The covenant between God and the Israelites as stated in the Hebrew Bible is referred to as the Mosaic covenant. The mosaic covenant’s events were recorded in the first five books of the Bible. After delivering the Israelites from Egypt, God made a deal or a pact with them. The given stipulation was intended to guide the Israelites and guide their lives in the Promised Land as God instructed (Knile, 56).
Exodus 20 24 and Deuteronomy 4 6 all mention the mosaic covenant. In both books, God gave the Israelites laws that would direct them through their lives in service and obedience to Him as well as in their relationship and responsibilities to God and each other. While the Israelites were in Egypt, they were influenced by the Egyptian gods. After being delivered, they headed to Canaan. That was a land that worshiped other gods too (Brenner, Athalya, & Gale, 25). Therefore, there was a high possibility that these people could be easily influenced. The commandments were thus set to guide Israelites. In both, the worship of idols is condemned. The Hebrew Bible depicts that God is jealous. Since He is the creator of the Universe, Lord expects the people to worship Him alone and denounce any other gods. Therefore both accounts of the Mosaic Law condemn the worship of idols.
In both, God is a creator and a sustainer of the universe. Therefore, He expects Israelites to obey and worship only Him. In Deuteronomy chapter four, God states that He is going to teach the people laws that should be followed in the Promised Land. God also commanded them not to alter a divine rule which is the same case with the exodus version of events where God tells Israelites through Moses to observe all the commandments given to the letter (Knile, 70).
There are, however, several differences in the content of the Mosaic Law as stipulated in the Book of Exodus 20 and in the Deuteronomy 4. For instance, in the exodus version, the Ten Commandments given to mosses were written in two tables. These divine directives were rather specific and summed up all the laws that the Israelites were expected to observe. In Deuteronomy, the principles provided to the people were broken down and had no order as was the case with the one in Exodus. Also, according to Deuteronomy, mosses set aside three cities acting as refuges to any person who had killed someone without intending. They would flee and seek refuge in these cities. This wasnt stipulated in the Ten Commandments given to mosses at Mt. Sinai.
The Mosaic Law was given to the Israelites after God had delivered them from the oppression of the Egyptians. This was a show of mercy for the plight of the people of Israel. Justice, on the other hand, is displayed by the punishment that Lord imposes to those who worship other Gods. He gave the Israelite commandment to be followed if they needed to live long in the land that he had promised them. This shows that he is rather just. He gives laws and expects them to be adhered. Lord offers a reward of long and prosperous lives to the people who obey and worship Him, and also provides punishment to those who disobey His commandments and stray from His Eyes (Brenner, Athalya & Gale, 25).
Brenner, Athalya, and Gale A. Yee, eds. Exodus and Deuteronomy. Fortress Press, 2012.
Kline, Meredith G. Treaty of the great king: the covenant structure of Deuteronomy: studies and commentary. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012.