The Jewish and Hebrew Ten Commandments
For the Jews, the Ten Commandments are a special set of spiritual laws that the LORD Himself wrote on two stone tablets (luchot) that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. In the Scriptures these laws are called the “aseret hadevarim,” the “ten words” or “ten utterances”. In rabbinical writings, they are usually referred to as “Aseret haDiberot,” and in Christian theological writings they are called the Decalogue which is derived from the Greek name “dekalogos” (ten statements) found in the Septuagint (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 10:4), which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name.
To the Jews the Torah has a total of 613 commandments which includes the ten from the Decalogue. Traditional Rabbinical Jewish belief is that these commandments apply solely to the Jewish people. Many of these laws were instituted because of sin (example Passover) and hence were in fact only for the Jews because the Gospel did not go to the Gentiles until after the sacrificial law ended at the cross. But the Ten Commandments of course are very much a standalone law for all mankind. They were written by the finger of God, personally spoken by God and were stored in the inside of the Ark of the Covenant under the mercy seat, which represented the very presence of God. Clearly the Ten Commandments are extremely important to God. Most of these other laws have now ended but not so with the Ten Commandments. Some examples of the other laws were unclean (unhealthy) foods, laws to prevent the spread of leprosy, mold in houses or a woman being unclean once a month. Lately I have begun to see attempts to diminish the importance of the Ten Commandments by saying there are 613 laws. But it is obviously not wisdom to compare laws to stop the spread of disease for example to the Ten Commandments that God wrote in stone!