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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 26

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Exodus 20:5–6

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Pulling It Together

The Hebrew word typically translated as “jealous” in Exodus 20:5 can mean zealous, passionate, even outraged—or simply protective. Luther translated it as “zealous” (eifriger) but the major English translations all read “jealous.” The point of the text is that God is powerfully protective of his relationship with his people. He is zealously jealous, as one should be of a spouse. Throughout Scripture, God is depicted as bridegroom and the Israel of God as his spouse (Isa 54:5; Rev 19:7). So of course, God is a jealous God. This is a holy and righteous quality in one who steadfastly loves his spouse.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for loving me so fiercely. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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Luther's Small Cat Discovers: Martin Luther and the Reformation. This five-week booklet in the Luther's Small Cat children’s series introduces Martin Luther and the era of the Reformation, and is written for upper elementary students. Designed to complement the original Luther's Small Cat series on the meaning of the catechism, this series looks at life in the Church and the unique heritage of the Lutheran faith tradition.

Teacher's Guide


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