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The Ten Commandments

20 Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.[a]

You shall have no other gods beside me.[b] You shall not make any carved image for yourself or a likeness of anything in heaven above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or be subservient to them,[c] for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.[d] I follow up on[e] the guilt of the fathers with their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren, if they also hate me. But I show mercy to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not permit anyone who misuses his name to escape unpunished.

Remember the Sabbath day[f] by setting it apart as holy. Six days you are to serve and do all your regular work, 10 but the seventh day shall be a sabbath rest to the Lord your God. Do not do any regular work, neither you, nor your sons or daughters, nor your male or female servants, nor your cattle, nor the alien who is residing inside your gates, 11 for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. In this way the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy.

12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may spend many days on the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.

13 You shall not commit 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, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.[g]

18 All the people saw and heard the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking. The people saw,[h] and they trembled and stood far away. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you may always fear him, so that you do not sin.”

21 The people stayed at a distance, but Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

22 Then the Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel the following things:

You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver or gods of gold and place them beside me. You shall not make them for yourselves.

24 You are to make an altar of earth for me and to sacrifice your whole burnt offerings on it, as well as your fellowship offerings, your sheep, and your cattle. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered, I will come to you and I will bless you.

25 If you make a stone altar for me, you are not to build it out of cut stones, because by applying a tool to it you would pollute it.

26 You are not to go up to my altar by steps, so that your nakedness will not be uncovered upon it.


  1. Exodus 20:2 Literally the house of slaves
  2. Exodus 20:3 Literally against my face or besides me or before me or in my presence or because of my presence
  3. Exodus 20:5 The verb is not the normal form for serve but a special form that implies subservience.
  4. Exodus 20:5 That is, I am a God who demands exclusive loyalty
  5. Exodus 20:5 Or demand an accounting for. The Hebrew verb pachad has traditionally been translated visit, but in present-day English visit usually has a social connotation. The term, however, refers to an official visit to bring punishment or reward to someone.
  6. Exodus 20:8 That is, the day of rest
  7. Exodus 20:17 Another version of the Ten Commandments appears in Deuteronomy 5:1-21.
  8. Exodus 20:18 A variant in some ancient versions is feared.