282. CHAPTER FIVE
THE CATECHISM OR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS EXPLAINED IN BOTH THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL SENSES
There is no nation throughout the world which does not know that it is wrong to commit murder or adultery, steal, and bear false witness. Equally it is known that were there no laws against such wickedness, any kingdom, republic or established society would be at an end. So would anyone suppose that the Israelite nation was so much more stupid than the rest as to be ignorant that these acts were wrong? One might therefore be amazed that these laws, which are universally known on earth, were proclaimed in such a miraculous fashion by Jehovah Himself from Mount Sinai. But pay attention: they were proclaimed in such a miraculous fashion, so that it should be known that those laws were not just civil and moral legislation, but also Divine laws, so that acting against them was not only wronging the neighbour, that is, one's fellow citizens and society, but also sinning against God. So by being proclaimed by Jehovah from Mount Sinai they became religious laws. It is obvious that any commandment given by Jehovah is intended to be a religious command, something that must be done, if one is to be saved. But before explaining the commandments I must first speak of their holiness, to make it clear that they have a religious content.
The Ten Commandments were the height of holiness for the Israelite church.