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October 8, 2011

Fifth Commandment – 10.08.2011

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 1:48 pm

A bible study by Adam Osborne, JR.

5th Commandment
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Notes on the text
Exodus 20:12
• Honor – kâbad / kâbêd – to be heavy, be weighty, be grievous, be hard, be rich, be honourable, be glorious, be burdensome, be honoured.

Let’s brainstorm a little bit. Let’s see how many ways WE can think of to honor our parents, then we will see how we did compared to some of the research I did. (Discuss answers: discuss as long as needed, prod further clarification. This discussion can really help younger couples whose parents are still with us.)


OZ NOTES: In my research, I found two well known writers that disagree over which “half” of the 10 commandments this 5TH Commandment belongs to:
• JOHN STOTT says “This 5th commandment still belongs to the first half of the law, which concerns our duty to God. For your parents, at least while we are children, stand toward us in : the represent God’s authority.”
• MATTHEW HENRY says “We have here the laws of the second table, as they are commonly called, the last six of the ten commandments, comprehending our duty to ourselves and to one another”.
Which one do you agree with? (Discuss)



• (Already discussed above) This 5th commandment still belongs to the first half of the law, which concerns our duty to God. For your parents, at least while we are children, stand toward us in : the represent God’s authority.
• ASK “Why do you think that while people are in their own homes that people, especially young people, are at their most selfish?
o Yet often it is in their own homes that people, young people especially, are at their most selfish and inconsiderate.
• Ask: Why is it all too easy to be ungrateful and neglectful, and to fail to show our parents due respect and affection?
o It is all too easy to be ungrateful and neglectful, and to fail to show our parents due respect and affection.
• How often do we write to them or visit them? Or do they need our financial support, which we could give but deny them?

MATTHEW HENRY’S COMMENTARY: (Adam’s comments & questions added)
Exo 20:12-17
We have here the laws of the second table, as they are commonly called, the last six of the ten commandments, comprehending our duty to ourselves and to one another, and constituting a comment upon the second great commandment, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
• The fifth commandment concerns the duties we owe to our relations; those of children to their parents are alone specified: Honour thy father and thy mother, which includes,
• ASK: Does this commandment give “any” leeway at all as far as “how often” we are to honor our parents?
o 1. A decent respect to their persons, an inward esteem of them outwardly expressed upon all occasions in our conduct towards them.
• Let’s discuss some of our behaviors. Someone read Lev 19:3 in the King James then in the NIV. Discuss the differences between the different translations. Is this a serious difference or can we derive the same conclusion in the text?
Lev 19:3 (KJV) Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Lev 19:3 (NIV) “‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.
• give them reverence, Heb_12:9.
Heb 12:9 (NIV) Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
Heb 12:9 (KJV) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
How many of you, when you were younger, after getting a spanking, and/or after getting sent to your room, “mocked” your parents?
Prov 30:17 (NIV) “The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
• We are to be obedient: 2. Obedience to their lawful commands;

Eph 6:1-3 (NIV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
NOTICE that Matthew Henry SPECIFICALLY stated children obey your parents “lawful” command. So, is he saying that every command from a parent is lawful, OR, is he saying that children do not have to obey their parents “unlawful” commands? (DISCUSS)

• “Children, obey your parents, come when they call you, go where they send you, do what they bid you, refrain from what they forbid you; and this, as children, cheerfully, and from a principle of love.”
• Though you have said, “We will not,” yet afterwards repent and obey, Mat_21:29.
Matt 21:29 (NIV) “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
• 3. Submission to their rebukes, instructions, and corrections; not only to the good and gentle, but also to when your parents are difficult to deal with (forward), out of conscience towards God.
o OK, let me ask you. When you were children, when you were being told to do this, or that, or obey this, or that, how many of you thought about your obedience toward God?
o So parents, what’s the secret here? How do we teach our children that obeying US is honoring toward God?
 During the discussion, make sure that the conclusion focuses around how parents themselves must set a good Christian behavior, which is always God honoring. Also, fruits of the spirit, etc.
 Is this achievable (YES). Discuss.
 How do media, TV, games, social settings try to destroy this type of thinking. Once again, as parents, how do we handle that?
• 5. Endeavouring, in every thing, to be the comfort of their parents, and to make their old age easy to them, maintaining them if they stand in need of support, which our Saviour makes to be particularly intended in this commandment.
(We will discuss this verse in detail below) Matt 15:4-6 (NIV) For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father ‘ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
• The reason annexed to this commandment is a promise: That thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
o Sooooo….. if you are NOT honoring your parents, this verse implies what? That thy days will NOT be long. NOTE: I looked up the Hebrew word for “long” that is used here in this verse, there are no mistranslations here. This word actually means to lengthen, to tarry long.
• Having mentioned, in the preface to the commandments, has bringing them out of Egypt as a reason for their obedience, he here, in the beginning of the second table, mentions his bringing them into Canaan, as another reason; that good land they must have upon their thoughts and in their eye, now that they were in the wilderness. They must also remember, when they came to that land, that they were upon their good behaviour, and that, if they did not conduct themselves well, their days should be shortened in that land, both the days of particular persons who should be cut off from it, and the days of their nation which should be removed out of it.
• But here a long life in that good land is promised particularly to obedient children. Those that do their duty to their parents are most likely to have the comfort of that which their parents gather for them and leave to them; those that support their parents shall find that God, the common Father, will support them.
• This promise is expounded (Eph_6:3), That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Those who, in conscience towards God, keep this and the rest of God’s commandments, may be sure that it shall be well with them, and that they shall live as long on earth as Infinite Wisdom sees good for them, and that what they may seem to be cut short of on earth shall be abundantly made up in eternal life, the heavenly Canaan which God will give them.

NOTES from my bible study entitled “Caring for Family Members, 12.07.2009

• 1 Tim 5:4 (NIV) But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
• 1 Tim 5:8 (NIV) If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
• 1 Tim 5:16 (NIV) If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.


• 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, parental 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.
• That thy days may be long – This, as the apostle observes, Eph_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 Deu_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.

Mark 7:9-13 (similar to Matthew 15:4-6 above)
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[a] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[b] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[c] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Notes on the text
• Honor – timaō – 1) to estimate, fix the value 2) to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate
• Curse – kakologeō – 1) to speak evil of, revile, abuse, one
• Help you might have received – ōpheleō – to be useful, that is, to benefit: – advantage, better, prevail, profit.
• Corban – korban – Of Hebrew and Chaldee origin respectively; a votive offering and the offering; a consecrated present (to the Temple fund); by extension (the latter term) the Treasury itself, that is, the room where the contribution boxes stood: – Corban, treasury.


Life Application Concise New Testament Commentary: Jesus then went on to explain how some of the Pharisees had found a way to completely sidestep God’s command to honor parents: “But you say, ‘You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’” Jesus was referring to the vow of “Corban” which allowed a person to dedicate money or property for God’s exclusive use, but it could still be used by the donor. This vow was grossly misused. A man could use an article vowed to God indefinitely, but could not transfer it to anyone else. The Pharisees had allowed men to dedicate money to God’s Temple that otherwise would have gone to support their parents. But some found a way to keep from doing so and still use their money or property as they chose. A man could simply take the vow of Corban, saying that all his money was dedicated to God. Although the action—dedicating money to God—seemed worthy and no doubt conferred prestige on the giver, these people were ignoring God’s clear command to honor their parents. Even worse, this was an irrevocable vow. If a son were to later decide that he needed to help his parents, the Pharisees would not permit it. Jesus rightly said that the Pharisees nullified the direct commandment of God by allowing their tradition to violate the fifth commandment.

ADAM CLARKE’S COMMENTS: It is sacrilege to dedicate that to God which is taken away from the necessities of our parents and children; and the good that this pretends to will doubtless be found in the catalogue of that unnatural man’s crimes, in the judgment of the great day, who has thus deprived his own family of its due. To assist our poor relatives, is our first duty; and this is a work infinitely preferable to all pious legacies and endowments.

TYNDALE CONCISE BIBLE COMMENTARY: Jesus used the sixth commandment (Exod. 20:12), which was the first one that applied to man’s relationships with his fellow men, because it exposed one of the Pharisees’ sins.—Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. Responsibility of the child in honoring the parents.
2. Reciprocation of the parent in caring and nurturing the child.
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
For parents: that you would faithfully train your children up in the Lord, growing in them the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

For children: that God would help you to honor and respect your parents always and to care for them as they become older.

Consider fasting from at least one meal this week.


Deuteronomy 5:1-21
The Ten Commandments
1 Moses summoned all Israel and said:
Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our ancestors[a] that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. 4 The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5 (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:
6 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 “You shall have no other gods before[b] me.
8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 “You shall not murder.
18 “You shall not commit adultery.
19 “You shall not steal.
20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

For Teachers
Context and Commentary

Raising children is no small task. But the bible is clear when it comes to the marriage relationship: be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 9). Children are a gift from God, and like all gifts, they require nurturing and honing. Ephesians 6:1-4 shows us that discipline is expected to be exercised on children for their welfare, but that harshness is not.

John Wesley comments:
The fifth commandment is concerning the duties we owe to our relations; that of children to their parents is only instanced in, honour thy father and thy mother, which includes, an inward esteem of them, outwardly expressed upon all occasions in our carriage towards them; fear them, Lev.19:3, give them reverence, Heb.12:9. The contrary to this is mocking at them or despising them, Obedience to their lawful commands; so it is expounded, Eph.6:1-3. Children obey your parents; come when they call you, go where they send you, do what they bid you, do not what they forbid you; and this cheerfully, and from a principle of love. Though you have said you will not, yet afterwards repent and obey. Submission to their rebukes, instructions and corrections, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. Disposing of themselves with the advice, direction and consent of parents, not alienating their property, but with their approbation. Endeavouring in every thing to be the comfort of their parents, and to make their old age easy to them; maintaining them if they stand in need of support. That thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee – This promise, (which is often literally fulfilled) is expounded in a more general sense Eph. 6:3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayst live long on the earth – Those that in conscience towards God keep this and other of God’s commandments, may be sure it shall be well with them, and they shall live as long on the earth as infinite wisdom sees good for, them, and what they may seem to be cut short of on earth, shall be abundantly made up in eternal life, the heavenly Canaan which God will give them.

In the New Testament Gospel of Mark, Jesus confronted his contemporaries with the fact that they were hypocrites. They claimed to love and strictly follow God’s commandments, but in reality were breaking them by not caring for their aging parents. The Pharisees had supplanted God’s commandments with their own traditions. They had discovered a selfish “workaround” for God’s selfless command to honor parents.

Warren Wiersbe comments:
Tradition is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it has more authority than the Word of God, then it is wrong. Col. 2:8 warns us against man-made traditions, but we should heed the traditions given by God and handed down to His people (1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Th. 2:15; 2 Tim. 2:2). Jesus pointed out that the great danger was hypocrisy: we obey the traditions with words and deeds, but we fail to serve God from the heart (Isa. 29:13). Note the steps downward: first we lay aside God’s Word (Mark 7:8), then we reject the Word (Mark 7:9), and finally we rob the Word of any power in our lives (Mark 7:13). Man’s tradition, not God’s truth, controls our lives. The Pharisees were able to rob their own parents of help by hiding behind their traditions! (“Corban” in Mark 7:11 means “a gift [to God]” and has to do with the laws in Num. 20:1-29.)

Bible Fellowship Time

As a child, was there ever a time that particularly sticks out in your memory when you did not honor your parents?
Have you ever talked to them about it?
Discussion questions:

1. What does it mean in practical terms to honor your father and mother? Give real life examples.
2. What is the original purpose of this command to Israelites?
3. What was the land God was giving them?
4. What is God’s desire for the nature of our relationships with others?


Jesus used very strong language to describe the sins of those who neglect their parents. It is a sin, no matter how you slice it. Some of us may have had very negative childhood experiences and may claim “but you don’t understand.” God does understand and His command still stands. Honor your father and mother. This may be hard to do, but one of the hallmarks and expectations of the Christian walk is forgiveness. Forgiveness and honor both flow from the heart of a person. They are not merely outward signs or a keeping of the letter of the law. God desires those who are “humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2). Christians keep the spirit of the law—it is written on their hearts (Jer. 31-32)—because we love God (the greatest commandment) and we love our neighbors (the second greatest commandment).

Do you honor your parents?

Psalms 119:2 ESV
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,

Closing Devotion
Thomas Manton wrote:
It is not those who hear the Word, but do it. Many have the Word in their mind and memory, but not in their lives. The truly blessed men are those that consider it a great obligation to obey it. God takes into sweet fellowship and communion those who keep his commandments. He will manifest himself in an intimate and gracious communion. The whole Trinity will come and dwell in his heart (John 14:23). We might consider two ways to keep God’s commandments: legal and evangelical. By legal, I mean keeping them in perfect, absolute obedience. If this is intended, no one would be blessed. The best of believers have failures in obedience. By evangelical obedience, I mean someone who in love and sincerity seeks to obey fully, but enjoys the gracious pardon for his failures. The apostles had many failures, yet Christ speaks of them to his Father, ‘they have kept your Word.” (John 17:6). When the heart is sincere, God will pass by our failings. So long as we bewail sin, seek remission of sin, strive after perfection, and endeavor to keep close and sensitive to his commandments, we keep the testimony of God in a gospel sense, and can be included in the compass of David’s blessed man (Psalm 1:1). If you bewail sin, seek pardon, and strive after perfection, this argues for sincerity and uprightness and honors the gospel. We have arrived at David’s blessed man if we esteem God’s testimonies and desire them to be impressed upon our hearts, and expressed in our lives.

Do you need to examine your heart today and see if you view God’s commandment as the Pharisees did?
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