The Ten Commandments in Genesis?

Is it really true that the Ten commandments were only for the Jews? The following is a very brief study outlining that the Ten Commandments were in fact existing in Genesis long before it was codified in Exodus 20.

First Commandment in Exodus

"I am The Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:2-3, RSV).

First Commandment in Genesis

"Your fathers lived of old beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods" (Joshua 24:2, RSV)

“I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son” (Gen. 24:48).

Second Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; ..." (Exodus 20:4-6, RSV).

Second Commandment in Genesis

“I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son” (24:48).

"Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments; then let us arise and go up to Bethel, that I may make there an altar to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone." (Genesis 35:2-4, RSV).

Third Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not take the name of The Lord your God in vain; for The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain" (Exodus 20:7, RSV).

Third Commandment in Genesis

Seth and his descendants “began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26).

"and so profane the name of your God ... for all of these abominations the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled" (Leviticus 18:21,27, RSV).

Fourth Commandment in Exodus

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…; for in six days The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11, RSV).

Fourth Commandment in Genesis

"And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation" (Genesis 2:2-3, RSV).

The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27).

"Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none" (Exodus 16:26, KJV).

Note: The Fourth Commandment was in effect before the law was given at Mount Sinai.

Fifth Commandment in Exodus

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which The Lord your God gives you" (Exodus 20:12, RSV).

Fifth Commandment in Genesis

"When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan" (Genesis 9:24-25, RSV).

Note: Long before Sinai, Noah's son sinned by dishonoring his parent

Sixth Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13, RSV).

Sixth Commandment in Genesis

"And The Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand" (Genesis 4:10-11, RSV).

Note: The first murder occurred when Cain killed Abel. It was recognized as a sin and Cain was marked and banished.

Seventh Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14, RSV).

Seventh Commandment in Genesis

Genesis 20:3-4, 6: “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are but a dead man, for the woman which you have taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, will you slay also a righteous nation?…And God said unto him in a dream, Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; for I also withheld you from sinning against Me: therefore suffered I you not to touch her.”

"But he refused and said to his master's wife, ‘Lo, having me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand; he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God" (Genesis 39:8-9, RSV)?

Note: When Joseph refused to commit adultery with Potiphar's wife he recognized it as a sin.

Eighth Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15, RSV).

Eighth Commandment in Genesis

"Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat" (Genesis 3:11, RSV)?

Ninth Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16, RSV).

Ninth Commandment in Genesis

"And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die" (Genesis 3:2-4, RSV).

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44, RSV).

Tenth Commandment in Exodus

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's" (Exodus 20:17, RSV).

Tenth Commandment in Genesis

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit" (Genesis 3:6, RSV).

Note: Coveting was a sin that began very early, right in the Garden of Eden.

These examples show that all the Ten Commandments preceded Moses. From Adam to Moses, all men had sinned—had broken God’s laws, the Ten Commandments. That is why God commended Abraham, saying, “Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws” (Gen. 26:5). See the following links for a more detailed explanation of the law in Genesis.