Exodus 19-24 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Israel Camps at Sinai
19 Exactly three months after the Israelites had left Egypt, ·they [L the sons/T children of Israel] ·reached [came to] the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Sinai. 2 When they left Rephidim, they came to the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Sinai and camped in the ·desert [wilderness] in front of the mountain. 3 Then Moses went up on the mountain to God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Say this to the ·family [L house] of Jacob, and tell the ·people [sons; children] of Israel: 4 ‘Every one of you has seen what I did to the people of Egypt. You saw how I carried you out of Egypt, as if on eagle’s wings [C God protected and guided them; Deut. 32:11]. And I brought you here to me. 5 So now if you ·obey me [L listen to my voice] and keep my ·agreement [covenant; treaty], you will be my own possession [special treasure], chosen from all nations. Even though the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be my kingdom of priests and a holy nation [C set apart to serve God and bring others to him; Gen. 12:1–3].’ You must tell the ·Israelites [L the sons/T children of Israel] these words.”
7 So Moses went down and called the elders of the people together. He told them all the words the Lord had commanded him to say. 8 All the people answered together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” Then Moses took ·their answer [L the words of the people] back to the Lord.
9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a ·thick [dense] cloud and speak to you. The people will hear me speaking with you and will always trust you.” Then Moses told the Lord ·what the people had said [L the words of the people].
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and have them ·spend today and tomorrow preparing themselves [consecrate/sanctify themselves today and tomorrow]. They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the ·day after tomorrow [L third day]. On that day I, the Lord, will come down on Mount Sinai, and all the people will see me. 12 But you must set a ·limit around the mountain that the people are not to cross [L boundary around the people]. ·Tell [Warn] them not to go up on the mountain and not to touch the ·foot [edge] of it. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death 13 with stones or shot with arrows. No one is allowed to touch him [C touching a dead body rendered a person ritually unclean; Num. 5:2]. Whether it is a person or an animal, he will not live. But the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] will make a long blast, and only then may the people go up on the mountain.”
14 After Moses went down from the mountain to the people, he made them ·prepare themselves for service to God [consecrate/sanctify themselves], and they washed their clothes. 15 Then Moses said to the people, “Be ready in three days. Do not ·have sexual relations during this time [L touch a woman; C an emission of semen rendered a man ritually unclean; Lev. 15:16–18].”
16 On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud on the mountain. There was a very loud blast from a ·trumpet [ram’s horn], ·and [or so that] all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses ·led [brought] the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord came down on it in fire. The smoke rose from the mountain like smoke from a ·furnace [kiln], and the whole mountain ·shook wildly [trembled]. 19 The ·sound [blast] from the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] became louder. Then Moses spoke, and ·the voice of [or in thunder] God answered him.
20 When the Lord came down on top of Mount Sinai, he ·called [invited] Moses to come up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people that they must not ·force their way [break] through to see me. If they do, many of them will ·die [L fall]. 22 Even the priests, who may ·come near [approach] me, must first ·prepare [consecrate; sanctify] themselves. If they don’t, I, the Lord, will ·punish [L break out against] them.”
23 Moses told the Lord, “The people cannot come up on Mount Sinai, because you yourself ·told [warned] us, ‘Set a ·limit [boundary] around the mountain, and ·set it apart as holy [consecrate/sanctify it].’”
24 The Lord said to him, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you, but don’t allow the priests or the people to ·force their way [break] through. They must not come up to the Lord, or I will ·punish [L break out against] them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them these things.
The Ten Commandments
20 Then God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt ·where you were slaves [L from the house of bondage].
3 “You must not have any other gods ·except [or before] me.
4 “You must not make for yourselves an idol that looks like anything in the ·sky [heavens] above or on the earth below or in the water below the ·land [earth]. 5 You must not worship or serve them, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. ·If you hate me, I will punish your children, and even your grandchildren and great-grandchildren [L I will visit/punish the guilt of the fathers on the sons/T children until the third and fourth generations of those who hate me]. 6 But I show kindness to ·thousands [or thousands of generations of those] who love me and obey my commands.
7 “You must not ·use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly [take/lift up the name of the Lord your God in vain]; the Lord will ·punish [L not hold/treat as innocent; not acquit] anyone who ·misuses [takes in vain] his name.
8 “Remember to ·keep the Sabbath holy [consecrate/sanctify the Sabbath]. 9 Work and get everything done during six days each week, 10 but the seventh day is a ·day of rest to honor [Sabbath to] the Lord your God. On that day no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, your male or female slaves, your animals, or the ·foreigners [sojourners; wanderers; resident aliens] living in your ·cities [L gates]. 11 The reason is that in six days the Lord made everything—the ·sky [heavens], the earth, the sea, and everything in them. On the seventh day he rested. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and ·made it holy [consecrated/sanctified it].
12 “Honor your father and your mother so that you will live ·a long time [L for many days] in the land that the Lord your God is going to give you.
13 “You must not murder anyone.
14 “You must not ·be guilty of [commit] adultery.
15 “You must not steal.
16 “You must not ·tell lies about [bear false witness against] your neighbor.
17 “You must not ·want to take [covet] your neighbor’s house. You must not ·want [covet] his wife or his male or female slaves, or his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor [C this commandment internalizes previous commandments].”
18 When the people heard the thunder and the ·trumpet [ram’s horn], and when they saw the lightning and the smoke rising from the mountain, they ·shook with fear [trembled] and stood far away from the mountain. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”
20 Then Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, because God has come to test you. He wants ·you to respect him [L to put the fear of him on you] so you will not sin.”
21 The people stood far away from the mountain while Moses went near the dark cloud where God was. 22 Then the Lord told Moses to say these things to the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel]: “You yourselves have seen that I talked with you from heaven. 23 You must not use gold or silver to make idols for yourselves; do not worship these gods in addition to me.
24 “Make an altar of dirt for me, and sacrifice on it your whole burnt offerings [Lev. 1] and ·fellowship [or peace; Lev. 3] offerings, your sheep and your cattle. Worship me in every place that I choose, and I will come and bless you. 25 If you use stones to make an altar for me, don’t use ·stones that you have shaped with tools [hewn/cut stones]. When you use any ·tools [chisel] on them, you ·make them unsuitable for use in worship [profane them]. 26 And you must not go up to my altar on steps, or ·people will be able to see under your clothes [L your nakedness will be exposed on it; C meant to avoid a Canaanite-style fertility worship].”
Laws for Living
21 Then God said to Moses, “These are the ·laws for living [regulations] that you will ·give to the Israelites [L set before them]:
2 “·If [or When] you buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve you for six years. In the seventh year you are to set him free, ·and he will have to pay nothing [with no debt]. 3 If he ·is not married when he becomes your slave [L came single/alone], he must leave ·without a wife [L single; alone]. But if he ·is married when he becomes your slave [L comes in with a wife], he may ·take [L go out with] his wife with him. 4 If the slave’s master gives him a wife, and she gives birth to sons or daughters, the woman and her children will belong to the master. ·When the slave is set free, only he may leave [L He will go out single/alone].
5 “But if the slave says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, and I don’t want to go free,’ 6 then the slave’s master must take him to ·God [T the judges; C Hebrew: Elohim]. The master is to take him to a door or ·doorframe [doorpost] and ·punch a hole through [pierce] the slave’s ear using ·a sharp tool [an awl]. Then the slave will serve that master all his life.
7 “·If [or When] a man sells his daughter as a slave, ·the rules for setting her free are different from the rules for setting the male slaves free [L she will not go out like male slaves go out]. 8 If ·the master wanted to marry her but then decided he was not pleased with her [L she does not please her master who designated her for himself], he must let ·one of her close relatives buy her back [L her be redeemed]. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has treated her unfairly. 9 If the man ·who bought her promises to let the woman marry [L designated her for] his son, he must ·treat her as [give her the rights of] a daughter. 10 If ·the man who bought her marries another woman [he takes another wife], he must not ·keep his first wife from having [deprive her of] food or clothing or ·sexual relations [marital rights]. 11 If he does not give her these three things, she may go free, ·and she owes him no money [L with no debt; Lev. 25:39–43; Deut. 15:12–18].
Laws About Injuries
12 “Anyone who ·hits [strikes] a person and kills him must be put to death. 13 But if a person kills someone ·accidentally [without premeditation], God allowed that to happen, so ·the person must go to a place I will choose [L I will appoint for you a place to which the person may flee; Josh. 20:1–9]. 14 But if someone plans and murders another person on purpose, put him to death, even if he has run to my altar for safety.
15 “Anyone who ·hits [strikes] his father or his mother must be put to death.
16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone and either sells him as a slave or ·still has him when he is caught [L he is found in his hand] must be put to death.
17 “Anyone who ·says cruel things to [curses] his father or mother must be put to death.
18 “If two men ·argue [quarrel; contend], and one hits ·the other [L his neighbor] with a rock or with his ·fist [or tool], the one who is hurt but not killed might have to stay in bed. 19 Later if he is able to get up and walk around outside with his ·walking stick [staff], the one who hit him ·is not to be punished [has no liability]. But he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time, and he must support the injured man until he is completely healed.
20 “If a man ·beats [strikes] his male or female slave with a ·stick [rod], and the slave dies on the spot, the owner must be punished. 21 But if the slave gets well after a day or two, the owner will not be punished since the slave belongs to him.
22 “Suppose two men are fighting and ·hit [injure] a pregnant woman, causing ·the baby to come out [or a miscarriage; C the Hebrew is not clear whether dead or alive]. If there is no further ·injury [harm], the man who caused the accident must pay money—whatever amount the woman’s husband says and the court allows. 23 But if there is further ·injury [harm], then ·the punishment that must be paid is [L you shall give] life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise [C to guard against excessive punishment].
26 “If a man ·hits [strikes] his male or female slave in the eye, and ·the eye is blinded [L destroys it], the man is to free the slave to pay for the eye. 27 If a master knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, the man is to free the slave to pay for the tooth.
28 “If a man’s ·bull [ox] kills a man or woman, you must kill that bull by ·throwing stones at [stoning] it, and you should not eat ·the bull [L its meat]. But the owner of the bull is ·not guilty [innocent]. 29 However, suppose the ·bull [ox] has ·hurt [gored] people in the past and the owner, though warned, did not ·keep it in a pen [restrain/confine it]. Then if it kills a man or woman, the ·bull [ox] must be stoned to death, and the owner must also be put to death. 30 But if ·the family of the dead person accepts money [L a ransom is imposed on him], the owner of the bull must pay whatever is demanded ·to buy back his life [for his redemption]. 31 Use this same ·law [rule] if the ·bull [ox] ·kills [gores] a person’s son or daughter. 32 If the ·bull [ox] ·kills [gores] a male or female slave, the owner must pay the master ·the price for a new slave, or twelve ounces [L thirty shekels] of silver, and the ·bull [ox] must also be stoned to death.
33 “If a man takes the cover off a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and another man’s ox or donkey comes and falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit must ·pay [compensate] the owner of the animal for the loss. The dead animal will belong to the one who pays.
35 “If a man’s ·bull [ox] ·kills [gores] another man’s ·bull [ox] and it dies, they must sell the ·bull [ox] that is alive. Both men will get half of the money and half of the bull that was killed. 36 But if a person’s ·bull [ox] has ·hurt [gored] other animals in the past and the owner did not ·keep it in a pen [restrain/confine it], that owner must pay bull for bull, and the dead animal is his.
22 “If a man steals a ·bull [ox] or a sheep and ·kills [slaughters] or sells it, he must ·pay back [compensate] five ·bulls [oxen] for the one bull he stole and four sheep for the one sheep he stole.
“If a thief is killed while breaking into a house at night, the one who killed him is not guilty of ·murder [bloodshed]. But if this happens ·during the day [L after the sun is risen], he is guilty of ·murder [bloodshed].
5 “If a man lets his farm animal graze in his field or vineyard, and it wanders into another man’s field or vineyard, the owner of the animal must ·pay back the loss [make restitution] from the best of his ·crop [L field and from the best of his vineyard].
6 “Suppose a man starts a fire that ·spreads through the thornbushes to his neighbor’s field [L catches in the thorns]. If the fire burns ·his neighbor’s growing [L the standing] grain or grain that has been stacked, or if it burns his whole field, the person who started the fire must pay ·for what was burned [full restitution].
7 “Suppose a man gives his neighbor money or other things ·to keep for him [for safekeeping] and those things are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, he must pay back twice as much as he stole. 8 But if the thief is never ·found [caught], the owner of the house must ·make a promise [L be brought] before ·God [or the judges] that he has not ·stolen [L sent out his hand toward] his neighbor’s things.
9 “Suppose ·two men disagree about who owns something [L there is a matter/report of transgression]—whether ox, donkey, sheep, clothing, or something else that is lost. If each says, ‘This is mine,’ each man must bring his case ·to God [or before the judges]. ·God’s judges [L God; T The judges; C Hebrew: Elohim] will decide who is guilty, and that person must pay the other man twice as much as the object is worth.
10 “Suppose a man ·asks [L gives] his neighbor to ·keep [safeguard] his donkey, ox, sheep, or some other animal for him, and that animal dies, gets ·hurt [injured; L broken], or is taken away, without anyone seeing what happened. 11 ·That neighbor must promise before the Lord [L An oath before God will decide] that he did not ·harm or kill [L send his hand against] the other man’s animal, and the owner of the animal must accept ·his promise made before God [the oath]. The neighbor does not have to ·pay the owner for the animal [make restitution]. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, ·he must pay the owner for it [restitutiton must be made to the owner]. 13 If wild animals killed it, the neighbor must bring ·the body [L it] as proof, and ·he will not have to pay for the animal that was killed [L restitution will not be made for the torn-up remains].
14 “If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor, and it gets ·hurt [injured; L broken] or dies while the owner is not there, the one who borrowed it must pay [L restitution to] the owner for the animal. 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the one who borrowed it does not ·have to pay [make restitution]. If the animal was ·rented [hired], the ·rental [hiring] price covers the loss.
Laws and Relationships
16 “Suppose a man finds a woman who is not ·pledged [engaged] to be married and ·has never had sexual relations with a man [L is a virgin]. If he ·tricks [or seduces] her into having sexual relations with him, he must give ·her family the payment to marry [L the bride-price for] her, and she will become his wife. 17 But if her father refuses to allow his daughter to marry him, the man must still give the usual ·payment for a bride who has never had sexual relations [bride-price for a virgin].
18 “·Put to death any woman who does evil magic [L You shall not let a female sorceress live].
19 “Put to death anyone who ·has sexual relations [L lies] with an animal.
20 “·Destroy completely [Devote to destruction; Put under the ban] any person who makes a sacrifice to any god except the Lord.
21 “Do not ·cheat [wrong; maltreat] or ·hurt [oppress] a ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien], because you were ·foreigners [sojourners; resident aliens] in the land of Egypt.
22 “Do not ·cheat [abuse; L afflict] a widow or an orphan. 23 If you ·do [cheat; abuse; L afflict], and they cry out to me for help, I certainly will ·hear [or act on] their cry. 24 And I will be very angry and kill you ·in war [L with the sword]. Then your wives will become widows, and your children will become orphans.
25 “If you lend money to one of my people who is poor, do not treat him as a ·moneylender [creditor] would. ·Charge him nothing for using your money [L Take no interest; Lev. 25:36–37; Deut. 23:19; Ps. 15:5]. 26 If your neighbor gives you his coat as ·a promise for the money he owes you [collateral], you must give it back to him by sunset, 27 because his coat is the only cover to keep his body warm. He has nothing else to sleep in. If he cries out to me for help, I will ·hear [or act], because I am ·merciful [gracious; compassionate].
28 “You must not ·speak against [revile; trifle with; disrespect] God or curse a leader of your people.
29 “Do not hold back your offering from the first of your harvest and the first wine that you make. Also, you must give me your firstborn sons. 30 You must do the same with your ·bulls [oxen] and your sheep. Let the firstborn males stay with their mothers for seven days, and on the eighth day you must give them to me.
31 “You are to be my ·holy [consecrated; sanctified; set-apart] people. You must not eat the meat of any animal that has been ·killed [torn up] by wild animals. Instead, ·give [L throw] it to the dogs.
Laws About Fairness
23 “You must not ·tell lies [L give a false report]. If you are a witness in court, ·don’t help [L you shall not set hands with] a wicked person ·by telling lies [with a false/violent/malicious witness].
2 “You must not ·do wrong just because everyone else is doing it [follow the crowd in evil]. ·If you are a witness in court, you must not ruin a fair trial. You must not tell lies just because everyone else is [L You are not to give testimony in an accusation by siding with everyone else in order to distort justice]. 3 ·If a poor person is in court, you must not take his side just because he is poor [L You must not be partial to a poor person in his dispute/lawsuit].
4 “If you ·see [L encounter] your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering away, you must return it to him. 5 If you see that ·your enemy’s donkey [L the donkey of one who hates you] has fallen because its load is too heavy, do not leave it there. You must ·help your enemy get the donkey back on its feet [set it free; or rearrange its load].
6 “You must not ·be unfair to [pervert the justice of] a poor person when he is in court. 7 ·You must not lie when you accuse someone in court [L Keep yourself far from a false charge/report]. Never allow an innocent or honest person to be put to death as punishment, because I will not ·treat guilty people as if they were innocent [acquit the guilty].
8 “You must not accept ·money from a person who wants you to lie in court [L a bribe], because ·such money will not let you see what is right [L a bribe blinds officials; Prov. 15:27; 17:8; 18:16]. Such money ·makes good people tell lies [undermines the cause of the righteous].
9 “You must not ·mistreat [oppress] a ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien]. You know how it feels to be a ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien], because you were ·foreigners [sojourners; resident aliens] in Egypt [22:21].
Laws for the Sabbath
10 “For six years you are to ·plant [sow] and harvest crops on your land. 11 Then during the seventh year, ·do not plow or plant your land [L you will let it lie fallow and untilled]. If any food grows there, allow the poor people to have it, and let the wild animals eat what is left. You should do the same with your vineyards and your orchards of olive trees [Lev. 25:1–7].
12 “You should work six days a week, but on the seventh day you must ·rest [stop]. This lets your ox and your donkey rest, and it also lets the slave born in your house and the ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien] be refreshed.
13 “Be sure to do all that I have said to you. You must not ·even say [invoke; bring to mind] the names of other gods; those names must not ·come out of [L be heard from] your mouth.
Three Yearly Feasts
14 “Three times each year you must ·hold a feast to honor me [hold a festival; or make a pilgrimage for me]. 15 You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Unleavened Bread [34:18] in the way I commanded you. For seven days you must eat ·bread that is made without yeast [unleavened bread] at the set time during the month of Abib [13:4], the month when you came out of Egypt. No one is to ·come to worship [appear before] me ·without bringing an offering [empty-handed].
16 “You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Harvest [C called Feast of Weeks in 34:22; later called Pentecost]. Offer to God the first things you harvest from the crops you planted in your fields.
“You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Ingathering [C later called Feast of Shelters or Booths; Lev. 23:33–36] in the fall, when you gather all the crops from your fields.
17 “So three times during every year all your males must come ·to worship [L before] the Lord God.
18 “You must not offer ·animal blood [L blood of a sacrifice] along with anything ·that has yeast in it [leavened].
“You must not save any of the fat from the sacrifice for the next day.
19 “You must bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the ·Holy Tent [L House; 25:9] of the Lord your God.
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk [C probably a pagan ritual; Deut. 14:21].
God Will Help Israel
20 “I am sending an angel ahead of you, who will ·protect [guard] you ·as you travel [L on the way/path]. He will ·lead [bring] you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and ·obey him [L listen to his voice]. Do not ·turn [rebel] against him; he will not forgive ·such turning against him [L it] because my ·power [L name] is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to ·all he says [L his voice] and do everything that I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies. I will fight all who fight against you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and take you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will ·destroy them [wipe/blot them out].
24 “You must not bow down to their gods or ·worship [serve] them. You must not live the way those people live. You must ·destroy their idols [demolish them], breaking into pieces ·the stone pillars they use in worship [L their pillars]. 25 If you worship the Lord your God, ·I [L he] will bless your bread and your water. I will take away sickness from you. 26 None of your women will miscarry or be ·unable to have children [barren]. I will ·allow you to live long lives [L fill the number of your days].
27 “I will ·make your enemies afraid of me [L send the dread of me before you]. I will confuse any people ·you fight against [L against whom you come], and I will make all your enemies ·run away from [L turn their backs to] you. 28 I will send ·terror [or pestilence; or the hornet] ahead of you that will force the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not ·force all those people out [drive them out] in only one year. If I did, the land would become ·a desert [desolate] and the wild animals would become too many for you. 30 Instead, I will ·force those people [drive them] out ·slowly [little by little], until there are enough of you to ·take over [possess] the land.
31 “I will give you the land from the ·Red [or Reed; 10:19] Sea to the ·Mediterranean [L Philistine] Sea, and from the ·desert [wilderness] to the ·Euphrates River [L River]. I will give ·you power over [L into your hand] the people who now live in the land, and you will ·force [drive] them out ahead of you. 32 You must not ·make an agreement [L cut a covenant] with those people or with their gods. 33 You must not let them live in your land, or they will make you sin against me. If you ·worship [serve] their gods, ·you will be caught in a trap [L they will be a trap/snare to you].”
God Makes a Covenant with Israel
24 The Lord told Moses, “You, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel must come up to me and ·worship [bow down to] me from a distance. 2 Then Moses alone must come near me; the others must not come near. The rest of the people must not come up the mountain with Moses.”
3 Moses ·told [L went and recounted to] the people all the Lord’s words and ·laws for living [regulations; judgments]. Then all of the people answered out loud together, “We will do all the things the Lord has said.” 4 So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. And he got up early the next morning and built an altar near the bottom of the mountain. He set up twelve ·stones [L pillars], one ·stone [pillar] for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then Moses sent ·young Israelite men [L youth of the sons/T children of Israel] to offer whole burnt offerings and to sacrifice young bulls as ·fellowship [or peace; Lev. 3] offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses put half of the blood of these animals in ·bowls [basins], and he ·sprinkled [or dashed] the other half of the blood on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty C referring to the laws found in 20:2–23:19] and read it so the people could hear him. And they said, “We will do everything that the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8 Then Moses took ·the blood from the bowls [L the blood] and ·sprinkled [dashed] it on the people, saying, “This is the blood ·that begins [L of] the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty], the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty] which the Lord ·has made [L cut] with you ·about [or in accord with] all these words.”
9 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a ·surface [pavement] that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the ·sky [heavens]! 11 These ·leaders of the Israelites [L eminent men of the sons/T children of Israel] saw God, but ·God did not destroy them [L he did not send out his hand]. Then they ate and drank together [C meals often sealed covenant/treaty agreements].
God Promises Moses the Stone Tablets
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up the mountain to me. Wait there, and I will give you two stone tablets [C perhaps two copies of the Ten Commandments]. On these are the ·teachings [laws; instructions] and the commands I have written to instruct the people.”
13 So Moses and his ·helper [assistant] Joshua ·set out [L got up], and Moses went up to ·Sinai, the mountain of God [L the mountain of God]. 14 Moses said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone who ·has a disagreement with others [has many words/a dispute; L is a master of words] can take it to them.”
Moses Meets with God
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud [C representing God’s presence] covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord [C representing his manifest presence] ·came down [L settled] on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 19-24 New International Version (NIV)
At Mount Sinai
19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”
14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain[b] trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.[c]
20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
The Ten Commandments
20 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before[d] me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
Idols and Altars
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
24 “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’
21 “These are the laws you are to set before them:
2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges.[e] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[f] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.
12 “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.
15 “Anyone who attacks[g] their father or mother is to be put to death.
16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.
17 “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.
18 “If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist[h] and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed.
20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[i] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.
28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels[j] of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.
33 “If anyone uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss and take the dead animal in exchange.
35 “If anyone’s bull injures someone else’s bull and it dies, the two parties are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. 36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.
Protection of Property
22 [k]“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
2 “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.
“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft. 4 If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.
5 “If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution from the best of their own field or vineyard.
6 “If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.
7 “If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double. 8 But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges, and they must[l] determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property. 9 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges.[m] The one whom the judges declare[n] guilty must pay back double to the other.
10 “If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their neighbor for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath before the Lord that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution must be made to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbor shall bring in the remains as evidence and shall not be required to pay for the torn animal.
14 “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution. 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.
16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.
18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.
19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.
20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.[o]
21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
28 “Do not blaspheme God[p] or curse the ruler of your people.
29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.[q]
“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.
31 “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
Laws of Justice and Mercy
23 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.
9 “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.
13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.
The Three Annual Festivals
14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.
15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
“No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
“Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
17 “Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.
18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.
“The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.
19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
God’s Angel to Prepare the Way
20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea[r] to the Mediterranean Sea,[s] and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”
The Covenant Confirmed
24 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”
3 When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.