The Ignored Commandment

Beautiful fresh chemical-free
home made soap.

Hi folks

So this post might create some strong opinion - but hey, here goes.

As we probably know, the 10 commandments of the Christian Bible are actually originally the Jewish commandments given to the Jewish leader and prophet Moses direct by G-d on Mount Sinai.  For all intents and purposes these 10 commandments have played an enormous role in the shaping of western society.

Actually, from a Jewish perspective, there are 13 separate statements that make up these 10 commands. The 10 commandments are the basis of Jewish law, declaring G-d's universal and timeless measure of morality unlike the other 613 commandments in the Jewish Torah, which include detailed duties and ceremonies such as the dietary and sanitary laws etc etc.

Nourishing home made bread for 80 cents a loaf.

Here is the very common paraphrased Christian version of the Jewish 10 commandments

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall make no idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

But here is the problem - this Christian paraphrased version leaves out an important Jewish context, especially on commandment number 4.

The easiest way to educate ourselves on the full context and content of these 10 commands is to read them as they are found in the Jewish Scripture.  Most of us however do not own an authentic copy of Jewish Scriptures but many of us would have a Christian Bible hanging around somewhere - the record of the Ten Commandments can be found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, both in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

The joy of freshly laid eggs

Contextually, commandment number 4 actually reads like this (even in a Christian Bible version):

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Now you can instantly see that the oversimplified paraphrase of commandment number 4 is just plainly misleading. An integral and clearly-stated part of this commandment is that we work six days per week. God worked six days a week and likewise should we. We clearly get all happy and excited about the 'sabbathy' do-nothing bit where we just rest up and kick back, yet we conveniently ignore that part of the commandment that clearly states that we must be working six days a week. Gulp. Change the subject? Awkward. (A tidal wave of excuses and protests breaks over me!)

There is so much to be discussed and debated about this subject and this post is getting rather long....however it is there as plain as day - work six days a week.

The total satisfaction of
home grown produce

Mathematically speaking, working six days a week earns Jewish people 20% more income than the rest of us who work five days a week. The implications are endless. The realisations are deep. That 20% is the difference between poverty and wealth. I have SO much more to elaborate on this topic, but it needs to wait for another time to be truly powerful.

We will reference this post again many times over in future posts as we further explore the Jewish phenomena. 

Something to think through. Try not to immediately judge this Jewish fact - just let it sink in.

Take care folks and stay nice.

Mr HM  (Phil)


  1. I am loving this. What a beguiling lost. Thanks for the education, fabulous.

  2. That's interesting. I am now going away to have a think!

  3. Definitely interesting and could help people realize their dreams and goals even faster than working 5 days a week.

  4. If we follow God's command... it's all very simple and clear. Most of all, it is all for our good and benefit. Work concept is what we all need...and a day of rest is just as beneficial:) Thank you for sharing this with us.

  5. Reading the entire scripture does in fact change the interpretation, Thank you Phil

  6. I'm enjoying your discoveries of Torah teaching. I subscribe to a couple of blogs which give exposition on this and I also have learned so much.
    We lose so much in 'translation'.

  7. Hi Phil, religion fascinates me, I don't know much about it, but I've always loved the teachings from proverbs. And the biggy "Treat others how you would like to be treated" one thing I've never understood is if Jesus was a Jew, why aren't we all Jewish? Also why do you spell God like that (G-d) And by working 6 days a week, I suppose you are referencing paid work, but doesn't working at home count? Therefore Needing less money by making/baking/growing etc

    1. Jews spell God as G-d or G_d (or similar) so they do not actually take his name in vain. He is know generically as Adonai (Mighty One) to the Jews. Yes I mean paid work - if you can actually quantify how much you are earning etc by working at home and it is the very best use of your time mathematically, financially, socially and personally then that is fine. That is however a whole new blog post right there as Jewish folk see things a little different when it comes to frugality - they have their own version and it is VERY fascinating!

  8. Fascinating stuff Phil. I had the same reaction as Cheryl - could working at home count? Working at home on a Saturday can save a staggering amount of money - $36 a kilo for organic peaches anyone? But I absolutely see your point about earning an extra 20%. My question then would be, who will do the work at home? As a single parent I'm talking about housework, cooking for the week ahead, getting the kids to activities etc...We have recently adopted a Sabbath for our health and wellbeing and it is brilliant. It is all too easy for work and thoughts of work to just ooze into every minute of your life and I love having an excuse not to do the washing!


    1. So this is where it gets even more fascinating. The Jewish 'take' on all this is also quite different and just as fascinating - I will write a post dedicated to how work at home is easily covered via a completely different value system. Also the Jews view work with a very different perception too - yet another post in its own right. It is fascinating to compare and discuss the differences.

  9. Hello Phil, I am certainly not a scholar, when it comes to this subject, however I am a Christian. I believe God sent His Son to actually save us from our sins so we could have a personal relationship with the Father. I believe that our Jewish brothers and sisters believe The Christ has not yet come to save mankind. This is stating this as simply as I know how and there is so much more to this, however I am really enjoying what you are researching and writing.
    Am inclined to agree with Cheryl about working in the home. I also believe we need to maintain our homes which in our society is usually 5 days paid work which gives us time on Saturday to maintain our home, thus saving costly repairs through neglect. Of course many would rather work longer hours and pay others to do the maintenance, which is another way to work this. Looking forward to further posts on all this and enjoying being able to read about others thoughts without the disrespect we often see when faith is the subject.
    Blessings Gail

    1. Hi Gail - I am not too concerned about the differences in the Messiah topic as even within Christianity there are big differences over this topic too. My fascination with all things Jewish is that their wisdom is millenia old and has survived every world and social disaster - it is word talking about and discussing for sure. I have posts about the other thigs you have raised too as Jews have a completely different view on work at home which is certainly worthy of comparison to our view on it. It really gets the mind ticking.

  10. As you are referencing from scripture, I will take my understanding of what "work" meant in Jewish traditions, from an ancient perspective - I'm not sure how it translates into present Jewish traditions. But work meant (back then) feeding yourself, your family and taking care of all manner of life, on your land. Including animals.

    So it was largely an agrarian based economy, with minimal trade in money. So to work 6 days, meant working mostly from home, on the land, with your household, plants and animals. You sold the excess you produced to gain money - so the wealth came via how productive your land was.

    That tradition may have changed over the generations, to accommodate the reality of a modern economy. Which is understandable. But does it contain the context of the commandments? For example: if God knew the stress involved in working in a modern job, away from your family - would he insist it meant working 6 days? Or was it written for a time, people would be working close to God's work - his land, creatures and families?

    Not suggesting your translation is wrong. I don't know much about modern Jewish traditions. Just wondering if you noticed the shift in economic realities though, and how it changed the nature of the work, God was asking his people to do for six days out of seven?

  11. I dont believe in any faith
    But I did love shelley winters!

  12. I had this conversation with my husband last year (we too have been back in the Bible about the full Sabbath commandment) and it's quite interesting when you let it sink in because then you accept 6 days of work (and do it) making the Sabbath a most wonderful gift. Really enjoying these posts, Mr HM.

  13. Re working from home or at home I guess Prov 31 has it covered.
    Good points Chris.
    Phil, I am finding this extremely interesting.

  14. Phil, I haven't clicked over to read your posts for ages and today I found this one! I have a post on my blog called "My Day Off". We try to live by the full commandments, including this one. We take our Sabbath Day seriously, we don't work, we rest, think, ponder, relax and revive, ready to face the work of the week ahead.

    1. There is certainly a powerful wisdom in it. I will go and have a look at your post now.....


Post a comment