What Were the Ten Commandments World History?

The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles that have played a significant role in world history. These commandments are believed to be the fundamental laws given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and they continue to influence religious beliefs and societal values even today. In this article, we’ll delve into the history of the Ten Commandments and their impact on the world.

Origins of the Ten Commandments

According to biblical accounts, the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God himself on Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago. The story goes that Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt when he received these commandments as a set of moral guidelines for his people.

The commandments are recorded twice in the Bible – once in Exodus and again in Deuteronomy – with slight variations between them. The Exodus account is considered more authoritative, and it is from this version that we derive most interpretations of the commandments today.

The Meaning of the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments represent a basic code of conduct for believers in God. They cover a wide range of moral issues such as respecting God, honoring parents, not stealing or killing, and not coveting what belongs to others.

Here’s a breakdown of each commandment:

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it 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 give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or property.

The Impact of the Ten Commandments on World History

The Ten Commandments have played a significant role in shaping moral and legal codes throughout history. They have influenced religious beliefs and societal values across cultures and continents.

In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the commandments are considered sacred and are seen as foundational to the faith. They have been used to justify ethical teachings and to guide individual behavior.

The commandments have also had a profound impact on secular law. Many legal codes throughout history have been based on these principles, such as the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon, the Magna Carta in medieval England, and the United States Constitution.

Moreover, the Ten Commandments inspired many great works of art, literature, and music. For instance, Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses depicts him holding two tablets with the commandments inscribed on them.


The Ten Commandments are a timeless set of moral principles that have had an enormous impact on world history. They continue to guide religious beliefs and societal values today, influencing individuals and communities across the globe. As such, they remain an important part of human culture and civilization.