The language in which the ten commandments was written has something to do with the astrological sign of Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.
Either Moses own chart and/or transits of Capricorn or Saturn influenced those who wrote the ten commandments to choose severe and threatening language.
Capricorn is also the great rule maker. Moses testimony manifested as a set of rules to be obeyed.
So what Moses was saying may not be threatening in itself. It is just the language that is threatening.
Moses may not have intended future generations to live in fear of these guidelines. But he could see what was required to improve the children of Israel.
One tends always to think that more is better. So the ten commandments were expanded to fill five books. This is the Law which Jesus described as man-made.
In Exodus there are constant references to Pharaoh's heart being hardened.
Moses message was from the heart.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Deuteronomy 6:5. (NRSV)
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Leviticus 19:18 (NRSV)
Jesus said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:40 (NRSV)
The prophets had great love and great faith. Elijah's love for the widow and her son who was revived. Elisha's love for Elijah.
The prophets interpreted the word of God according to their own understanding.
God tried to show Elijah something with the strong wind, the earthquake, and the fire - God was not in these violent events but in "a sound of sheer silence". 1 Kings 18:12 (NRSV)
With David and the prophets we see God's presence coming and going. They had great love for God but their understanding was limited. They interpreted the word according to the standard wisdom of the times i.e. the notion of rewards and punishments.
The sufferings and misfortunes of Israel were attributed to the nation's turning away from God.
Isaiah has God say, "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?" Isaiah 1:11 (NRSV) "Learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now let us argue it out." Isaiah 1:17,18 (NRSV)
The word of God can be said to be in this but Isaiah's fear then took over when he linked this to punishments in the form of wars and battles.
The prophets' understanding was that worldly events were caused by God punishing or rewarding people.
Fear caused them to say these things.
In Jeremiah God warned his people of invasions and wars which they were not strong enough to win. This was God's love for his people Israel.
The linking of this , however, to the concept of punishment for wickedness and iniquity was not necessarily God's word. It may have been Jeremiah's reaction to God's word.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel saw things and they interpreted them according to their understanding - the standard wisdom of the time.
How many times does God or His angel say "Fear not."
For it was their fear which made them speak of punishment.
Daniel saw visions and had dreams - these were symbolic and he interpreted them according to his understanding. The understanding of his time.
God speaks in Japanese to the Japanese and in Russian to the Russians.
The symbols and metaphors are individual to each person.
Sometimes they are archetypal.
We share in the work.
And that work is love.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)