May 27, 2021

God’s Law in 50 Languages: A Jewish Adventist Congregation Project

A unique video that highlights God’s Ten Commandments as given to Moses in the Bible book of Exodus recently brought together 53 participants from five continents and 25 countries. The four-minute video features people from around the world reciting parts of the Ten Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20, in 50 languages and dialects.

The book of Exodus reveals that the fundamental event following the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt was the making of a covenant with God, the receiving of the Ten Commandments — the Decalogue — on Mount Sinai. This event is celebrated annually by Jews on the Feast of the gift of Torah — Shavuot, or Pentecost, which in 2021 was celebrated May 17 and 18.

Earlier in May, the Kyiv Jewish Adventist Congregation “Beit Shalom” in Kyiv, Ukraine, launched a unique initiative to highlight the importance of the moment, inviting representatives of dozens of people groups and nationalities from different continents and countries to join it.

The project began with the idea of creating a video of the Ten Commandments of God in several languages spoken by members of the community. But the number of possible languages and participants began to snowball, so the project went beyond the community and the city, and grew to an international multilingual scale.


It was easy, initiative organizers said, because the Adventist Church is a worldwide movement. Also, the project was supported not only by Adventists but also by their friends and acquaintances from other faiths.

In addition to the major European and Asian languages, the project also featured some lesser-known languages. A participant recited in the language from the island of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, and a native of New Zealand spoke the te reo Māori language. In the video, you can hear the languages of the indigenous peoples of North and South America and Oceania, as well as languages common in Ukraine, Armenia, the United States, the Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Peru, and the Philippines, among others.

It is important to note that the video also includes Semitic languages, some of the world’s oldest, as well as Hebrew, the language of the Torah, which begins the proclamation of the Decalogue in the “Beit Shalom” hall.

Not every nation, people, or tribe has the Word of God translated into its mother tongue — the language that usually speaks to the heart of every person. Some read the Bible only in translation of a language they learned, such as Spanish or English, and it is not yet available to many. But billions of people around the world are at least nominally acquainted with the Ten Commandments that reveal the universal imperatives — the principles of love to God and neighbor.

“This project, expanding the geography of its participants, has become a vivid testimony to the universality and greatness of the Law of the Almighty, the beauty of His creation — people, their nations, and languages,” the organizers of the initiative said. “God’s law is known in the great cities of the New World and on far South Pacific islands. In fact, the name of our project reflects the deep meaning of this phenomenon: one world — one law,” they explained.

The creators of the project claim that it broadened their horizons, and not only geographically. “Most importantly, it allowed us to admire the inspired, sincere proclamation of the Word of God and to touch the experience of the people of Israel, standing under Mount Sinai,” they shared.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, organizers said.

“The Decalogue has a universal power, and trying to understand it that way is very powerful. Glory to the Almighty for His unfailing love,” a woman named Svitlana wrote. Another man named Sergey said that before the project, he had no idea about some languages. "For the first time, I see such an original idea of biblical history,” he noted.

“Great work!” a woman named Stephanie wrote. “When you watch [the video], you feel the greatness of the law and the wonder of our world. I’m amazed.”

Vitaliy Obrevko, pastor of the Beit Shalom congregation, said that “at Sinai, God spoke to representatives of all nations who came out of Egypt with the Jews, to emphasize that His Law belongs to all humanity. In addition, the gift of the Holy Spirit for Pentecost was another manifestation of God's love for the early Judeo-Christian church, which enabled it to bring the message of the Savior to all the nations of the world.”

You can watch the “One World — One Law” video on YouTube.