In the time of Christ the Jews arranged and numbered the 10 commands of the Decalogue as most Protestants do today (see Jos. Ant. iii. 5. 5). The arrangement and enumeration followed by the Roman Catholic Church, dividing the 10th, on covetousness, is that adopted by St. Augustine, who preferred, of the two then-existing methods, the one combining the 1st and 2nd commands and dividing the 10th. He thus assigned 3 commands to the 1st table of the Decalogue, and 7 to the 2nd. One of his reasons for adopting this arrangement was to have the symbolic numbers 3, 7, and 10 in the Decalogue.
The 1st command enjoins monotheism, or the exclusive worship of the one true God, Yahweh, in contrast with polytheism, or the worship of many gods. The 2nd command forbids idolatry of all kinds, that is, attempts to worship the invisible God through visible forms (cf. Hos 8:6; Col 1:15-17). The 3rd command forbids all irreverence, especially the needless mention of God's name in ordinary conversation, and perjury accompanied by an invocation of the divine name. The 4th command enjoins the observance of the Sabbath and identifies the true God as Creator of heaven and earth. By keeping the Sabbath men were to remember Him as such, and they would thus be protected against all false worship. The 5th command enjoins respect and submission to parents as God's appointed agents for the transmission of His revealed will to succeeding generations (see Deut 4:9; Deut 6:7). The 6th command protects life as sacred. The 7th command enjoins purity and thus safeguards the marital relationship in order that the home may realize its divinely appointed objectives. The 8th command safeguards property. The 9th command safeguards truth and protects against perjury. The 10th command goes to the root of all human relationships by providing that man shall not covet that which belongs to another, much less deprive him of it by force.
A fragmentary papyrus sheet, the famed Nash Papyrus, contains the Decalogue in the form presented in Deut 5, together with the "Shema," a quotation of Deut 6:1. This famous Hebrew document, originating in the 1st cent. b.c., is now in Cambridge, England. Up to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls it was the earliest Hebrew document containing any part of the Bible -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.