Bible Review 5:6, December 1989

The Nine Commandments

The secret progress of Israel’s sins

By David Noel Freedman

Embedded in the sequence of books from Genesis through Kings is a hitherto unnoticed sequence of violations of the Ten Commandments, one by one, book by book, by the community of Israel, leading, in the end, to her Exile.

I would like to suggest that this sequence of violations may reveal the hand of the final editor of this Primary History—Genesis through Kings—and reinforces its overarching theme: The violation of God’s law, step by step, commandment by commandment, results in Israel’s destruction.

Explaining all this is a tall order; I hope you will find it as gripping to read as I found it exciting to explore. Whether it is also compelling is for the reader to decide. I look forward to the letters that will soon appear in Readers Reply.

The Primary History in the Hebrew Bible consists of nine books:

A. Torah (Pentateuch)

B. Former Prophets

1. Genesis

6. Joshua

2. Exodus

7. Judges

3. Leviticus

8. Samuel

4. Numbers

9. Kings

5. Deuteronomy

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.