An implicit allusion to the deeper significance of the command to "honor your father and your mother" is detected in the very context in which this command appears. It appears as one of the Ten Commandments.

Moreover, within the Decalogue itself it is part of the first of the two tablets. This is rather significant. For though all of the Decalogue is of Divine origin (as is the whole Torah), the precepts on the first tablet deal with typically religious matters of the man-G‑d relationship.

The Mitzvos on the second tablet deal with the matters related to intra-human relationships. One would expect the fifth commandment to be grouped in the latter five as it, too, seems to deal with a matter of social concern. In fact, however, it is adjoined to the first four which are of purely religious nature.

The classic commentators already noted this and offer various interpretations [Cf. Hadar Zekenim; Ramban; Abarbanel; and others.].

Some suggest that this draws attention to the parents' role as those who provide their children with the proper guidance with respect to their religious obligations. But there is a still more profound allusion which is independent of the post-natal parental involvement and centers on the creative capacity of the parents only.

The child-parent relationship is analogous to, and intricately bound up in, the man—G‑d relationship. This is so because in bringing a child into this world the parents are in a partnership with G‑d: the material substance is derived from the parents, while G‑d grants spirit and soul, the vital form of man [See Kidushin 30b; Nidah 31a.].

The fifth of the Ten Commandments implicitly suggests awareness of one's origin, cognizance of one's raison d'etre, and grateful acknowledgment of one's resources.

Awareness of the parents' role as creative agents leads to contemplation on, and recognition of, the ultimate Creator and Provider of all: G‑d. Acknowledgment and gratitude will then extend from the immediate and visual tangiblilities to such as one comes to recognize only after some meditation.

For this reason G‑d accounts honor shown to parents as though it were shown to Himself; and conversely, the neglect to honor parents is regarded as an insult to G‑d [Mechilta on Exodus 20:12; Sifra on Lev 19:3.].

That is why this commandment appears in the middle of the Decalogue: it mediates between the first four and the latter five precepts because it is related to both groups. It is as much a religious principle as it is a social one.

Proper behavior towards parents is seen as a logical rung in the ladder leading to the proper behavior toward our Father in Heaven and the realization of the ultimate purpose of man. He who heeds his parents as he should may be assumed to heed other religious obligations as well [See Zohar III:81b.].