Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a staple of the Abrahamic faiths, the Ten Commandments.
In the twenty sixth episode of The Simpsons, Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment (Season 02, Episode 12), Homer becomes the most popular person in town, when he gets an illegal cable hookup. But after learning about the Ten Commandments at Sunday School, Lisa doesn’t approve. Lisa fears that Homer will go to hell for violating the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal”.
But have you ever wondered about the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship. These are fundamental to both Judaism and Christianity. The Ten Commandments form the basis of Jewish law, stating God’s universal and timeless standard of right and wrong. Most traditions of Christianity hold that the Ten Commandments have divine authority and continue to be valid, though they have different interpretations and uses of them.
In the biblical narrative, after the arrival of the children of Israel at Mount Sinai, Moses went up briefly and returned with stone tablets upon which God wrote the Ten Commandments.
In Exodus 20:1-17, it states:
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
In Deuteronomy 5:4-21, it states:
4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
17 Thou shalt not kill.
18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
19 Neither shalt thou steal.
20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
The narration of Prophet Musa (Moses) receiving of the Ten Commandments is dealt with in much detail in Islamic tradition with the meeting of Moses with God on Mount Sinai described in Surah A’raf 7:142-145 of the Quran. The Revealing of the Tablets on which were the Commandments of God is described in the following verse:
And We wrote for Musa (Moses) on the Tablets the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things (and said): Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein. I shall show you the home of Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
American filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille directed two films titled “The Ten Commandments”, including a 1956 epic starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Rameses. American filmmaker Mel Brooks (you may recognize from his self-appearance on Season 6 of The Simpsons) satirized the Ten Commandmets in his 1981 film “History of the World Part I”. Brooks depicting Moses receives three tablets containing fifteen commandments from God, but stumbles and drops one of the tablets, shattering it before he can present them to his people. He then presents the remaining tablets, proclaiming Ten Commandments.
Now that we’ve learned more about the Ten Commandments, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Were you familiar with the Ten Commandments? How many could you name off memory before this post? What’s your favourite Simpsons religious reference? What about your favourite Simpsons episode where Homer does something illegal? Have you seen “The Ten Commandments” (1956) or “History of the World Part I” (1981)? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.