Exodus 19-20 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Israel at Sinai
19 Exactly three months after the Israelites had left Egypt, they reached the Desert of Sinai. 2 They had left Rephidim and had come to the Desert of Sinai. The Israelites camped in the desert in front of Mount Sinai. 3 Then Moses went up on the mountain to God. The Lord called to him from the mountain. The Lord said, “Say this to the family of Jacob. And tell this to the people 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. I did it as an eagle carries her young on her wings. And I brought you here to me. 5 So now obey me and keep my agreement. Do this, and you will be my own possession, chosen from all nations. Even though the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be my kingdom of priests. You will be a nation that belongs to me alone.’ You must tell the Israelites 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 And all the people answered together, “We will do everything he has said.” Then Moses took their answer back to the Lord.
9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud. I will speak to you. The people will hear me talking to you. I will do this so the people will always trust you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and have them spend today and tomorrow preparing themselves. They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the day after tomorrow. 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. The people are not to cross it. Tell the people not to go up on the mountain. Tell them not to touch the foot of it. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 He must be put to death with stones or shot with arrows. No one is allowed to touch him. Whether it is a person or an animal, he will not live. But the trumpet will make a long blast. Only then may the people go up on the mountain.”
14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He made them prepare themselves for service to God. And the people washed their clothes. 15 Then Moses said to the people, “Be ready in three days. Do not have physical relations during this time.”
16 It was the morning of the third day. There was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud on the mountain. And there was a very loud blast from a trumpet. All the people in the camp were frightened. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God. They stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke. This happened because the Lord came down on it in fire. The smoke rose from the mountain like smoke from a furnace. And the whole mountain shook wildly. 19 The sound from the trumpet became louder. Then Moses spoke, and the voice of God answered him.
20 So the Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai. Then he called Moses to come up to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people. They must not force their way through to see me. If they do, many of them will die. 22 Even the priests, who may come near me, must first prepare themselves. If they don’t, I, the Lord, will punish them.”
23 Moses told the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai. You yourself told us to set a limit around the mountain. We made it holy.”
24 The Lord said to him, “Go down and bring Aaron with you. But don’t allow the priests or the people to force their way through. They must not come up to the Lord. If they do, I will punish 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. I brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves.
3 “You must not have any other gods except me.
4 “You must not make for yourselves any idols. Don’t make something that looks like anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the water below the land. 5 You must not worship or serve any idol. This is because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. A person may sin against me and hate me. I will punish his children, even his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 6 But I will be very kind to thousands who love me and obey my commands.
7 “You must not use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly. The Lord will punish anyone who is guilty and misuses his name.
8 “Remember to keep the Sabbath as a holy day. 9 You may work and get everything done during six days each week. 10 But the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God. On that day no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, or your men or women slaves. Neither your animals nor the foreigners living in your cities may work. 11 The reason is that in six days the Lord made everything. He made the sky, earth, sea and everything in them. And on the seventh day, he rested. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother. Then you will live a long time in the land. The Lord your God is going to give you this land.
13 “You must not murder anyone.
14 “You must not be guilty of adultery.
15 “You must not steal.
16 “You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court.
17 “You must not want to take your neighbor’s house. You must not want his wife or his men or women slaves. You must not want his ox or his donkey. You must not want to take anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 The people heard the thunder and the trumpet. They saw the lightning on the mountain and smoke rising from the mountain. They shook with fear and stood far away from the mountain. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself. Then 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. God has come to test you. He wants you to respect him 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: “You yourselves have seen that I talked with you from heaven. 23 You must not use gold or silver to make idols for yourselves. You must not worship these false gods in addition to me.
24 “Make an altar of dirt for me. Offer your whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on this altar as a sacrifice to me. Use your sheep and your cattle to do this. Worship me in every place that I choose. Then I will come and bless you. 25 You may use stones to make an altar for me. But don’t use stones that you have made smooth with tools. You must not use any tools on the stones. If you do, you make them unsuitable for use in worship. 26 And you must not make steps leading up to my altar. If you go up steps, people will be able to see under your clothes.”