SSU–Summer School–2019–Week Five “Moses and the Ten Commandments”



Moses and the Ten Commandments

“I, the LORD, am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.”

Source: USCCB.Org Ex 20:1-17

“ ‘But,’ said Moses to God, ‘if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what do I tell them?'” God replied to Moses: ‘I am who I am.’ Then he added: ‘This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.'”

Source: USCCB.Org Exodus, chapter 3:13-14


For Parents to Teach to Their Children

The Ten Commandments are the laws God gave to Moses for the Israelites to live by. These laws are also called “the Mosaic Laws.” 

Moses is chosen by God to intercede with the Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites, who are suffering and oppressed. Moses is reluctant, to say the least. He converses with God asking “Why me? How will Pharaoh listen to me?” God tells him, “I will be with you; and this will be your sign-that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God at this mountain.”

For more than forty years, Moses struggles to serve and shepherd the Israelites into the land promised by God–the land of milk and honey. God gives Moses stone tablets, He inscribed, with His laws for the people. It isn’t an easy sell for Moses. Give your children the opportunity to learn about Moses and the Ten Commandments by reading the Bible stories in Exodus, chapter 2 through Deuteronomy, chapter 34 (USCCB.Org), when his journey ends at age 120. Below, there are excerpts below from excellent children’s Bibles that tell the stories for different age groups.

Ten Commandments on Stone Tablets

Readings for Grown-Ups

Source: USCCB.Org
Reading #1 Ex 20:1-17

“In those days:
God delivered all these commandments:

“‘I, the LORD, am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves
in the shape of anything in the sky above
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,
inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness
on the children of those who hate me,
down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.’

‘You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
him who takes his name in vain.’

‘Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Six days you may labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.’

‘Honor your father and your mother,
that you may have a long life in the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you.’

‘You shall not kill.’

‘You shall not commit adultery.’

‘You shall not steal.’

‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’

‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass,
nor anything else that belongs to him.'”


Reading #2 1 Ex 34:29-35

“As Moses came down from Mount Sinai

with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,

he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant

while he conversed with the LORD.

When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses

and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become,

they were afraid to come near him.

Only after Moses called to them did Aaron

and all the rulers of the community come back to him.

Moses then spoke to them.

Later on, all the children of Israel came up to him,

and he enjoined on them all that the LORD

had told him on Mount Sinai.

When he finished speaking with them,

he put a veil over his face.

Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him,

he removed the veil until he came out again.

On coming out, he would tell the children of Israel

all that had been commanded.

Then the children of Israel would see

that the skin of Moses’ face was radiant;

so he would again put the veil over his face

until he went in to converse with the LORD.”

Readings for Children

Living the 10 Commandments for Children, Page 7

A Beautiful Letter From the Authors–Rosemary Gortler and Donna Piscitelli, Illustrated by Mimi Sternhagen

“Dear Children,

A very long time ago, God talked to a man named Abraham. God promised that He would be our God, and that we would be His people.

God made us, and He loves us. God really, really wants us to love Him.

And He also wants us to love and take care of one another.

To help us become the best people we can be, God carved His Ten Commandments in stone and gave them to Moses to teach us.

When we love and praise God, we become strong enough to follow these rules.

The more we love and praise God, the better we follow the Commandments and show others to do that, too.

Many years later, God sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus lived His life showing us how to live these commandments.

To live these commandments means that we sometimes have to resist temptation and do the right thing.

Temptation is that strong feeling to do something that is wrong.

But living the commandments makes us healthier, happier, and at peace with God and one another.

And that’s a great feeling!

God bless you.

Rosemary and Donna”


Reading for Older Children–An Excerpt

“God calls Moses to him and gives him the ten commandments carved on two stone tablets.”

‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and these are my commandments, to be obeyed by all my people.’

‘You shall worship no other God but me.’

‘You shall not make any statue or picture to worship.’

‘You shall not speak the name of the Lord except with reverence.’

‘You shall keep the sabbath, the seventh day, as a holy day of rest, for in six days I made the world, but on the seventh day I rested.’

‘You shall show respect for your father and mother.’

‘You shall not commit murder.’

‘You shall not be unfaithful to your husband or wife.’

‘You shall not steal.’

‘You shall not speak falsely against others.’

‘You shall not envy another person’s possessions.'”

Source: The Children’s Illustrated Bible, Pages 82-83

The Children’s Illustrated Bible

Note to Parents* The Children’s Illustrated Bible is not a Catholic Bible. However, it is an excellent resource and provides enrichment and information about the life, times, and geography of the Bible Stories.


Ten Commandment Video–A Mom Teaches Kids How to Learn all Ten!

We Celebrate Through Song

Note* The lyrics in the magnificent Paul Robeson version of “Go Down, Moses” are different from the ones below. My guess is that they are the original lyrics. The tune is the same.

“Go Down, Moses”

“This song is about freedom from bondage. In the story of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, God sent Moses to Pharaoh repeatedly to carry the divine message, “Let My people go,” but each time Pharaoh refused. Sometimes the bondage of the Israelites became worse, yet God told Moses to persist, and eventually, the Israelites were freed after God had shown His power through the ten plagues. True freedom never comes unless the power of God is behind it; yet when God moves, He is irresistible.” Bulletin Blurb


1 “When Israel was in Egypt’s land,
Let my people go,
oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go.

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land,
tell old Pharaoh: Let my people go.

2 The Lord told Moses what to do,
Let my people go,
to lead the Hebrew children through,
Let my people go. [Refrain]

3 As Israel stood by the waterside,
Let my people go,
at God’s command it did divide,
Let my people go. [Refrain]

4 When they had reached the other shore,
Let my people go,
they let the song of triumph soar,
Let my people go. [Refrain]

5 Lord, help us all from bondage flee,
Let my people go,
and let us all in Christ be free,
Let my people go. [Refrain]”

Psalter Hymnal, 1987


Our Art Projects

for Younger Children


Source for Text: At Home with Zan 


I used this craft from for the text and handprint idea. Since I was teaching a K/1 Sunday School class, I needed to make it simple. We used XL watercolor paper, for it’s size and strength. Instead of having the children make paint handprints, I bought foam hands in a package of about 24 and provided glue sticks. We pre-printed the stone tablets, 10 commandments per page. I cut them out and gave each child a set of commandments to paste above a finger, 1-10 in order. I offered Do-A-Dart Art! daubers for the children to decorate as they wished. Parents loved the results and the children learned as they enjoyed their art project.


Our Materials

Older Children’s Art Project–Watercolor of Mt. Sinai


“Mt. Sinai”

“Moses received God’s laws on Mount Sinai, or Mount Horeb, as it is sometimes called in the Bible.

Mount Sinai is believed to be the mountain Jebel Musa, or ‘Mountain of Moses,’ part of a group of peaks in the south of the Sinai Peninsula.

It is 7,500 feet (2,300 m) high and is made of red granite.” 

Source: Ibid, Page 83

Based on Photo from 1858, Wikimedia File: Francis Frith




Our Materials

This project uses watercolor paper and dry cake watercolors with a medium, synthetic paint brush. I also use small cut-up inexpensive sponges for dabbing almost-dry paint on, and a tooth brush to make splatter. Invite your children to enjoy creating a picture of Mt. Sinai from imagination or by looking at a photo from a book or the Internet, as I have done.

I found a very old photograph from 1858 on Wikimedia and used it to paint an impression of Mt. Sinai. The first step is shown below. Next, I dabbed colors onto the yellow sky with the end of a small sponge that has little water on it to create a sunset. I did the same with the red granite mountains, dabbing on shades of brownish red, sand, brown and beige. To create the look of granite, I rubbed a tooth brush over black paint, shook off the excess water, and ran my finger along the brush to splatter the painting. These last steps are fun and you can add depth, texture and colors to your painting.