The people of Israel are frequently exhorted to keep the Lord's commandments, not however as a burden to be resented, but as a response to his love, with joy (Ps. 119: 47). The word is also used in conjunction with the obligation of subjects towards the sovereign (2 Kgs. 18: 36) and children towards parents (Jer. 35: 14).

Commandments are summarized by Jesus, who puts together Deut. 6: 5 and Lev. 19: 18 (Mark 12: 28–34), and elaborates the meaning in John 13: 34 f.