Seeds: Narrative Lectionary 10/7


Book Title: Euangelische vnnd Christenliche Predige[n] / Judoci Clichtouei vo[n] dem Vatter vnser, Aue Maria, Glauben, zehen Gebot, vnd siben Sacramenten, Lateinisch beschriben, vn[d] durch Haimeran Schweller, Rö. Rü. Ma. [et]c geliebter Rüningklicher finder zü Insprug Caplan, vnd Prediger verteutscht

Author: Clichtove, Josse, d. 1543

Image Title: Ten Commandments



Exodus 19:2-8

Exodus 20:1-17

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20





Note the repeated use of shama/shema (listen)/sh’ma in 19:5 as in “Hear, O Israel,” the Jewish prayer; see


For transliteration/word study, see





shä·mah’ (Key)

Part of Speech

masculine noun, verb

Root Word (Etymology)

A primitive root

Dictionary Aids

TWOT Reference: 2412, 2412a

KJV Translation Count — Total: 1,159x

The KJV translates Strong’s H8085 in the following manner: hear (785x), hearken (196x), obey (81x), publish (17x), understand (9x), obedient (8x), diligently (8x), shew (6x), sound (3x), declare (3x), discern (2x), noise (2x), perceive (2x), tell (2x), reported (2x), miscellaneous (33x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]


  • to hear, listen to, obey
    1. (Qal)
      • to hear (perceive by ear)
      • to hear of or concerning
      • to hear (have power to hear)
      • to hear with attention or interest, listen to
      • to understand (language)
      • to hear (of judicial cases)
      • to listen, give heed
        1. to consent, agree
        2. to grant request
      • to listen to, yield to
      • to obey, be obedient
    2. (Niphal)
      • .to be heard (of voice or sound)
      • to be heard of
      • to be regarded, be obeyed
    3. (Piel) to cause to hear, call to hear, summon
    4. (Hiphil)
      • .to cause to hear, tell, proclaim, utter a sound
      • to sound aloud (musical term)
      • to make proclamation, summon
      • to cause to be heard

n m

  • sound

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

שָׁמַע shâmaʻ, shaw-mah’; a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.):—× attentively, call (gather) together, × carefully, × certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, × diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), × indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, × surely, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness.



Also Exodus 20:1: Elohim dabar dabar amar.


dabar=do, make, say, thing, word; suggests command/performative speech of God as in creation; here God is commanding a command, making a making, wording a word.

Speaking and doing are one. Sometimes when actions contradict words,  I say that actions can speak so loudly that people cannot hear what is being said. Matthew 21:28ff relates the parable of the sons, one of whom said he would do something but didn’t do it; the other who said he wouldn’t do it but then did, comes to mind. Teenagers are experts at saying no while doing yes. Which speaks louder, words or actions? What is they aligned and spoke together? What would the power of that witness be?


Our power to bring words and action together is dependent on God’s grace and power:

Second Chapter of Acts song “Which Way the Wind Blows”

with the lyric “do a doing, say a saying”




Thy Word by Amy Grant

See Psalm 119:105-112  (“On Eagles’ Wings”)

2 The great I AM has sworn;
I on this oath depend.
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
to heaven ascend.
I shall behold God’s face;
I shall God’s power adore,
and sing the wonders of God’s grace
forevermore. (“Trust and Obey”)

3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

1 Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God.
He whose Word cannot be broken
formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

3 And if we flutter helplessly, as fledgling eagles fall,
beneath us lift God’s mighty wings to bear us, one and all.

5 He His chosen race did bless
in the wasteful wilderness:
for His mercies shall endure,
ever faithful, ever sure.

2 O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and every gain divine.

4 O spread thy covering wings around
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.


  1. Come, let us join our friends above
    who have obtained the prize,
    and on the eagle wings of love
    to joys celestial rise.
    Let saints on earth unite to sing
    with those to glory gone,
    for all the servants of our King
    in earth and heaven are one.

1 Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty;
let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

1 Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea;
day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
saying, “Christian, follow me.”
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more.”

1 May we Thy precepts, Lord, fulfill
And do on earth our Father’s will
As angels do above;
Still walk in Christ, the living way,
With all Thy children and obey
The law of Christian love.

1 GOD spake these Words, O Isr’el, hear,
What I shall now command;
Thy LORD and only GOD am I,
Who with Almighty Hand

(A verse for each of the commandments)

1 The great command Jehovah gave,
No other Gods but only me
Shall ye my chosen People have,
Your only trust in me shall be.

(A verse for each of the commandments)

3 O God of covenant and law,
revealed in cloud and flame,
your mighty deeds evoke our awe;
we dare not speak your name.
Yet we by faith are drawn to you
and will your people prove,
as on our hearts you write anew
the covenant of love.

Goes through the commandments; some verses are not on Hymnary because they are still under copyright (to tune “Jesus Loves Me”)

v.3 Ten Commandments were the way God called people to obey,
For God wanted us to see: In obeying, we are free. tune “Lord, I Want to Be a Christian”

  1. 1 Gifts of love our Lord has given, Words of life: “I’m your God!
    I have brought you out of Egypt; now I call.
    Listen here, listen well:
    When you live in gratitude you’ll keep my law.”
  2. 2 “Have no other gods before me, says the Lord God Most High.
    Don’t choose idols that you worship in God’s place.
    Know God’s name, use it well.
    Keep the Sabbath for it is God’s gift of grace.”

Hark Israel and what I say,
give heed to understand:
I am the Lord thy God that brought
thee out of Egypt land,
Even from the house wherein thou didst
in thraldome live a slave:
None other God at all before
my presence shalt thou have.

Attend my people ad give eare,
Of setly things I will thee tell:
See that my word in mind thou beare
And to my precepts listen well.

  1. When Israel camped in Sinai, then Moses heard from God:
    “This message tell my people, and give them this, my word:
    From Egypt I was with you, and carried on my wing,
    The whole of your great nation from slavery I did bring.
  2. Just like a mother eagle, who helps her young to fly,
    I am a mother to you, your needs will I supply;
    And you are as my children, the ones who hear my voice,
    I am a mother to you, the people of my choice.”
  3. If God is like an eagle who helps her young to fly,
    And God is also Father, what then of you and I?
    We have no fear of labels, we have no fear of roles–
    If God’s own being blends them, we seek the selfsame goals.
  4. Our God is not a woman, our God is not a man;
    Our God is both and neither, our God is I Who Am.
    From all the roles that bind us our God has set us free.
    What freedom does God give us? The freedom just to be.




PRAYERS (please include “by Barb Hedges-Goettl, copyright 2018). You may use/adapt these for use in worship settings.



Call to Worship:

God calls to us from the mountain, saying, “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Therefore, obey my voice and keep my covenant and you shall be my treasured possession, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.” Come, let us worship the One who calls and sanctifies us.


Prayer of Approach/Invocation

Hear, listen, understand.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Give heed, consent, agree.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Diligently discern.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Consider, be content.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Yield and obey.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Proclaim and summon.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.



Confession of sin:


O God, your commandments glisten with the possibility of life lived in faithfulness to you and with one another. Yet we know we fail to live up to that call.


(Each petition may be followed by a time for silent confession, and/or the refrain:

Lord, have mercy.)


We put other things before you.

We misuse you and the faith we profess.

We let work take over our lives.

We do not honor those you have given us in love.

We hate.

We trample boundaries and promises.

We take from others.

We lie.

We envy.


Bear us up on eagles’ wings to you, that we may be your people, priestly and holy, living what we believe.


Words of Assurance: In Christ, the law is fulfilled. Through his power and his mercy, we are being re-made as God’s treasured possession, God’s own kingdom. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.






I work in a middle school. The theme of recent morning “word of wisdom” was the need for rules to make school, society, games, life, work.


Why did God give the Commandments? What does the giving of rules mean? What does the giving of these rules mean? Is this a place to discuss human sinfulness, need for limits/boundaries/guidance and also forgiveness?  My father thought Jesus was worth following because he understood human nature better than other religious leaders. What do the Ten Commandments say about human nature?


Do the Commandments apply to everyone? Do they fit “the rule of law”?                 Quote from James Madison: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  From the American Bar Association discussion of “The Rule of Law” at

See also

Rule of Law Institute of Australia                                 

World Justice Project                                                              



Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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