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God’s Ten Great Laws

Then Moses called all Israel, and said to them, “Listen, O Israel, to the Laws which I speak in your hearing today. Learn them and be careful to live by them. The Lord our God made an agreement with us at Mount Sinai. The Lord did not make this agreement with our fathers, but with us, all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the center of the fire. I was standing between the Lord and you then, to tell you the Word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said:

‘I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house where you were servants.

‘Have no other gods except Me.

‘Do not make a false god for yourselves, or anything that is like what is in heaven above or on the earth below or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to them or serve them. I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I punish the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren for the sins of their fathers who hate Me. 10 But I show loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Laws.

11 ‘Do not use the name of the Lord your God in a bad way. For the Lord will punish the one who uses His name in a bad way.

12 ‘Remember the Day of Rest, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God told you. 13 Six days you will do all your work. 14 But the seventh day is a Day of Rest to the Lord your God. You, your son, your daughter, your man servant, your woman servant, your bull, donkey or any of your cattle, or the traveler who stays with you, must not do any work on this day. So your man servant and woman servant may rest as well as you. 15 Remember that you were servants in the land of Egypt. The Lord your God brought you out of there by a powerful hand and a long arm. So the Lord your God told you to keep the Day of Rest.

16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has told you. So your life may be long and it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God gives you.

17 ‘Do not kill another person.

18 ‘Do not do sex sins.

19 ‘Do not steal.

20 ‘Do not tell a lie about your neighbor.

21 ‘Do not have a desire for your neighbor’s wife. Do not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his man servant, his bull, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

22 “The Lord spoke these words to you while you were all gathered at the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the center of the fire, the cloud and the darkness. He added no more. And He wrote them on two pieces of stone and gave them to me.

The People Are Afraid

23 “When you heard the voice from the center of the darkness while the mountain burned with fire, you came to me with all the heads of your families and your leaders. 24 And you said, ‘See, the Lord our God has shown us His shining-greatness. We have heard His voice from the center of the fire. Today we have seen that God speaks with man and man still lives. 25 But why should we die now? For this big fire will burn us up. If we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, we will die. 26 For who of all flesh has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking from the center of the fire, as we have heard, and lived? 27 Go near and hear all the Lord our God says. Then tell us all the Lord our God says to you, and we will listen and do it.’

28 “The Lord heard what you said when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard the words which the people have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have said. 29 If only they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and live by all My Laws always! Then it would go well with them and with their children forever. 30 Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” 31 But you stand here by Me. And I will tell you all the Laws which you should teach them, so they may keep them in the land I give them for their own.’ 32 Be careful to do just as the Lord your God has told you. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in all the way the Lord your God has told you. Then you may live, it may be well with you, and you may live a long time in the land that will belong to you.