Bl. Jacobus de Voragine - "Golden Legend" - "The Ten Commandments' interpretation from Middle Ages - part II"

"The fourth commandment is that thou shalt honour and worship thy father and mother, for thou shalt live the longer on earth. This commandment admonisheth us that we be well ware to anger father and mother in any wise. Or who that curseth them or set hand on them in evil will, sinneth deadly. In this commandment is understood the honour that we should do to our ghostly and spiritual fathers, that is to them that have the cure of us, to teach and chastise us, as be the prelates of the Church, and they that have the charge and cure of our souls, and to keep our bodies. And he that will not obey to him that hath the cure over him when he enseigneth and teacheth him good that he is bound to do, he sinneth grievously and is inobedient, which is deadly sin.

The fifth commandment is that thou shalt slay no man. This commandment will that no man shall slay the other for vengeance, ne for his goods, or for any other evil cause, it is deadly sin. But for to slay malefactors in executing of justice or for other good cause, if it be lawful it may well be done. In this commandment is defended the sin of wrath and hate, of rancour and of ire. For as the Scripture saith: Who hateth his brother is an homicide when it is by his will, and he sinneth deadly; and he that beareth anger in his heart long, for such ire long holden in the heart is rancour and hate, which is deadly sin, and is against this commandment. And yet sinneth he more that doth or purchaseth shame, villany or hurt to another wrongfully, or counselleth or helpeth to grieve another for to avenge him. But wrath or anger lightly past without will to noy or grieve any other, is not deadly sin.

The sixth commandment is, thou shalt not do adultery, that is to say, thou shalt not have fleshly company with another man's wife. In this commandment it is forbidden and defended all manner sin of the flesh which is called generally lechery, which is a right foul sin and villainous. How be it that there is some branch of it that is not deadly sin, as oft movings of the flesh that may not be eschewed, which men ought to restrain and refrain as much as they may. And this cometh oft times by outrageous drinking and eating, or by evil thought, or foul touching, for in such things may be great peril. And in this commandment is defended all sin against nature, in what manner it be done in his person or other.

The seventh commandment is that thou shalt do no theft. This commandment forbiddeth to take away other men's things whatsomever they be, without reason, against the will of them that owe or make them. In this commandment is defended ravin, usury, robbery and deceit, and beguiling other for to have their havoir or good. And he that doth against this commandment is bound to make restitution and yield again that he hath so gotten or taken, if he know to whom he ought to render it. And if he know not, he is bounden to give it for God's sake, or do by the counsel of holy church. For who retaineth wrongfully and without reason other men's goods against their will, sinneth deadly, if he pay not where as he oweth, if he know where and be in his power and hath whereof. And if he know not let him do by the counsel of holy church, and whoso doth not so, sinneth against this commandment deadly.

The eighth commandment is that thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. In this commandment is forbidden that no man shall lie wittingly, for whoso lieth doth against this commandment. And also that he forswear not him in judgment, ne make no leasings to annoy ne grieve another, nor he ought not to missay ne speak evil of others in intention to impair his good name and fame, for it is deadly sin. Against this commandment do they that say evil of good men behind them, and backbite them, and do this wittingly by malice, which is called detraction. And also they that accuse some of their folly, or hearken by manner of adulation or flattering, when they that men speak of be not present. They that do thus and say such words do against this commandment, for they be all false witnesses.

The ninth commandment is that thou shalt not desire the wife of thy neighbour, nor shalt not covet her in thine heart, that is to say, thou shalt not consent to sin with her with thy body. This commandment defendeth to desire to have company with all manner women out of marriage, and the evil signs that be without forth make men for to draw them to sin, as the evil words of such matter, or the foul and evil attouching, kissing, handling and such other. And the difference between this commandment and the sixth aforesaid is that, the sixth commandment forbiddeth the deed without forth, and this forbiddeth the consenting within forth; for the consenting within forth to have company with a woman that is not his by marriage is deadly sin, after the sentence of the gospel that saith: Who that seeth a woman and coveteth her in his heart, he hath now sinned in his heart and deadly. This is to understand of the consenting expressed in his thought.

The tenth commandment is that thou shalt not covet nothing that is, or longeth to, thy neighbour. This commandment defendeth will to have things that belong to other men by evil reason or wrongfully. In this commandment is defended envy of other men's weal, of other men's grace or welfare. For such envy cometh of evil covetise to have such good or such grace or fortune as he seeth in other. And this covetise is when the consenting and thought be certainly one, then it is deadly sin. And if there be any evil movings without will and consenting of damage or hurt of other, this is not deadly sin. If he sin herein it is but venial sin. These be the ten commandments of our Lord, of which the three first belong to God, and the seven other be ordained for our neighbours. Every person that hath wit and understanding in himself, and age, is bound to know them and to obey and keep these ten commandments aforesaid or else he sinneth deadly."

REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van RIJN - Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law: