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Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.

“There shall be for you no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations[a] of those hating me, and showing loyal love to thousands of generations[b] of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God,[c] because Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name.[d]

“Remember the day of the Sabbath, to consecrate it. Six days you will work, and you will do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God; you will not do any work—you or your son or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your animal, or your alien who is in your gates— 11 because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and on the seventh day he rested. Therefore Yahweh blessed the seventh day and consecrated it.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days can be long on the land that Yahweh 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 testify against your neighbor with a false witness.

17 “You shall not covet the house of your neighbor; you will not covet the wife of your neighbor or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

18 And all the people were seeing the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking, and the people saw, and they trembled, and they stood at a distance. 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will listen, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that his fear will be before you so that you do not sin.” 21 And the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the very thick cloud where God was.

Instructions for Building Altars

22 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Thus you will say to the Israelites,[e] ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from the heavens. 23 You will not make alongside me gods of silver, and gods of gold you will not make for yourselves. 24 An altar of earth you will make for me, and you will sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your fellowship offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered,[f] I will come to you, and I will bless you. 25 And if you make an altar of stones for me, you will not build them as hewn stone, because if you use your chisel on it, you have defiled it. 26 You will not go up with steps onto my altar, that your nakedness not be exposed on it.’


  1. Exodus 20:5 “Generations” is understood from comparison with parallel verses (compare Exod 34:6–7; Deut 7:9)
  2. Exodus 20:6 “Generations” is understood from comparison with parallel verses ( compare Exod 34:6–7; Deut 7:9)
  3. Exodus 20:7 Literally “take up/bear/carry the name of Yahweh your God for what is worthless/false/empty”
  4. Exodus 20:7 Literally “bears his name for what is false”
  5. Exodus 20:22 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  6. Exodus 20:24 Or “proclaimed”