Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments

1Then God spoke all these words:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. a
3 Do not have other gods besides Me. b
4 Do not make an idol c for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, d punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations e of those who hate Me, 6but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands. f
7 Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name. g
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: h 9You are to labor six days and do all your work, i 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work – you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. j 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother k so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder. l
14 Do not commit adultery. m
15 Do not steal. n
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. o
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. p

The People’s Reaction

18 All the people witnessed
Lit saw
the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it
Sam, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read smoking; the people (or they) were afraid
they trembled and stood at a distance. s
19 “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.” t

20 Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will
fear(s) God or the Lord/ the fear of the Lord: No single English word conveys every aspect of the word fear in this phrase. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel.
fear Him and will not
Lit that the fear of Him may be in you, and you do not
sin.” w
21And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. x

Moses Receives Additional Laws

22 Then the Lord told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. y 23You must not make gods of silver to rival Me; you must not make gods of gold for yourselves.
Hb obscure

24“You must make an earthen altar for Me and sacrifice on it your
burnt offering(s): Or holocaust, an offering completely burned to ashes; it was used in connection with worship, seeking God's favor, expiating sin, or averting judgment.
burnt offerings and
fellowship sacrifice(s) or offering(s): An animal offering was given to maintain and strengthen a person's relationship with God. It was not required as a remedy for impurity or sin but was an expression of thanksgiving for various blessings. An important function of this sacrifice was to provide meat for the priests and the participants in the sacrifice; it was also called the peace offering or the sacrifice of well-being.
fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats, as well as your cattle. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause My name to be remembered. ad
25 If you make a stone altar for Me, you must not build it out of cut stones. If you use your chisel on it, you will defile it. ae 26You must not go up to My altar on steps, so that your nakedness is not exposed on it.
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