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Exodus 20:12

    Exodus 20:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Give honour to your father and to your mother, so that your life may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

    Webster's Revision

    Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.

    World English Bible

    "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 20:12

    Honor thy father and thy mother - There is a degree of affectionate respect which is owing to parents, that no person else can properly claim. For a considerable time parents stand as it were in the place of God to their children, and therefore rebellion against their lawful commands has been considered as rebellion against God. This precept therefore prohibits, not only all injurious acts, irreverent and unkind speeches to parents, but enjoins all necessary acts of kindness, filial respect, and obedience. We can scarcely suppose that a man honors his parents who, when they fall weak, blind, or sick, does not exert himself to the uttermost in their support. In such cases God as truly requires the children to provide for their parents, as he required the parents to feed, nourish, support, instruct, and defend the children when they were in the lowest state of helpless in fancy. See Clarke's note on Genesis 48:12. The rabbins say, Honor the Lord with thy substance, Proverbs 3:9; and, Honor thy father and mother. The Lord is to be honored thus if thou have it; thy father and mother, whether thou have it or not; for if thou have nothing, thou art bound to beg for them. See Ainsworth.

    That thy days may be long - This, as the apostle observes, Ephesians 6:2, is the first commandment to which God has annexed a promise; and therefore we may learn in some measure how important the duty is in the sight of God. In Deuteronomy 5:16 it is said, And that it may go well with thee; we may therefore conclude that it will go ill with the disobedient; and there is no doubt that the untimely deaths of many young persons are the judicial consequence of their disobedience to their parents. Most who come to an untimely end are obliged to confess that this, with the breach of the Sabbath, was the principal cause of their ruin. Reader, art thou guilty? Humble thyself therefore before God, and repent. 1. As children are bound to succor their parents, so parents are bound to educate and instruct their children in all useful and necessary knowledge, and not to bring them up either in ignorance or idleness. 2. They should teach their children the fear and knowledge of God, for how can they expect affection or dutiful respect from those who have not the fear of God before their eyes? Those who are best educated are generally the most dutiful. Heathens also inculcated respect to parents.

    Ουδεν προς θεων τιμιωτερον αγαλμα αν κτησαιμεθα πατρος και προπατορος παρειμενων γηρᾳ, και μητερων την αυτην δυναμιν εχουσων· οὑς ὁυταν αγαλλῃ τις, τιμαις γεγηθεν ὁ θεος. - Πας δη νουν εχων φοβειται και τιμᾳ, γονενων ευχας ειδως πολλοις και πολλακις επιτελεις γενομενας.

    Plato de Leg., lib. xi., vol. ix, p. 160. Ed. Bipont.

    "We can obtain no more honorable possession from the gods than fathers and forefathers worn down with age, and mothers who have undergone the same change, whom when we delight, God is pleased with the honor; and every one that is governed by right understanding fears and reverences them, well knowing that the prayers of parents oftentimes, and in many particulars, have received full accomplishment."

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 20:12

    Honour thy father and thy mother - According to our usage, the fifth commandment is placed as the first in the second table; and this is necessarily involved in the common division of the commandments into our duty toward God and our duty toward men. But the more ancient, and probably the better, division allots five commandments to each table (compare Romans 13:9), proceeding on the distinction that the First table relates to the duties which arise from our filial relations, the second to those which arise from our fraternal relations. The connection between the first four commandments and the fifth exists in the truth that all faith in God centers in the filial feeling. Our parents stand between us and God in a way in which no other beings can. On the maintenance of parental authority, see Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

    That thy days may be long upon the land - Filial respect is the ground of national permanence (compare Jeremiah 35:18-19; Matthew 15:4-6; Mark 7:10-11). The divine words were addressed emphatically to Israel, but they set forth a universal principle of national life Ephesians 6:2.

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