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October 29, 2009

by Cheryl

We all know that we shouldn’t break the Ten Commandments, but how do you remember what they are?  What is the order and is that important?  Here is a way to remember all the Ten Commandments in order (according to Martin Luther), courtesy of the confirmation class of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Johnsonville, PA. Please be aware that some of these commandments were paraphrased by the class. Parents, Sunday school teachers, and confirmation teachers: you may want to use these to teach your children/students the Ten Commandments. OR you might want to challenge them to come up with their own “tricks” to remember the Ten Commandments!

First Commandment – You shall have no other gods before me.  Memory aide: Hold up one finger, remember “one God.” (How easy is that?)

Second Commandment – You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.  Memory aide – Hold up two fingers, you get the letter “V”, remember vain.

sabbathThird Commandment – Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  Memory aide – Hold up three fingers, you get the letter “w”, remember worship, which should lead you to Sabbath.

Fourth Commandment – Honor your father and mother.  Memory aide – Picture the number 4, turn it upside down and you get the letter “h”, remember the word honor.

Fifth Commandment – You shall not kill.  Memory aide – Hold up all five fingers, pull in the middle, ring and pinkie finger and then point your hand like a gun, for killing.

Sixth Commandment – You shall not commit adultery. Memory aide – Six to sex.steal

Seventh Commandment – You shall not steal.  Memory aide – Seven and steal both begin with “s”.

Eighth Commandment – You shall not bear false witness.  Memory aide – Picture the number “8” in your head, give it ears, eyes and a nose, and you have a bear.  Bear=bear.

Ninth Commandment – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  Memory aide – Picture the number “9”, turn it into a tree and put a house next to it.

Tenth Commandment – You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his maidservant, etc.  (Our kids’ version – You shall not covet your neighbor’s stuff.)  Memory aide – There are about 10 items on the list of things you shouldn’t covet if you read it in the Bible, so our kids used the number 10 as the amount of things they shouldn’t covet.

We hope that this helps everyone reading this to remember the 10 Commandments, because they really are important to know!  In our good ol’ Lutheran tradition, we know that the ten commandments are both a guide for life – and point out that sometimes we don’t “measure up” and need God’s saving grace.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. Dale permalink
    October 23, 2010 10:27 pm

    Actually the second commandment is-
    Exodus 20 Verse 4 “You shall not make for you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:”
    Verse 5 “You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate me;”

    • October 24, 2010 10:55 am

      This is a blog of the Northeastern PA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We count our commandments differently, Dale!

  2. rob permalink
    August 30, 2011 12:08 am

    does your church preach 9 or 10 commandments? you have counted thou shalt not covet twice for ninth and tenth. That sure is different from what most religions teach the ten commandment are but I will give your religion the benefit of the doubt and assume that you made an honest mistake and didn’t check yourself when dale made his correction.
    1 is no other gods
    2 is no graven images
    3 is don’t take tha Lords name in vain
    4 is keep the Sabbath day Holy
    5 is Honor your parents
    6 is don’t kill
    7 is no adultery
    8 is don’t steal
    9 is don’t bear false witness
    10 is don’t covet
    obviously I have paraphrased these great commandments..

  3. August 30, 2011 3:33 pm


    As I mentioned to Dale, as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we count the commandments differently. Please check out this webpage – which posts the contents of “The Book of Concord” including Martin Luther’s Small Catechism where he lists the ten commandments AND shares their meanings. Our first commandment, “You shall have no other gods” really speaks to commandment #s 1 and 2. To have no other gods also means to make no graven images. I am aware that some denominations count their commandments as you count them. But, Lutherans (and others) count them in the fashion outlined in the blog article.

    Here’s the link I told you about! Thanks for sharing your comments.

  4. Rich Overcash permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:58 pm

    Thanks for this creative way to remember the commandments. I used it and the kids had fun with it. I also came up with several alternatives to your ideas. #4 – if you make the four fingers into a family and they go for a “walk,” the two smaller fingers trail behind the two larger fingers (index and middle). It is a sign of respect – honoring father and mother! #8 – Bearing false witness against my neighbor is lying and telling an untrue. Those who broke this command ‘ate’ (8) their words! #9 and #10. When I said ‘coveting’ several heard the word ‘covering.’ Use all your fingers to ‘cover’ your face so you won’t see your neighbor’s possessions and ‘covet’ them! Thanks again!

  5. Anonymous permalink
    December 14, 2011 10:41 am

    Great ideas, Rich – Thank you for sharing!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    November 13, 2012 8:02 pm

    These are wrong

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 14, 2012 5:33 pm

      Not wrong. Just different.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    December 10, 2012 7:06 am

    Thanks very much for this. I can’t believe that some others are so ready to call these “wrong.” The Catholic Church also follows the commandments in this order, and your method is a great way for kids to remember them.

  8. January 20, 2013 8:41 am

    Here is a link that shows you how the order of the 10 commandment was written in Exodus 20: 2-17 and in Deut. 5:6-21 and our traditional way.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    July 14, 2013 5:51 pm

    #3 hold up pointer, index, and ring finger. It looks like the middle finger is the steeple of the church which reminds you to keep holy the Lord’s day.

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