What is a Statute and an Ordinance?

We know what the commandments are. They are the ten words which Yahuwah our Elohim provided us with.  So what is a Statute? What is an ordinance?

Deuteronomy 5
1 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them:
“Hear, O YisraEl, the statutes and judgments (legal decisions) which I am speaking today in your hearing, so that you may learn them and observe them carefully.

Yahuwah our Elohim made a covenant with us at Horeb.
Yahuwah did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, all of us who are alive here today. Yahuwah spoke with you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire. I was standing between Yahuwah and you at that time, to declare to you the word of Yahuwah; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.

Moses then reads out the ten commandments and says after this:

22 “Yahuwah spoke these words with a great voice to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, and He added no more. He wrote these commandments on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.”

The statutes and ordinances are the ten commandments. This then leads me to the next question. When I read “statute” or “ordinance” I understand that these are an agreement, but have never understood as to why they are not just called the commandments. Why have three titles for them? Let’s look at what these terms mean as it may provide us with some idea.

Statute comes from the word “choq” – H2706. Beside interpreted as a statute it means something which is prescribed as a task which provides conditions and limits.

The word Judgements comes from the word “mishpat” – H8199. Besides being interpreted as judgement it means the act of deciding a case and providing justice based upon the decision from the Law. It is also seen as the word “Ordinance”, which is the same word.

So when we read statutes and judgements, it is not another set of rules, but rather a way of describing a set of conditions and limits which the Father has provided which He uses to provide justice with based upon what the Law is. The“Remember [with thoughtful concern] the Law of Moses My servant, the statutes and the ordinances which I commanded him on [Mount] Horeb [to give] to all Israel.

Let’s look at some other examples from His word. The Sabbath is indeed one of the commandments of Yahuwah. It is the fourth commandment and it is the last commandment between Man and Yahuwah. The other six commandments are between Ourselves and our fellow man. The Sabbath is a part of His Law. Here in Ezekiel we read about the limits which are used to provide justice. This limit, condition or prescribed task is His Sabbath.

Ezekiel 20:19-20
19 I am Yahuwah your Elohim; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. 20 Sanctify My Sabbaths and keep them holy; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know [without any doubt] that I am Yahuwah your Elohim.’

In Malachi 4:4 we again read of these statutes and ordinances.

Malachi 4:4
“Remember [with thoughtful concern] the Law of Moses My servant, the statutes and the ordinances which I commanded him on [Mount] Horeb [to give] to all Israel.

If you read these verses with the words “limits which are used to provide justice” it makes perfect sense.

Malachi 4:4
“Remember [with thoughtful concern] the Law of Moses My servant, the limits which I use to provide justice, which I commanded him on [Mount] Horeb [to give] to all Israel.

Nehamiah 9:13-14 also speaks of the statutes and jugdements. Along with this it speaks of the commandments. It tells us that Yahuwah provided fair ordinances (judements) and true laws. The statutes (limits) of the commandments are benefical to those who follow them. These were provides through Moses, His servant.

Nehamiah 9:13-14
13 “Then You came down on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven;
And You gave them fair ordinances (decisions of justice) and true laws,
Good statutes (limits) and commandments.
14 “So You made known to them Your holy Sabbath,
And gave them commandments, statutes (as limits), and law,
Through Your servant Moses.




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