Purpose of Government – Based on the Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:6. The purpose of Government is to encourage people to do right. What is right and what is wrong is an age-old question, but from a Christian perspective what is right is embodied in the Ten Commandments. Specifically, God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites as a basis for them to live right. God's covenant in regard to the Ten Commandments is stated in Exodus 20:6 saying, “And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments”. The Israelites would be blessed if they loved God and followed God's commandments.


Nine of these core commandments of God carry over to Christianity (“Remember the sabbath day” is a tradition many Christians follows, but it is not specified in the New Testament) . Additionally, most Governments in one form or another have many of the Ten Commandments as the basis for their laws. The Ten Commandments as stated in Exodus 20 are as follows:

1. No other gods before me (Exodus 20:3)
2. Not make unto thee any graven image (verse 4 - see commentary Colossians 3:5)
3. Not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain (Exodus 20:7)
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (verse 8 - see commentary Luke 14:18)
5. Honour thy father and thy mother (verse 12 - see commentary Ephesians 6:2)
6. Not kill (verse 13 - see commentary Genesis 4:8)
7. Not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 - also see commentary Deuteronomy 22:22)
8. Not steal (verse 15 - see commentary Ephesians 4:28)
9. Not bear false witness against thy neighbour (verse 16 - see commentary Isaiah 5:20)
10. Not covet (Exodus 20:17)

EXODUS 20 BIBLE SCRIPTURE Exodus 20:6, “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

The Book of Exodus by Chapter with Commentary