Intent of the Ten commandments

Jews and especially fundamentalist Christians hail the Ten Commandments as the greatest set of universal laws ever conceived for mankind to live in peace and brotherhood. They couldn't be further from the truth, as this report will demonstrate. As an example, I found a website which has this as its preamble.

We the sensible, righteous and God fearing citizens of the united states, in order to perform our divinely established responsibilities of honoring the one and only true GOD and make righteous and just laws that work for the good of our fellow man, insure the proper punishment of all true criminal heathens who deny God, insure the reward of the righteous who honor God, and secure the blessings of righteous liberty unto ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the TEN COMMANDMENTS as the supreme law of the land and the Constitution of the United Sates of America.

Its bigotry towards heathens and homosexuals is truly stunning; these people have a dictatorial mentality. I don't know how many people there are like this, but they make it clear that they oppose the First Amendment's separation of church and state. My gratitude goes to the Bill of Rights' Founders for their good sense to keep the United States free of religious persecution.

Just a scan of the Ten Commandments shows that only four of them have to do with immoral actions. The rest mandate mind control.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make any graven images or any likeness of anything in heaven.
3. You shall not take the name of God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness.
10. You shall not covet.

Tribal war

Far from being articles of peace or a universal code of morals, the Ten Commandments and the law were articles war. They were intended to unify the Israelites under a code of thought and behavior. As a quid pro quo, if the Israelites obeyed the law, Yahweh would guarantee them the land he promised when they fought for it.

The Israelites have seen his power. If they keep Yahweh's covenant, they shall be his possession and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

3And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.
5Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine,
6and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." (Ex. 19:3-5)

Yahweh will destroy these nations so the Israelites can dispossess them. In return, the Israelites shall do according to all the commandments.

3The LORD your God himself will go over before you; he will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them; and Joshua will go over at your head, as the LORD has spoken.
4And the LORD will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them.
5And the LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandment which I have commanded you.
6Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you." (Deut. 31:4-6)

When the Israelites pass over the Jordon to take possession and live in it, they are to be careful to do all the statutes and ordinances.

31For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land which the LORD your God gives you; and when you possess it and live in it,
32you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day. (Deut. 11:31-32)

If the Ten Commandments were truly a code of conduct meant to ensure peaceful behavior, then it is only reasonable that the man Yahweh designated to promulgate his laws be a man of peace. Far from it, he was a man of war, a brutal murderer. His crimes against humanity have been catalogued in Moses the Jewish Hitler  and Moses' Articles of War.

The Golden Calf incident gives a taste for what Moses was like. When he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments and saw the Israelites dancing around a golden calf, he went into such a rage that he broke the two tablets. Then he had the calf ground into powder and made the Israelites drink a concoction mixed with the powder.

19And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tables out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
20And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the people of Israel drink it.
(Ex. 32:19-20)

Next, he ordered his Levite priests, as the price of ordaining themselves to serve God, to kill their brothers, friends and neighbors. Three thousand died that day.

27And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD GOD of Israel, 'Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'"
28And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. (Ex. 32:27-28)

If that wasn't enough, God sent a plague upon the whole tribe. His high priest Aaron, who made the calf, went untouched.

35And the LORD sent a plague upon the people, because they made the calf which Aaron made. (Ex. 32:36)

His successor, Joshua carried on the Mosaic tradition of murderous rampage.

The Israelites slaughtered 12,000 men and women of Ai. Joshua burned their King Ai and hanged his body on a tree until evening.

24When Israel had finished slaughtering all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.
25And all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand, all the people of Ai.
26For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
27Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.
28So Joshua burned Ai, and made it for ever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day.
29And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at the going down of the sun Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day. (Josh. 8:24-29)

To commemorate their victory, Joshua built an altar to the God of Israel and placed a copy of the Law of Moses written on stone.

30Then Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal to the LORD, the God of Israel,
311as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, "an altar of unhewn stones, upon which no man has lifted an iron tool"; and they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
32And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. (Josh. 8:30-32)

For more on Joshua's murder spree see Joshua the Conqueror.

Final analyses

As this report clearly indicates, Yahweh was not a God of mankind; he was a tribal war god. The Ten Commandments were not intended to apply to all mankind. They were intended to unify the Israelites against outsiders who because of their differences were regarded as enemies. We have good reason to be grateful that the Ten Commandments are not embedded in the U.S. Constitution.