Moses on Sinai

19 (A)In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, [a]on that very day they came into the wilderness of (B)Sinai. When they set out from (C)Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of (D)the mountain. And Moses went up to God, and (E)the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: (F)You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on (G)eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, (H)if you will indeed obey My voice and (I)keep My covenant, then you shall be (J)My [b]own possession among all the peoples, for (K)all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me (L)a kingdom of priests and (M)a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

(N)So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. Then (O)all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in (P)a thick cloud, so that the (Q)people may hear when I speak with you and may also trust in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.

10 The Lord also said to Moses, “Go to the people and (R)consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them (S)wash their garments; 11 and have them ready for the third day, for on (T)the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 But you shall set boundaries for the people all around, saying, ‘[c]Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; (U)whoever touches the mountain shall certainly be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but (V)he shall certainly be stoned or [d]shot through; whether animal or person, the violator shall not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to (W)the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. 15 He also said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 (X)So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were [e]thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud over the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the [f]foot of the mountain.

The Lord Visits Sinai

18 (Y)Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it (Z)in fire; and its smoke ascended like (AA)the smoke of a furnace, and (AB)the entire mountain [g]quaked violently. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and (AC)God answered him with [h]thunder. 20 Then (AD)the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Go down, [i]warn the people, so that (AE)they do not break through to the Lord to stare, and many of them [j]perish. 22 Also have the (AF)priests who approach the Lord consecrate themselves, or else the Lord will break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You [k]warned us, saying, ‘(AG)Set boundaries around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 Then the Lord said to him, “[l]Go down and come up again, (AH)you and Aaron with you; but do not let the (AI)priests and the people break 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 Then God spoke all these words, saying,

(AJ)I am the Lord your God, (AK)who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [m]slavery.

(AL)You shall have no other (AM)gods [n]before Me.

(AN)You shall not make for yourself [o]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. (AO)You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a (AP)jealous God, (AQ)inflicting the [p]punishment of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing [q]favor to (AR)thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

(AS)You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [r]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

“Remember (AT)the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (AU)For six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; on it (AV)you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your cattle, or your [s]resident who [t]stays with you. 11 (AW)For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; for that reason the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 (AX)Honor your father and your mother, so that your (AY)days may be prolonged on the land which the Lord your God gives you.

13 (AZ)You shall not murder.

14 (BA)You shall not commit adultery.

15 (BB)You shall not steal.

16 (BC)You shall not [u]give false testimony against your (BD)neighbor.

17 (BE)You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; (BF)you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male slave, or his female slave, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 And (BG)all the people were watching and hearing the [v]thunder and the lightning flashes, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it all, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 (BH)Then they said to Moses, “Speak [w]to us yourself and we will listen; but do not have God speak [x]to us, or we will die!” 20 However, Moses said to the people, “(BI)Do not be afraid; for God has come in order (BJ)to test you, and in order that (BK)the fear of Him may [y]remain with you, so that you will not sin.” 21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached (BL)the thick darkness where God was.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “This is what you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen that (BM)I have spoken [z]to you from heaven. 23 (BN)You shall not make other gods besides Me; (BO)gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves. 24 You shall make (BP)an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your (BQ)burnt offerings and your (BR)peace offerings, (BS)your sheep and your oxen; in every place (BT)where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you. 25 And if you make an altar of stone for Me, (BU)you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your chisel on it, you will profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that (BV)your nakedness will not be exposed on it.’

Ordinances for the People

21 “Now these are the (BW)ordinances which you are to set before them:

“If you buy (BX)a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall leave as a free man without a payment to you. If he comes [aa]alone, he shall leave [ab]alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall leave with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall leave [ac]alone. But (BY)if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not leave as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to [ad]God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an [ae]awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

“Now (BZ)if a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to [af]go free (CA)as the male slaves [ag]do. If she is [ah]displeasing in the eyes of her master [ai]who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people, because of his [aj]unfairness to her. And if he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her [ak]food, her clothing, or (CB)her conjugal rights. 11 But if he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go [al]free for nothing, without payment of money.

Personal Injuries

12 (CC)He who strikes someone so that he dies shall certainly be put to death. 13 (CD)Yet [am]if he did not lie in wait for him, but (CE)God caused him to fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 (CF)If, however, someone is enraged against his neighbor, so as to kill him in a cunning way, you are to take him even from My altar, to be put to death.

15 “And one who strikes his father or his mother shall certainly be put to death.

16 “Now (CG)one who [an]kidnaps someone, whether he sells him or he is found in his [ao]possession, shall certainly be put to death.

17 “And (CH)one who curses his father or his mother shall certainly be put to death.

18 “Now if people have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with a fist, and he does not die but [ap]is confined to bed, 19 if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his [aq]loss of time, and [ar]shall pay for his care until he is completely healed.

20 “And if someone strikes his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies [as]at his hand, he shall [at]be punished. 21 If, however, the slave [au]survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; (CI)for the slave is his [av]property.

22 “Now if people struggle with each other and strike a pregnant woman so that [aw]she gives birth prematurely, but there is no injury, the guilty person shall certainly be fined as the woman’s husband [ax]may demand of him, and he shall (CJ)pay [ay]as the judges decide. 23 But if there is any further injury, (CK)then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 (CL)eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, [az]bruise for bruise.

26 “And if someone strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he shall let [ba]the slave go free on account of the eye. 27 And if he [bb]knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let [bc]the slave go free on account of the tooth.

28 “Now if an ox gores a man or a woman [bd]to death, (CM)the ox shall certainly be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. 29 If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is [be]demanded of him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is [bf]demanded of him. 31 Whether it gores a son or [bg]a daughter, it shall be done to him according to [bh]the same rule. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, [bi]the owner shall give his or her master [bj](CN)thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Property Rights

33 “Now if someone opens a pit, or [bk]digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall [bl]give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.

35 “And if someone’s ox injures another’s ox so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide its proceeds equally; and they shall also divide the dead ox. 36 Or if it is known that the ox was previously in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not confined it, he must make restitution of ox for ox, and the dead animal shall become his.


  1. Exodus 19:1 Lit on this day
  2. Exodus 19:5 Or special treasure
  3. Exodus 19:12 Lit Take heed to yourselves
  4. Exodus 19:13 I.e., with arrows
  5. Exodus 19:16 Lit sounds
  6. Exodus 19:17 Lit lower part
  7. Exodus 19:18 Or trembled
  8. Exodus 19:19 Or a voice; lit a sound
  9. Exodus 19:21 Lit testify to
  10. Exodus 19:21 Lit fall
  11. Exodus 19:23 Lit testified to
  12. Exodus 19:24 Lit Go, descend
  13. Exodus 20:2 Lit slaves
  14. Exodus 20:3 Or besides Me
  15. Exodus 20:4 Or a carved image
  16. Exodus 20:5 I.e., punishment for the wrongdoing
  17. Exodus 20:6 Or faithfulness
  18. Exodus 20:7 Or hold him guiltless
  19. Exodus 20:10 Lit stranger
  20. Exodus 20:10 Lit is in your gates
  21. Exodus 20:16 Lit answer as a false witness against
  22. Exodus 20:18 Lit sounds
  23. Exodus 20:19 Lit with
  24. Exodus 20:19 Lit with
  25. Exodus 20:20 Lit be before
  26. Exodus 20:22 Lit with
  27. Exodus 21:3 Lit by himself
  28. Exodus 21:3 Lit by himself
  29. Exodus 21:4 Lit by himself
  30. Exodus 21:6 Or the judges (who acted in God’s name)
  31. Exodus 21:6 I.e., a pointed tool
  32. Exodus 21:7 Lit go out
  33. Exodus 21:7 Lit go out
  34. Exodus 21:8 Lit bad
  35. Exodus 21:8 Another reading is so that he did not designate her
  36. Exodus 21:8 Lit dealing treacherously
  37. Exodus 21:10 Lit flesh
  38. Exodus 21:11 Lit out
  39. Exodus 21:13 Lit he who
  40. Exodus 21:16 Lit steals
  41. Exodus 21:16 Lit hand
  42. Exodus 21:18 Lit lies in
  43. Exodus 21:19 Lit his sitting
  44. Exodus 21:19 Lit healing, he shall cause to be healed
  45. Exodus 21:20 Lit under
  46. Exodus 21:20 Lit suffer vengeance
  47. Exodus 21:21 Lit stands
  48. Exodus 21:21 Lit money
  49. Exodus 21:22 Or an untimely birth occurs; lit her children come out
  50. Exodus 21:22 Lit lays on him
  51. Exodus 21:22 Lit by arbitration
  52. Exodus 21:25 Lit welt
  53. Exodus 21:26 Lit him go...his eye
  54. Exodus 21:27 Lit causes to fall
  55. Exodus 21:27 Lit him go...his tooth
  56. Exodus 21:28 Lit so that he dies
  57. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  58. Exodus 21:30 Lit laid on him
  59. Exodus 21:31 Lit gores a daughter
  60. Exodus 21:31 Lit this judgment
  61. Exodus 21:32 Lit he
  62. Exodus 21:32 About 15 oz. or 425 gm
  63. Exodus 21:33 Lit if a man digs
  64. Exodus 21:34 Lit give back

Bible Gateway Recommends