The ten commandments

Nash Papyrus
Egypt, second century BCE

The Nash Papyrus is one of the oldest examples of the text of the Hebrew Bible, dating from the second century BCE. It contains only the Ten Commandments and the Shemaʿ prayer (‘Hear, O Israel’). It is perhaps from a phylactery, a box containing scripture that orthodox Jews wear when praying. The text of the Ten Commandments preserved on the papyrus is different from that found in the Bible, suggesting that even this fundamental religious text has changed. The manuscript fragment measures 140x60mm.

MS Or.233

Extended captions