Expositions of the Ten Commandments

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’

Eccl. 12:13

‘I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy Law is my delight.’

Ps. 119:174

‘The Law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.’

Ps. 119:72




Relations between the Tables
1st Command
2nd Command
3rd Command
Lord’s Day

Love & Righteousness to Neighbors
5th Command
6th Command
7th Command
8th Command
9th Command
10th Command



Order of Contents

Shorter  11+
Medium  15+
Longer  14+
Latin  18+

In Commentaries
In Catechetical Commentaries
In Systematics

Jewish  2
Children  1
Poetry  5




Do you love God’s Law like the psalmist does? (Ps. 1:1-3; 119:174)  Like Jesus Christ does? (Ps. 40:8)  For your spiritual feeding, here is solid instruction on the whole duty of man and how to glorify God therein.

While we do not keep God’s Law in order to earn our salvation (which is through faith alone by the grace and righteousness of our Savior, Gal. 2:16), those who are born again through the Gospel and enlivened by the Holy Spirit seek to love, please and glorify God by doing what He says (Jn. 14:15; Lk. 3:10-14Rom. 7:221 Jn. 5:3) by faith and dependence upon Christ (Jn. 15:5; Phil. 4:13).  In doing so, we find that God’s Law is a light to our path (Ps. 119:105), for our good (Ps. 34:11-14; Prov. 3) and that the end thereof is blessing (Ps. 1:1-3Ex. 20:6,12; Jn. 15:10; Jm. 1:25Rev. 14:13).

The Ten Commandments, written in the Book of Nature (Rom. 2:14-15; 13:1-4) and in the Book of Special Revelation (in Ex. 20), are a summary form of God’s enduring Moral Law and part of the revelation of his will for us.  By peering into this spiritual law (Rom. 7:14) and all of its applications (Mt. 5:21-22; etc.), we find the whole duty of man wherein we are to walk.

While we fall short of the glory of God, need his forgiveness daily (Mt. 6:11-12) and continue to struggle against sin with the Spirit’s impetus and help throughout our lives (Rom. 7), yet, we are freed from the power and bondage of the unremitted guilt and penalty of the Law (Rom. 6) in Christ, and find that God’s commandments are not grievous (1 Jn. 5:3Ex. 20:6) but are a Law of Liberty (Jm. 1:25), Christ’s yoke being easy and his burden light (Mt. 11:29-30).

Please read and digest with much faith, repentance and spiritual satisfaction these expositions of the Ten Commandments that God wrote with his own finger (Ex. 31:18).

* – Particularly recommended.  John Calvin, in the Medium Length section below, is required reading.  Calvin, Watson and Plumer rank among the best on the page.

*** – Charles Spurgeon used a three star scale



Shorter Works  10+


Gau, John – A Short Declaration of the Ten Commandments  (†1553)  in The Right Way to the Kingdom of Heaven, pp. 11-25

Gau was an early Scottish Lutheran before the Reformation of 1560.

Bradford, John  d. 1555  English reformer and martyr

A Meditation upon the Ten Commandments  25 pp.  in Writings, vol. 1

Prayer on the Ten Commandments  in Writings, vol. 2, pp. 256-263

Becon, Thomas – The Ten Commandments of God, with Confirmations of Every Commandment out of the Holy Scripture  (d. 1567)  9 pp.  in Catechism  English reformer



Perkins, William – The Whole Duty of Man, containing a Practical Table of the Ten Commandments wherein the sins forbidden, & the duties commanded, or implied are clearly discovered  (†1602; 1674)

Horne, Robert – A Short Exposition of the Ten Commandments in Questions & Answers  (1617)  39 pp.  in Points of Instruction for the Ignorant as also, an Expositition on the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer, by Questions & Answers…

Horne (1565–1640) was an English divine.  See Wiki for a short bio.

Yates, John – A Short & Brief Sum of Saving Knowledge Consisting of the Creed, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer & the Sacraments  (1621)  no page numbers

ch. 3, ‘Of Good Works’
ch. 4, ‘Of Charity’

Yates (†1657) was a reformed, Church of England minister in St Andrews in Norwich.

Boys, John – The Decalogue  in Works, pp. 45-58  1629

Scudder, Henry – pp. 93-110 of The Christian’s Daily Walk  (1631)  Westminster divine

Twisse, William – A Catechism Touching the Ten Commandments  (1632)  23 pp.  from A Brief Catechetical Exposition of Christian Doctrine, Divided into Four Catechisms, comprising the Doctrine of the 1. Two Sacraments. 2. Lord’s Prayer. 3. Ten Commandments. 4. And the Creed.

Twisse was one of the moderators of the Westminster Assembly.

Palmer, Herbert – Questions & Answers Tending to Explain the Ten Commandments  (1644)  7 pp. in An Endeavor of Making the Principles of Christian Religion, namely the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments…

Palmer (1601-1647) was a Westminster Divine.

Fenner, William – Questions 58-104  37 pp.  in The Spiritual Man’s Directory guiding a Christian in the path that leads to true blessedness in his Three main duties towards God: how to believe, to obey, to pray, unfolding the Creed, Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer  GB   (1648)

Fenner (1600-1640) was a reformed, puritan minister.

Andrewes, Lancelot – ‘The Ten Commandments Paraphrased’ in Holy Devotions, with Directions to Pray, also a Brief Exposition upon the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the 7 penitential psalms, the 7 psalms of thanksgiving, together with a litany  (1663)  30 pp.

This is a very brief and simple exposition of the 10 commandments; much more accessible than his larger works below.

Patrick, Simon – pp. 1-6 of A Brief Exposition of the Ten Commandments & the Lord’s Prayer  (London, 1665)

Patrick (1626–1707) was an Anglican bishop and theologian.

Heidegger, Johann H. – 14. ‘On the Decalogue’  in The Concise Marrow of Theology  tr. Casey Carmichael  in Classic Reformed Theology, vol. 4  (1697; RHB, 2019), pp. 95-107



* Hole, Matthew – Discourse on the Ten Commandments  (†1730)  8 pp. in vol. 4 of Practical Discourses on the Liturgy of the Church of England

Hole (1640-1730) was a divine in the Church England.  See a short bio here.



* Scott, Thomas – A Brief Exposition of the Ten Commandments, as comprising the substance of the Moral Law  (†1821)  29 pp.  in Theological Works, vol. 5, Essay 4, pp. 64-93

Scott was an evangelical in the Church of England who was known for his whole commentary on the Bible, amongst other things.



Medium Length Works  (14+)


Hooper, John – A Declaration of the Ten Holy Commandments of Almighty God wrotten Ex. 20, Deut. 5. Collected out of the Scripture Canonical  EEBO  (1548)  180 pp.

** – ‘After the manner of the English Reformers.  The style is harsh to the modern ear, and the matter too much occupied with the controversies raging in the author’s times to be very interesting now.’ – Spurgeon

* Calvin, John  †1564

‘Exposition of the Moral Law’  being Book 2, Ch. 8 of Institutes of the Christian Religion  Buy  see specifically sections 13-51, 43 pp.

Sermons on the Ten Commandments  1581  Buy

Commentary on Ex. 20 & Dt. 5

Cranmer, Thomas – A Short Instruction Concerning the Ten Commandments  (d. 1566)  being 10 sermons in A Short Instruction into Christian Religion, pp. 3-97  English reformer

Knewstub, John – Lectures of John Knewstub, upon the Twentieth Chapter of Exodus & Certain other Places of Scripture  (1584)

Knewstub was a moderate puritan, a follower of Thomas Cartwright and was proposed to succeed William Whitaker.

* – ‘More valuable for its antiquity than for anything else.’ – Spurgeon



Estey [Estye], George – An Exposition upon the Ten Commandments  (1603)  73 pp.  from Certain Godly & Learned Expositions upon Diverse Parts of Scripture as they were Preached

Estey (1560-1601) was a reformed Anglican.

Granger, Thomas – The Tree of Good & Evil: or a Profitable & Familiar Exposition of the Commandments, directing us in the whole course of our life, according to the Rule of God’s Word, whereby we must be Judged at the Last Day  (London, 1616)

Granger (1578-1627) was reformed.

Bunny, Francis – A Guide unto Godliness, or, A Plain & Familiar Explanation of the Ten Commandments, by Questions & Answers Fittest for the Instruction of the Simple & Ignorant People  (1617)  232 pp.  ToC

Bunny was a reformed prebendary in the Church of England, in Durham.

Whately, William – A Pithy, Short & Methodical Opening of the Ten Commandments  (1622)  256 pp.

Whately was a preacher at Banburie in Oxford-shire.

** – ‘Exceedingly scarce, but as rich as it is rare.’

Yates, John – ch. 1, ‘Of the Law’  in A Model of Divinity, Catechistically Composed, wherein is Delivered the Matter & Method of Religion, according to the Creed, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer & the Sacraments  (1622), bk. 2, pp. 297-321

Yates (†1657) was a reformed, English minister in St Andrews in Norwich.

Ames, William – Book 2, chs. 12-21  of The Marrow of Sacred Divinity  Buy  (1623)

Barker, Peter

A Judicious & Painful Exposition upon the Ten Commandments wherein the Text is Opened, Questions & Doubts are Resolved, Errors Confuted & Sundry Instructions Effectually Applied, first delivered in Several Sermons…  (1624)  316 pp.

Barker (1597-1624) was a reformed minister in Dorsetshire, England.  ‘Painful’ in the title referred to taking great pains and labor to expound the text.

** – ‘Old-fashioned, remarkably quaint, and even coarse in places.  Barker’s work abounds in Scriptural illustrations, but it is almost forgotten.’ – Spurgeon

A Learned & Familiar Exposition upon the Ten Commandments  (London: 1633)  2nd ed. much enlarged

Downame, George – An Abstract of the Duties Commanded, and Sins Forbidden in the Law of God  (1635)  192 pp.

** – ‘A sort of catalogue of sins, arranged in a tabular form under the Ten Commandments.  These are the heads and divisions of a larger treatise, which does not appear to have been published.  These mighty men could afford to leave in the oblivion of manuscript works which would cost modern weaklings half a life-time to write.’ – Spurgeon

* Fisher, Edward – Part 2 of The Marrow of Modern Divinity  pp. 265-317  (1646)  52 pp.  This is in the form of a dialogue.  Evangelista is the good guy; Nomista is the legalist.

** – ‘This exposition is part of the work which occasioned the famous Marrow controversy.  One fails to see anything calculated to stir up such a strife.  Fisher might have said that the lines had fallen to him in troubled waters.’ – Spurgeon

Despagne, Jean – New Observations upon the Decalogue: or The Second of the Four Parts of Christian Doctrine, preached upon the [French Reformed] Catechism  (London, 1652)

Despagne (1591-1659) was a French, reformed minister.

Rijssen, Leonard – ch. 15, ‘The Decalogue & Good Works’  in A Complete Summary of Elenctic Theology & of as Much Didactic Theology as is Necessary  trans. J. Wesley White  MTh thesis  (Bern, 1676; GPTS, 2009), pp. 170-97

Rijssen (1636?-1700?) was a prominent Dutch reformed minister and theologian, active in theological controversies.

Barrow, Isaac – ‘An Exposition of the Decalogue’  in A Brief Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer and the Decalogue, to which is Added the Doctrine of the Sacraments  (d. 1677; London, 1681), pp. 63-200

Barrow (1630-1677) was an Anglican Christian theologian and mathematician who discovered the fundamental theorem of calculus.  Isaac Newton was a student of his.

Leighton, Robert – An Exposition of the Ten Commandments  Buy  †1684  66 pp., in Works, vol. 3, pp. 107-173

Leighton was one of the few good and godly bishops in late-1600’s Scotland.

* Watson, Thomas – Body of Practical Divinity, pp. 211-328  †1686  117 pp.  This work is an exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism



Edwards, John – 3rd Part, ‘Of the Ten Commandments’  in Theologia Reformata: or, The Body and Substance of the Christian Religion, comprised in distinct discourses or treatises…  (1713), vol. 2, pp. 273-619

John Edwards (1637–1716) was an influential reformed Anglican during the early 1700’s, and the son of Thomas Edwards, who wrote the famed book ‘Gangraena’ in the 1640’s.

* Hole, Matthew – Discourses 1-26  in A Practical Exposition of the Church Catechism, vol. 2  (†1730), pp. 367-547

Hole (1640-1730) was a divine in the Church England.  See a short bio here.



* Vos, Johannes – The Westminster Larger Catechism, a Commentary  ed. G.I. Williamson  Buy  (1946-1949)  614 pp.

Vos was a mid-western pastor in the RPCNA.  This is the most accessible and usable commentary on the Larger Catechism.  It is a medium level treatment and is in the format of questions and answers, which is well done.



Longer Works  15+


Bullinger, Henry – Commandments 1-7 & 8-10  †1571  334 pp. in The Decades, 2nd Decade, 2nd Sermon through 3rd Decade, 3rd Sermon

* Babington, Gervase – A Very Fruitful Exposition of the Commandments by way of Questions & Answers for greater plainness together with an application of every one to the soul and conscience of man, profitable for all…  1583

Babington (1549–1610) was a bishop in the Church of England.



* Dod, John & Robert Cleaver

The Bright Star which Leads Wise Men to our Lord Jesus Christ, or, A Familiar & Learned Exposition on the Ten Commandments…  (1603)  102 pp.

A Plain & Familiar Exposition of the Ten Commandments. With a Methodical Short Catechism, containing briefly the Principal Grounds of Christian Religion  15th ed.  (1603; 1622)  380 pp.

For a taste of this exceedingly wise and fruitful work, see the section, ‘Duties of Husbands & Wives’ from the 5th Commandment.

** – ‘This work was published by John Dod [1550-1645] and Robert Cleaver [c. 1561-c. 1614], with an intimation that the name of the author was purposely suppressed.  Our edition, dated 1632, is the eighteenth, so that the work enjoyed a rare popularity in its own time.  It has been frequently reprinted since.  The book has been long held in esteem.’ – Spurgeon

Elton, Edward  1569-1624

An Exposition of the Ten Commandments of God wherein the Principal & Most Material Doctrines are set down  (1623)  257 pp.

These two works are significantly different.

God’s Holy Mind touching matters Moral, which Himself uttered in Ten Words, or Ten Commandments…  380 pp.  in God’s Holy Mind Touching Matters Moral which Himself Uttered in Ten Words, or Ten Commandments. Also Christ’s Holy Mind touching Prayer, delivered in that most Holy Prayer, which Himself taught unto his disciples…  (1625)

* – ‘This work discusses the Decalogue in question and answer, in a somewhat dull manner; but touches many cases of conscience, and deals wisely with them.  Belief in witchcraft comes out very strongly in some passages.’ – Spurgeon

Willet, Andrew – Hexapla in Genesis & Exodus…  (d. 1621; 1633, London), pp. 263-371

‘The Ten Commandments in Particular’

Weemes, John – An Explication of the Moral Law, the First Table (300 pp.), the Second Table (360 pp.)  (1632, 1636)

Weemes was a Scottish divine.

** – ‘Solid, sober, weighty.  [William] Orme says of Weemse: ‘He was well acquainted with the original Scriptures, with Jewish manners and antiquities, and with the best mode of interpreting the Bible.  The style is quaint, but always intelligible.”

Andrewes, Lacelot

The Moral Law Expounded: Largely, Learnedly, Orthodoxly… upon the Ten Commandments, being his Lectures in Cambridge  (d. 1626; 1641)  786 pp.

This work is different than the one below.

A Pattern of Catechistical Doctrine at large; or a Learned and Pious Exposition of the 10 Commandments  EEBO  (1675)  392 pp.

Andrewes (1555-1626) was the Church of England, reformed bishop of Worchester.

*** – ‘This is a book indeed; it is a joy to read it, for it flashes with thought and illustration, and sparkles with ingenious remarks.  Profound learning did not lead the Bishop into the depths of dulness, as it has done many another divine; he manifests the happy quaintness of Latimer side by side with great scholarship.  He was highly esteemed by his contemporaries; but we can hardly believe that his death:

‘Left the dim face of our full hemisphere
All one great eye all drown’d in one great tear.’

Yet so we are informed at the foot of his effigies.’ – Spurgeon

* Durham, James – The Law Unsealed, or a Practical Exposition of the Ten Commandments  EEBO  Buy  (†1658)  500 pp.

Durham was a leading Scottish covenanter during the 2nd Reformation in Scotland.

*** – ‘Whatever Durham has written is very precious.  He has the pen of a ready writer, and indites good matter.’

Towerson, Gabriel – An Explication of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, with reference to the Catechism of the Church of England, to which are Premised by Way of Introduction Several General Discourses Concerning God’s Both Natural & Positive Laws  (London, 1677)  548 pp.

Towerson (c.1635-1697) was an Anglican clergyman and theological writer.

* Hopkins, Ezekiel – An Exposition of the Ten Commandments  (1692)  450 pp.

Hopkins was an Anglican divine who was a bishop in Derry, Ireland.

** – ‘Hopkins in this exposition searches the heart thoroughly, and makes very practical application of the Commandments to the situations and circumstances of daily life.  His homely eloquence will always make his works valuable.’ – Spurgeon

‘A brilliantly written treatise by a leading Puritan writer.  Long out of print, it should be purchased if found.’ – Cyril J. Barber



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – chs. 45-55  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 3  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), pp. 35-243

* Boston, Thomas – pp. 66-373 of An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion in Works  (†1732), vol. 2

Boston was a minister in the Church of Scotland.  This work is a commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Ridgley, Thomas – A Body of Divinity, vol. 2 (Questions #99-148)  PoD  (d. 1734)  106 pp.

This was the first commentary published on the Larger Catechism, being a series of sermons through it.  Ridgley (1667-1734) was a reformed, English Independent, who was the assistant and successor of Thomas Gouge in London.



Tudor, Richard – The Decalogue Viewed as the Christian’s Law  (1860)  440 pp.

** – ‘The author attempts to give the Christian sense of the Decalogue in its application to present needs and questions.  With much moderation he discusses many of the disputed points  of the day, such as the legislative enforcement of the Sabbath, marriage with a deceased wife’s sister [which the 1646 Westminster Confession speaks to], etc.  He usually takes the view which is natural to a clergyman; but he says some capital things.’ – Spurgeon

* Plumer, William – The Law of God as Contained in the Ten Commandments, Explained and Enforced  (1864)  645 pp.





Ursinus, Zacharias – Theological Places  in Theological Works, vol. 1  (Heidelberg, 1612)  ToC

Of the Divine Law  664
First Command  682
Second Command  689
Third Command  699
Fourth Command  715
Fifth Command  725
Sixth Command  729
[The End]

Ursinus (1534-1583)

Bullinger, Henry – A Catechism Written for Adults, about the First Principles of the Christian Religion  (1559; Zurich, 1563)

Of the Law of God & the Lord’s Decalogue of Commandments  8b
.       An Explication of the First Table  10
.       An Explication of the Second Table  21-29

Ramus, Petrus – Commentary on the Christian Religion  (Frankfurt, 1576; 1594)

Bk. 2 [Of the Decalogue]

2. Of the Preface of the Law  100
3. Of the First Precept, unto the Worship of God  104
4. Of the Second Precept, Against Idolatry  111
5. Of the Third Precept, Against a Vain Oath  124
6. Of the Fourth Precept, unto the Sanctification of the Sabbath  133
7. Of the Fifth Precept, unto Honoring Parents  143
8. Of the Sixth Precept, Against Murder  152
9. Of the Seventh Precept, Against Adultery  161
10. Of the Eighth Precept, Against Stealing  172
11. Of the Ninth Precept, Against Lying  180
12. Of the Tenth Precept, Against Covetousness  187-203

Bk. 3  [Of Prayer]

9. Of Temptation, According to the Tenth Precept  244

Ramus (1515-1572)

Szegedin Pannonius, Stephan – Common Places of Pure Theology, of God & Man, Explained in Continuous Tables & the Dogma of the Schools Illustrated  (Basil, 1585/93), An Annual of the Well-Done, Vast Things of God

Moral Laws, or the Decalogue  50

Sabbath  56

Precepts of God in General  68
Exposition of the Precepts of the 1st & 2nd Table  69

Szegedin (1515-1572) also was known as Stephan Kis.

Zanchi, Girolamo – Of the Fall of the First Man, of Sin & of the Law in The Theological Works, vol. 4 (d. 1590; Stephanus Gamonetus, 1613)

10. Of the Law in General  185
11. Of the Decalogue  221
12. Of the First Precept  234
13. Of the True Religion & Worship & its Parts  273
14. Of the Second Precept  362
15. Of Images  380
16. Of the External Worship of God  411
17. Of the Corruptions of the External Part of True Worship  498
18. Of the Third Precept  547
19. Of the Fourth Precept  661
20. Of the Fifth Precept  856
21. Of the Sixth Precept  858
22. Of the Seventh Precept  859
23. Of the Eighth Precept  860
24. Of the Ninth Precept  861
25. Of the Tenth Precept  862
26. Of the End of the Divine Law  862
27. Of the Use & Office of the Law  867
28. Of the Observation of the Law  871



Bachoff, Reinhard – Decalogue, or the Ten Precepts, Q. 92-113  in Catechism of the Christian Religion, which is Taught in the Churches & Schools of the Palitinate  (Hanau, 1603), pp. 393-578

Bachoff (1544-1614)

Tilen – An Ordered Arrangement of Theological Disputations held in the Academy of Sedan, vol. 1  (1607, 1611)

34. Law in General  287
35. Mosaic Law  293
36. Preface of the Decalogue  301
37. The First Precept of the Decalogue, First Disputation, which is of Faith  307
38. The Same, Second Disputation, which is of Hope  316
39. The Same, Third Disputation, which is of Love  324
40. Second Precept  333
41. Third Precept, First Disputation  342
42. The Same, Second Disputation, which is of Vows
43. Fourth Precept
44. Fifth Precept
45. Sixth Precept
46. Seventh Precept, First Disputation
47. The Same, Second Disputation, which is of Marriage
48. Eighth Precept
49. Ninth Precept
50. Tenth Precept

Tilen  (1563-1633)

Mylius, Conrad – Catechetical Essays, or Homilies in the Heidelberg Catechism  (Hanau, 1618)

36. Law of God & Understanding the First Precept  805
37. 2nd Precept  843
38. 3rd Precept  880
39. Oaths  907
40. Sabbath  927
41. 5th Precept  948
42. 6th Precept  977
43. 7th Precept  1000
44. 8th Precept  1020
45. 9th Precept  1044
46. 10th Precept  1068-90

Mylius (fl.1616-1618)

Maresius, Samuel – The Hydra of Socinianism Expunged, vol. 2  (Groningen, 1651), bk. 4  ToC

8. Decalogue & even of the First Command  506
9. Prayers  512
10. In what way God is to be worshipped in Christ, and first of the worship of Christ  533
11. Invocation of Christ  537
12. 2nd Command  565
13. 3rd Command  579
14. 4th Command  589
15. 5th Command  592
16. 6th Command  596
17. 7th Command  608
18. 8th Command  637
19. 9th Command  653
20. 10th Command  656

Voet, Gisbert – Select Theological Disputations, vol. 4  (Utrecht, 1648-1667)

21. Of the Murder and Hurting of Oneself, even of Voluntary Flagellation  244
Appendix 1, on Problems  270
[?] Appendix 2, of the Burning of a Particular Ship  281
22. Of the Plague, or on the Spiritual Antidote of a Plague  292
23. Of the Vanities [Excelsis] of the World, on the Seventh Commandment of the Decalogue, the First, which is of Dances  325
24. Of the Same, Second Disputation, of Comedies  356
25. Of the Same, the Other Part  367
26. Of the Same, Third Disputation, which is of Abuses in Food & Feasts  385
27. Of the Same, Fourth Disputation, which is of Luxury and Vanity in Clothes, Houses and Goods[?]  403
28. Of the Same, Part 2  417
29. Of the Same, Fifth Disputation, which is of the Decoration of the Face and Hair  429
30. Of the Same, Part 2  444
31. Of the Same, Part 3  453
32. Of Intoxication  493
33. Of Simony, Part 1  515
34. Of the Same, Part 2  523
35. Of the Same, Part 3  533
36. Of the Same, Part 4  540
37. Of Usury, Part 1  555
38. Of the Same, Part 2  557
Of Money-Lenders  575
[?]39. Of a Lender of False-Money  590
40. Of Restitution  608
Appendix of Some Special Questions
41. Some Problems about the Ninth Commandment of the Decalogue, of Lying, a False Appearance and of Disguising, Part 1  631
42. Of the Same, Part 2, of Deceit, Equivocation & Mental Reservation  640
43. Of the Same, Part 3, of Falsehood  661
44. Of the Same, Part 3, of Falsehood, Part 2  681
An Appendix of Some Questions  695
45. Of Calumny, Detraction and Clamor [Abuse?], Part 1  702
46. Of the Same, Part 2  715

Rivet, Andrew – More Full Lectures on Exodus 20…  in Theological Works  (Rotterdam: Leers, 1651), vol. 1, pp. 1221-1459

Rivet (1572–1651) was a French Huguenot theologian and professor at Leiden.

Melchior, Johann – The Fundamentals of Didactic Theology: Aphoristic Summary Truths joined together with an Exposing of the Sinew of Today’s Errors  (Herborne, 1685), bk. 2, pt. 2

3. Of the Decalogue  232
4. Of the Law of Precepts in Conditions [Placitis247-57

Melchior (1646-1689)

Leydekker, Melchior – A Synopsis of the Christian Religion  (Utrecht, 1689), bk. 3

5. Of the Law of God, from which is the Knowledge of Sin  183
6. Of the Commandments of the First Table  191
7. Of the Commandments of the Second Table  204
8. Of Certain Questions about the Nature & Use of the Decalogue  213-23

Braun, Johannes – The Doctrine of the Covenants, or A System of Didactic & Elenctic Theology  (Amsterdam, 1691), pt. 4, Locus 17

Ch. 3  Of the Moral Law of God in General  421
Ch. 4  Of the First Three Precepts  429
Ch. 5  Of the Fourth Precept, or of the Sabbath  435
Ch. 6  Of the Precepts of the Second Table  453
Ch. 7  Of the Perfection of the Moral Law  459
Ch. 8  Of the Use of the Moral Law  465

Braun (1628-1708)

Marck, Johannes à – A Compendium of Christian Theology, Didactic and Elenctic  (Amsterdam, 1696; 1722)

11 – The Worship of God and the Rule of His Law   200
12 – The Decalogue and of Each of its Precepts   229-62

Marck (1656-1731)

van Mastricht, Petrus – Theoretical & Practical Theology…  new ed.  (Utrecht, 1724), The Idea of Moral Theology

Book 1, of the Observance of Faith in General

Prologue  1202
1. Of the Obedience of Faith, & Obedience  1203
2. Of the Study & the Neglect of the Law  1203
3. Of the Keeping & the Neglect of Conscience  1204
4. Of Knowledge & Ignorance  1205
5. Of Humility & Pride before God  1205
6. Of the Fear & Scorn of God  1206
7. Of Zeal & Lukewarmness  1207
8. Of Sincerity & Hypocrisy  1208
9. Of Virtue & Vice [Vitio]  1209
10. Of Prudence & Imprudence  1210
11. Of Vigilance & Somnolescence  1211
12. Of Fortitude & Infirmity  1212
13. Of Confidence & Timidity  1213
14. Of Constancy & Levity  1214
15. Of Patience & Impatience  1215
16. Of Temperance & Intemperance  1216
17. Of Good & Bad Action  1217

Book 2, of Religion

1. Of Piety & Impiety  1219
2. Of Faith & Unbelief  1221
3. Of the Profession of, & the Denying of the Faith  1222
4. Of Hope & Desperation  1223
5. Of the Love & Hatred of God  1224
6. Of the Hearing of, & the Neglect of the Word of God  1226
7. Of the Exercise & Neglect of Prayer  1228
8. Of the Confession & Suppression of Sins  1230
9. Of the Use & Abuse of Vows  1232
10. Of an Oath & Perjury  1233
11. Of Communion with God & Alienation from Him  1235
12. Of the Institution of Worship, & of Superstition  1238
13. Of the Sanctification & Profanation of the Sabbath  1240

Book 3, of Righteousness & Injury to our Neighbor

1. Of Righteousness to our Neighbor in General, & of Injury  1243
2. Of Love & Ill-will to our Neighbor  1245
3. Of Honor & the Vilification of our Neighbor  1247
4. Of Humanity & Homicide  1249
5. Of Chastity & Luxury  1251
6. Of Commutative Justice & Theft  1253
7. Of Veracity & a Lie  1255
8. Of Contention & Concupiscence  1257-58

Heidegger, Johann H.

The Marrow of Christian Theology: an Introductory Epitome of the Body of Theology  (Zurich, 1713)  14. Of the Decalogue  Extended ToC

4-5.  Of the Love of God  302

15-17.  Of the Division of the Decalogue  306
18-23.  Of the First Precept of the Decalogue  307
24-39.  Of the Second Precept of the Decalogue  310
40-50.  Of the Third Precept of the Decalogue  316
51-61.  Of the Fourth Precept of the Decalogue
62-74.  Of the Fifth Precept of the Decalogue
75-84.  Of the Sixth Precept of the Decalogue
85-96.  Of the Seventh Precept of the Decalogue
97-115.  Of the Eighth Precept of the Decalogue
116-128.  Of the Ninth Precept of the Decalogue
129-133.  Of the Tenth Precept of the Decalogue
134 ff.  Of the Use of the Decalogue

Place 14, ‘The Ten Commandments’  in A Body of Christian Theology, Exhibiting True Doctrine, which is according to godliness, vol. 1  (Tigur, 1700), pp. 499-645

Heidegger (1633-1698)



Vitringa, Sr., Campegius – The Doctrine of the Christian Religion, Summarily Described through Aphorisms, vol. 4  (d. 1722), ch. 20, Of the Second Time-Interval of the Promise, from Abraham to Moses

Of the Decalogue  321-22
Of the Author & Promulgation of the Decalogue  323-28
Of the Nature of the Decalogue  329-35
Of the Use of the Decalogue under the New Testament  336-44
Of the Tables of the Law  345-48
Of the Division of the Decalogue  349-54
Of the the Accessories to the Decalogue  355-60
Of the Sabbath  360-62
Of the Origin of the Sabbath  363-401
Of the Nature of the Fourth Precept  402-72
Whether the 1st Day, out of the 7th Day, is to be Observed under the New Covenant  473-84
Of the Origin of the Lord’s Day  485-517
Of the Observation of the Lord’s Day  518-23
Of the Duration of the Lord’s Day  524-28
Of the Name of the Sabbath  529-32

Vitringa, Sr. (1659-1722)

De Moor, Bernard – A Continuous Commentary on John Marck’s Compendium of Didactic & Elenctic Christian Theology, vol. 2  (Leiden, 1761-71)

11. Of the Worship of God & the Regulating Rule of It  503
12. Of the Decalogue, & of Each Precept of It  688-976

De Moor (1709-1780)



From Biblical Commentaries  See the comments on Exodus, Ch. 20

Whole Old Testament Commentaries  60

Whole Old Testament Commentaries  11

Old Testament Commentaries  see commentaries on the Pentateuch (6) and on Exodus (9)



From Catechisms & Commentaries Thereon

Heidelberg Catechism  Questions 91-115

See also Commentaries on the Heidelberg Catechism

Westminster Shorter Catechism  Questions 39-82

See also Commentaries on the Shorter Catechism  151

Westminster Larger Catechism  Questions 91-152

See also Commentaries on the Larger Catechism (4) and Commentaries on the Westminster Confession and Catechisms  (3)



From Systematic Theologies

Many systematic theologies (especially from the Reformation and Puritan eras) contain an exposition of God’s Moral Law, the 10 Commandments.  See:

Every Reformed Systematic Theology Online

See, for instance, Musculus, Vermigli, Viret, Ursinus, Wollebius, Ussher, Leigh, Turretin, A’Brakel and many others.




Martin Luther

ch. 5  in Lectures on Deuteronomy  in Luther’s Works (Saint Louis: Concordia, 1960), 9:61-64

‘The Ten Commandments’  in The Large Catechism

Ten Sermons on the Catechism  (1528)  in Luther Works  ed. & trans. John W. Doberstein  (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 51:133-93

Treatise on Good Works  (1520)  trans. W. A. Lambert  in Luther Works, ed. James Atkinson  (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 44:15-114


Philip Melancthon

‘On the Law’  in Common Places in:

‘Divine Laws’  in ‘The Law’  in Melanchthon & Bucer  (1521 ed.)  ed. Wilhelm Pauck  (Louisville: WJKP, 1969), pp. 53-57

ch. 7, ‘Of Divine Law’  in Melanchthon on Christian Doctrine, Loci Communes, 1555  trans. Clyde L. Manschreck  (NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965), pp. 83-129

The Chief Theological Topics: Loci Praecipui Theologici 1559  Buy  (Concordia Publishing, 2011)  549 pp.

This was the last expansion and revision of the common places before Melanchthon’s death in 1560.



Ancient Jewish Expositions

Philo, from Works, vol. 3

Concerning the Ten Commandments which are the Heads of the Law, pp. 136-387

Philo (†50) was an important Jewish historian, commentator and theologian in Alexandria, Egypt during the time of Christ.

Josephus – On the Ten Commandments  at Patristic Bible Commentary



For Children  (see also the short poetic versions below)

* Newton, Richard – The King’s Highway  Buy  (1861)  380 pp.  ToC

*** – ‘Though intended for children, ministers will find it useful, for it teems with illustrations, and brings up little points of conduct worth touching upon.  Dr. Newton is the prince of preachers to children.’



The Ten Commandments in Poetry  (4, shortest to longest)

The New England Primer, ‘The Ten Commandments put into Short and Easy Rhymes for Children’

1. You shall have no more gods but Me.
2. Before no idol bend your knee.
3. Take not the name of God in vain.
4. Dare not the Sabbath Day profane.
5. Give both your parents honor due.
6. Take heed that you no murder do.
7. Abstain from words and deeds unclean.
8. Steal not, though you be poor and mean [lowly].
9. Make not a willful lie, nor love it.
10. What is your neighbor’s, dare not covet.


Robert Horne, A Brief Rehearsal of the Ten Commandments  (1617)

1. See that thou have no God’s but one
2. and truly worship Him alone.
3. God’s name in vain thou shalt not take.
4. The seventh day holy thou shalt make.
5. Honor thy parents.
6. Murder flee:
7. A fornicator never be.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. False speech eschew
10. and covet not another’s due.


George Wither (1588-1667)

From Divine Poems (by way of Paraphrase) on the Ten Commandments  (1688)

1. Serve but one God, and let Him be
.      that God who made and ransom’d thee.

2. Let every hand and heart refrain
.      an image of our God, to fain.

3. If thou wilt free be kept from blame;
.      take not in vain, GOD’s holy NAME.

4. To hallow, do not thou forget
.      those times, which God apart hath set.

5. On them all honors due, bestow,
.      who, by the name of parents go.

6. Thy Maker’s image do not spill,
.      where God commands thee not to kill.

7. Commit thou no such act unclean,
.      as here adultery, doth mean.

8. What want so e’re oppress thee may
.      steal not, another’s goods away.

9. In any case no witness bear,
.      of things which false or doubtful are.

10. Another’s right desire not,
.       but be contented with thy lot.


 From Hymns and Songs of the Church Divided into Two Parts  (1623)

The great Almighty spake, and thus said He:

I am the LORD thy GOD, and I alone
from cruel Egypt’s thralldom set thee free;

(1) And other gods but Me thou shalt have none.

(2) Thou shalt not make an image to adore
of ought on earth above it or below:
a carved work thou shalt not bow before,
nor any worship on the same bestow.

For I thy GOD, a jealous GOD am known,
and on their seed the fathers’ sins correct
until the third and fourth descent be gone,
but them I always love that me affect.

(3) The Name of GOD thou never shalt abuse
by swearing or repeating it in vain:
for him that doth his Name profanely use,
The LORD will as a guilty-one arraign.

(4) To keep the Sabbath holy, bear in mind:
Six days thine own affairs apply thou to;
the seventh is GOD’s own day for rest assign’d,
and thou no kind of work therein shalt do:
thou, nor thy child, thy servants, nor the beast;
nor he that guest-wise with thee doth abide,
for, after six days labor GOD did rest
and therefore He that day hath sanctified.

(5) See that unto thy parents thou do give
such honor as the child by duty owes,
that thou a long and blessed life mayst live
within the land the LORD thy GOD bestows.

(6) Thou shalt be wary that thou no man slay.

(7) Thou shalt from all adultery be clear.

(8) Thou shalt not steal another’s good away,

(9) nor witness-false against thy neighbor bear.

(10) With what is thine remaining well apaid,
thou shalt not covet what thy neighbor’s is:
his house, nor wife, his servant, man, nor maid,
his ox, nor ass, nor anything of his.



An Exposition in Poetry

* Wither, George – Divine Poems (by way of Paraphrase) on the Ten Commandments  (†1677; 1688)  110 pp.




Svensson, Manfred & David S. Sytsma – ‘III. Commentaries and Loci on the Decalogue’  in A Bibliography of Early Modern Protestant Ethics (ca. 1520-1750)  (2020), pp. 24-35.  Includes entries in multiple languages and attempts to be a collation of all the protestant works on the Decalogue in the early modern era.

All of the entries in English from this bibliography are on this webpage.




Related Pages



The Mosaic Covenant

Ceremonial Law

Civil Law


Old Testament Commentaries

Special Revelation

Bible Verses on God’s Revealed Will as His Will, Desire, Pleasure and Wish

Historic Reformed Quotes on God’s Revealed Will and the Gospel Call as Being His Will, Desire, Pleasure & Wish

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Distinction Between God’s Revealed Will & his Will of Decree

Covenant of Grace

Covenant of Works

Differing Levels of Rewards in Heaven

Degrees of Punishment in Hell