (see Onkelos ad loc.).
f. THAT IT MAY BE GOOD FOR YOU
Let us now investigate the addition, "That it may be good for
you," mentioned in the Commandment to honor parents. We may approach a solution
to this question if we examine the context of the many appearances of this
expression in Sefer Devarim. This expression, or similar ones, appear in more
than ten places in Sefer Devarim, all of them relating this "good" to reward for
fulfilling commandments. For example, "You shall observe and listen to all of
these things which I command you, IN ORDER THAT IT BE GOOD FOR YOU and for your
children after you, forever, if you do what is good and upright in the eyes of
the Lord your God" (12:28). In other words, in Sefer Devarim the text often
emphasizes that the fulfillment of the commandments is the only way to achieve
"good." Compare what is written in 30:15-16 "Behold, I place before you this
day life and good, and death and evil. That which I command you this day to
love the Lord your God and to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments
and His statutes and His judgments, so you will live and multiply
On the other hand, the commandment of honoring parents is the
only one of the Ten Commandments whose reward the text states explicitly both
in Sefer Shemot and in Sefer Devarim: "in order that your days be lengthened."
The connection between honoring parents and a long life is clear: a person who
honors his parents, who gave him life, will merit to live a long life.
Accordingly, we may say that in Sefer Devarim Moshe seeks to add to the
individual reward for honoring parents longevity also the general reward for
fulfilling all of the commandments. The commandment to honor parents becomes a
model for all the commandments, and its reward similarly is the model of the
reward for fulfillment of all of the commandments.
g. REASONS FOR SHABBAT
The most striking differences, of course, appear in the
commandment of Shabbat. Rambam explains as follows:
Concerning this commandment two different reasons are given,
because they have two different purposes: the reason for the sanctification of
Shabbat in the first Ten Commandments is, "For in six days God created
in Sefer Devarim we read, "You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt;
therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the Shabbat day." And this
is appropriate, since the purpose of the first [version of] the Commandment
[i.e., in Shemot] is to honor and sanctify the day, as it is written, "Therefore
God blessed the Shabbat day and sanctified it." This is the purpose that is
related to the reason, "For in six days
." But the fact that we are commanded to
observe it [i.e. "shamor"] is the purpose related to the fact that we were
slaves in Egypt. We did not labor as we wanted to and when we wanted to, nor
were we able to rest. Therefore we are commanded concerning Shabbat and rest, so
as to conjoin the two things: the belief in the creation of the world, which
shows that God exists, and the memory of God's kindness in freeing us from the
burdens of Egypt. Thus, Shabbat is a general benefit, both in terms of holding
correct opinions [regarding God's existence] and in terms of the well-being of
the body [in granting us a day of rest. (Guide of the Perplexed II:31)
In Rambam's view, the text in Sefer Shemot is speaking about
the actual sanctity of Shabbat. This sanctity is derived from the fact that "in
six days God made the heavens and the earth
and He rested on the seventh day
therefore God blessed the Shabbat day and sanctified it." As a result, man is
likewise obligated to sanctify Shabbat. In Sefer Devarim, in contrast, the text
relates to the People of Israel and explains why they specifically are required
to observe the sanctity of Shabbat: "You shall remember that you were a slave in
the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God took you out of there
Lord your God commanded you to observe the Shabbat day." The departure from the
slavery of Egypt to rest obliges Am Yisrael to commemorate this for all
generations. Using the terminology prevalent in the yeshiva world, we may say
that Sefer Shemot talks about the "cheftza" of Shabbat (the object), while Sefer
Devarim talks about the "gavra" (the subject) the person who observes
It is possible that the change from "Remember" to "observe"
should also be linked to this. "Remember" refers to the thing itself: we are
obligated to remember the Shabbat day, because of its sanctity. "Observe" refers
to man's obligation towards Shabbat, and thus the center of gravity moves from
the sanctity of Shabbat in and of itself to man's obligation in relation to
The addition in Sefer Devarim - "in order that your manservant
and maidservant can rest as you do" - should likewise be attributed to the same
idea. In Devarim, the emphasis is on Israel's exodus from slavery as the
background to the commandment of Shabbat; it is only natural, then, that the
commandment here also includes the obligation to allow one's manservant and
maidservant to rest as well. This may also serve to explain the elaboration,
"your ox and your donkey and all your beasts" all emphasizing man's obligation
to allow everything that he controls to rest, by virtue of having been brought
to freedom by God.
In summary, in Sefer Shemot the emphasis is on the actual
sanctity of Shabbat, while Sefer Devarim highlights the nation's moral
obligation to observe the sanctity of Shabbat. >From this perspective, this
difference is therefore similar to the differences mentioned above in the other
Commandments: there, too, the center of gravity moved in Sefer Devarim from the
object in and of itself to man's obligation in relation to the object; there,
too, the moral aspect of the Commandment was emphasized.
h. AS THE LORD COMMANDED YOU
Let us conclude by addressing the addition, "As the Lord your
God commanded you," which appears twice in the Ten Commandments in Sefer
Devarim: in the commandment of Shabbat, and in the commandment of honoring
parents. We noted above that in Ibn Ezra's view, Moshe is hinting here at the
Ten Commandments in Sefer Shemot, but we must still clarify why this phrase
appears specifically in the context of these two Commandments. Rashbam
"As the Lord your God commanded you" in other words, just as
the reason is explained in the first Commandments "for in six days God made
the heavens and the earth." And because Shabbat observance and honoring parents
are positive commandments, the text says, "as the Lord your God commanded you."
But regarding all the other commandments, which are negative, it is not
appropriate to say, "as He commanded." It is written, "He commands you this day
to perform," but nowhere is it written, "He commands you not to
From the first part of this explanation, it appears that the
phrase "as the Lord your God commanded you" hints at the reason for the
commandment of Shabbat that appears in Shemot and is omitted in Devarim. The
phrase "as the Lord your God commanded you" must be written only where Moshe
leaves out something that was previously included in Shemot. But from the last
part of the explanation, it appears that this phrase should actually be included
in every one of the Ten Commandments, were it not for the fact that the Torah
does not say "as God commanded" in relation to negative commandments.
Perhaps we may suggest a different interpretation: it is
specifically in those two Commandments in which significant changes were
introduced that the text emphasizes "as the Lord your God commanded you." This
phrase does not mean to hint at what Moshe left out of his words; on the
contrary, it emphasizes that also what is written here seemingly Moshe's own
words is also included in what "the Lord your God commanded you." The phrase
teaches that even though Moshe presents a different aspect of the Ten
Commandments in Sefer Devarim, it is nevertheless all part of what "the Lord
your God commanded you." This phrase does not meant to refer to the different
formulation of the Commandments in Sefer Shemot, as Ibn Ezra and Rashbam
maintain, but rather to God's words at Mount Sinai. The very fact that the Torah
includes the repeat version of the Ten Commandments teaches that Moshe's
formulation is to be relied upon. We also learn this from what we read at the
end of the Ten Commandments in Sefer Devarim: "These things God spoke to all of
The first version of the Ten Commandments and the second
version of them therefore represent two aspects of the manifestation of the
Divine will. Although they are two aspects, they arise from the same source.
This embodies the teaching of the Sages:
"Remember" and "observe" were both stated in the same utterance
as it is written (Tehillim 62:12), "One God has spoken; two I have heard."
(Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael, Massekhta de-Bachodesh, parasha 7)
 The Maharal, in Tiferet Yisrael chapter 43, maintains that
the former approach does not contradict this one, but is rather an additional
one see ad loc.
 See also Ramban on Shemot 20:7, and elsewhere.
 In contrast to Rashi, who understand the expression as
hinting at the commands uttered prior to the Revelation at Sinai see his
commentary ad loc.
 The scope of this shiur does not allow us to review the
range of commentaries and opinions offered with regard to these differences. Our
aim here is to present a certain approach, with a few other opinions offered
only with a view to supporting and clarifying it.
 Compare with Rambam, Laws of Knowledge, chapter 5 law
 For this reason it is not appropriate for there to be a
conjunctive "vav" before "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife."
 Compare: "The woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and
that it was desirable ("taavah") to the eyes and pleasant (nehmad) to the
senses" (Bereishit 3:6). The Maharal proposes a similar explanation in Tiferet
Yisrael chapter 45, however his general direction in explaining the differences
in this Commandment is different from ours.
 Ibn Ezra mentions this division in his commentary on
Devarim, but rejects it in his commentary on Shemot. The same division is hinted
at in the division of the 'parashiot' in Shemot and in Devarim. However, neither
Ibn Ezra nor those who divided up the parashiot made a distinction in this
regard between the Commandments in Shemot and the Commandments in Devarim. The
innovation in our suggestion here is that in this detail there is a difference
between Shemot and Devarim.
 Abarbanel suggests a similar idea.
 Abarbanel adopts the same explanation.
 Compare what we learn in Devarim 15:15 in the command to
free a servant: "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt,
and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing
 This formulation follows very closely the explanation
offered by Maharal in Tiferet Yisrael, chapter 44, drawing a distinction between
Sefer Shemot which expresses the perspective of the Giver and Sefer Devarim,
which represents the receiver. Maharal goes on to develop this idea in a
different direction see ad loc.
 Ibn Ezra adopts the same interpretation in his commentary
Translated by Kaeren Fish