History gets pretty muddy as time marches on.
For example, in the day of the horse-drawn carriage, people had a saying, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” A hundred years after the advent of the automobile, many people don’t get the meaning.
You might understand each of those key words individually — never, look, gift, horse, mouth — and still not understand why that act is such a bad thing.
The problem is even more difficult with the ancient 10 Commandments. We can translate every ancient Hebrew word more or less correctly individually (thou, shalt, not, steal), but when we put them together are we really certain what the words are intended to accomplish?
For example, what is the intended audience? The people or the government? A constitutional law like the Decalogue controls the government, says James Madison. Statutes govern the people.
Our own Constitution today, 230 years old, has gotten to where our politicians don’t understand it at all. It governs the government, and it needs to do its job.
Woods Cross, Utah
(Former Goleta resident)