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[a]This month will stand at the head of your calendar; you will reckon it the first month of the year.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 12:2 As if to affirm victory over Pharaoh and sovereignty over the Israelites, the Lord proclaims a new calendar for Israel. This month: Abib, the month of “ripe grain.” Cf. 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; Dt 16:1. It occurred near the vernal equinox, March–April. Later it was known by the Babylonian name of Nisan. Cf. Neh 2:1; Est 3:7.

11 Who is like you among the gods, O Lord?
    Who is like you, magnificent among the holy ones?
Awe-inspiring in deeds of renown, worker of wonders,

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11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for he rescued the people from the power of the Egyptians when they treated them arrogantly.”

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15 Moses answered his father-in-law, “The people come to me to consult God.

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You shall not have other gods beside me.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 20:3

    Beside me: this commandment is traditionally understood as an outright denial of the existence of other gods except the God of Israel; however, in the context of the more general prohibitions in vv. 4–5, v. 3 is, more precisely, God’s demand for Israel’s exclusive worship and allegiance.

    The Hebrew phrase underlying the translation “beside me” is, nonetheless, problematic and has been variously translated, e.g., “except me,” “in addition to me,” “in preference to me,” “in defiance of me,” and “in front of me” or “before my face.” The latter translation, with its concrete, spatial nuances, has suggested to some that the prohibition once sought to exclude from the Lord’s sanctuary the cult images or idols of other gods, such as the asherah, or stylized sacred tree of life, associated with the Canaanite goddess Asherah (34:13). Over the course of time, as vv. 4–5 suggest, the original scope of v. 3 was expanded.

23 You shall not make alongside of me gods of silver, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.(A)

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