By Helen Rittelmeyer
Each plague in the left-hand column is linked to its corresponding commandment of the Decalogue with an explanation of which sin committed by the Egyptians brought on which particular plague. Traditionally, the plagues as a whole are attributed to the wickedness of the Egyptians but are not usually divided up by sin.
The Ten Commandments in the center column of the diagram are listed in a kind of shorthand, "Thief" for "Thou shall not steal," "Bed of the neighbor" for "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife," etc. Any monk viewing the diagram would certainly have been familiar with the original text.
The "Ten Abuses of the Impious" listed in the right-hand column of the diagram are not simply violations of the Commandments. For example, it is not committing theft but learning to commit theft that is linked to the sixth commandment.
Some of the Commandments are not listed literally. "Take care of your own business," for example, is a colloquial interpretation of the tenth commandment, which forbids covetousness. This more familiar language was helpful to monks in the process of internalizing the essential message of the injunction.