We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.
20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,
20:6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
20:7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
20:8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
20:10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work--you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.
20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
20:13 You shall not murder.
20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
20:15 You shall not steal.
20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The division into verses is blurred when this portion is read aloud in synagogue - a special cantillation is used to read this, which delineates the 10 commandments.
For example, verses 2-3 are combined, as are subsequent verses of a single commandment. What you list as verse 17 is technically 2 verses in the Hebrew punctuation. etc.
3) "Before me" echoes the Hebrew idiom - it's literally "on my face" which is Hebrew for "before" in space, time, and rank, as for the English word. But it's literally "in my face".
4) A sculpture, or any image, (of) that which is in the heavens above...
The same word used for "sculpture" is used later when G-d tells Moses to "hew" two new tablets of stone, to replace the originals.
5)"worship them" is literally "serve them"
"Lord your God" is important here - and echoes the parallel between vengeance and kindness that follows. The word translated as "Lord" is the tetragrammon - conflating is/was/will be, and denoting G-d as creator and sustainer of reality.
The word translated as "God" is "Elohim" - literally the Supreme Power, used to denote G-d as lawgiver and judge.
So both the just and kind aspects of God's interaction with us are mentioned.... Our sages connect this mention here to the exact same usage in the Creation story - the world cannot exist without both justice and lovingkindness.
"punishing children..." is literally "who remember/visits the sins of fathers upon sons... "those who reject me" is the stronger "who hate me" or "my enemies" in the original.
6) Verse starts with "and" not "but"!
"Steadfast love" is a word usually translated as "lovingkindess" and used for acts of communal charity - roughly equivalent to Christian "caritas". There are secondary meanings of pity and unearned kindness, rather than reward.
7) The older translation "bear the Lord's name in vain" was closer to the original idiom, and is probably a rare example of a phrase moving from Hebrew to English. In Hebrew taking an oath is poetically described as "lifting" or "bearing up" one's word or name. The sin is specifically about swearing a false oath using God's name.
8) In Deuteronomy it says "Honor the sabbath day" instead of "remember". The homiletic explanation is that God miraculously uttered both words simultaneously.
10) "In your towns" is literally "in your gates" - the attempt to modernize has made the translation less faithful.
12) No gerund in Hebrew, but "the land... gives you" is understood as continued action. In this context - as in most Jewish prayers - use of present tense is also understood as persistent/perpetual action or commitment between God and Israel.
Honoring parents is on the 1st tablet - with the ostensibly divinely oriented commandments - and not on the second tablet of "civil" or human-oriented commandments.
13-15) I often mention how terse Hebrew is - these are blunt, forceful statements of 2 short words each. No niceties or shading - basically :
- and the word for "don't" is simply "NO" in Hebrew.
14) The word translated as "adultery" is a catchall term for venery or sexual misconduct.
16) Literally "don't answer against your neighbor false witness" - which also implies joining in on another's trumped-up claims. Could also be translated as "oppress/harm your neighbor"
The chapter ends with another reminder from God to Israel, that even on Sinai they saw no physical image...