The first commandment is basically
“I am Adonai your God”
The word Adonai here is actually the tetragrammaton seen above and pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah, but Jews replace this sacred name with Adonai or HaShem and never speak it. If you start reading at verse 1 of Exodus chapter 20 then you know that God “spoke” all these words: the commandments. He starts with this implicit fact that He is our God.
“You shall not have other gods before me.”
Literally, it says “before my face”, implying forever and everywhere, since God is omnipresent and eternal.
“You shall not take the name of Adonai your God in vain.”
This commandment prohibits the voicing of the Lord’s name in an empty or useless way. Did you read that? Do not say “oh my God”! It has become a habit for too many people and it breaks my heart when I hear anyone and especially small children repeating this phrase.
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”
Set it apart. The Sabbath should be special. Heed God’s word, after all He spends several verses on this one command explaining that you should not work on the Sabbath.
“Honor your father and your mother.”
Now the commands switch from being about our relationship with God to being about our relationship with others. Notice that this command to honor your parents continues with a blessing for you if you obey. Read verse 12 and see what you will get if you honor your father and your mother.
“You shall not murder.”
If your translation says “kill” it is wrong. That is too broad a word. The actual Hebrew implies illegal killing only, hence murder. This commandment does not prohibit justified killing or killing in war.
“You shall not commit adultery.”
Could that be any clearer?
“You shall not steal.”
Stealing implies a lack of trust that God will supply all of our needs.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
This commandment is implicit in our lives if we live by the truth.
“You shall not covet”
This goes on to list the things that you shall not covet: your neighbor’s house, wife, servants, ox, donkey, or anything he owns. To covet is to have a selfish desire or even lust.The commandments are given in Deuteronomy 5 as well.