15 May 2014

Every Jot and Tittle: All of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation

Everyone's heard about The Ten Commandments. And although few can list them (not even Jesus or Paul could do that!), many have seen the movie. Here's a clip in case you haven't.

(Of course the Ten Commandments aren't actually listed in the movie and the script bears little resemblance to the biblical text. For example, in the movie, Moses says, "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come to me." -- completely ignoring what he says next: "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.")

But what about all the other commandments in the Bible? They are all God's commands, aren't they?

Here's what Jesus said about it:

Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:18-19
So I thought I'd try to list all of the Bible's commandments, every jot and tittle. That way, when I die, I'll be great in the kingdom of heaven.

I'm not the first to try to do this. The Talmud claims that there are 613 commandments in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures), though it doesn't bother to list them. Some rabbis gave it a shot, though. Here, for example, is Maimonides' list.

When you look at his list, however, it is obvious that some commands are left out. Where, for example, is the command given in Deuteronomy 25:11-12?

When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

Or this one from Exodus 22:3?

If he [a thief] have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Indeed, as I look of the list, most of God's commands seem to be missing. I'll do my best to correct that.

This will not be an easy project, but it seems a worthwhile one. I'll start with Genesis and work my way through Revelation, jotting down every legal tittle I can find.

There will be problems, of course. Take First Samuel 15:2-3 for example.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Now that was a commandment from God if there ever was one. But the context makes it clear that this particular command was meant for Saul only. So it shouldn't be listed in the list of commandments. The list I'm creating will include only general commandments, like the ones in Deuteronomy 25:11-12 and Exodus 22:3, which were quoted above.

I'll try to get a list up from Genesis tomorrow. As I work my way through the Bible, be sure to let me know in the comments if I forget any.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey friend, I have just started working on an excel database to help me learn the Mitzvot's, but I've notice the same as you, that all our predecessors have missed many. And the ones that are listed are abbreviations that misconstrue the command. I would love to collaborate with you.

I am putting them in chronological order, but with tags on them so they can be searched by topic. Not all laws apply to all people, i.e. some for men, women, marriage, priets, temple, sacrifices, Levites, Army, the king, the Moedim, Shabbat (sabbath), the calendar, farming, ranching, enemies, judges, some apply only while in Y'sreal, and so on.

I believe with an extensive database that is searchable/filterable one can easily find what applies only to oneself.

Shalom! (peace)