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The Ten Commandments

20 Then God spoke all these words:

“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].

“You must not have any other gods ·except [or before] me.

“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]. 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]. But I show kindness to ·thousands [or thousands of generations of those] who love me and obey my commands.

“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.

“Remember to ·keep the Sabbath holy [consecrate/sanctify the Sabbath]. 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].”

The Ten Commandments(A)

20 And God spoke(B) all these words:(C)

“I am the Lord your God,(D) who brought you out(E) of Egypt,(F) out of the land of slavery.(G)

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.(H)

“You shall not make for yourself an image(I) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship(J) them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,(K) punishing the children for the sin of the parents(L) to the third and fourth generation(M) of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand(N) generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.(O)

“Remember the Sabbath(P) day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,(Q) 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath(R) 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,(S) the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested(T) on the seventh day.(U) Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother,(V) so that you may live long(W) in the land(X) the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.(Y)

14 “You shall not commit adultery.(Z)

15 “You shall not steal.(AA)

16 “You shall not give false testimony(AB) against your neighbor.(AC)

17 “You shall not covet(AD) 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(AE) and saw the mountain in smoke,(AF) they trembled with fear.(AG) They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak(AH) to us or we will die.”(AI)

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid.(AJ) God has come to test(AK) you, so that the fear(AL) of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”(AM)

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness(AN) 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:(AO) 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me;(AP) do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.(AQ)

24 “‘Make an altar(AR) of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings(AS) and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name(AT) to be honored, I will come to you and bless(AU) 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(AV) on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts(AW) may be exposed.’


  1. Exodus 20:3 Or besides