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Exodus 19:16-21:21

16 When morning dawned on the third day, there was thunder, lightning, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud blast of a horn. All the people in the camp shook with fear. 17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their place at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord had come down on it with lightning. The smoke went up like the smoke of a hot furnace, while the whole mountain shook violently. 19 The blasts of the horn grew louder and louder. Moses would speak, and God would answer him with thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain. The Lord called Moses to come up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to try to see the Lord, or many of them will fall dead. 22 Even the priests who come near to the Lord must keep themselves holy, or the Lord will break loose against them.”

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people aren’t allowed to come up on Mount Sinai because you warned us and said, ‘Set up a fence around the mountain to keep it holy.’”

24 The Lord said to him, “Go down, and bring Aaron back up with you. But the priests and the people must not break through and come up to the Lord. Otherwise, the Lord will break loose against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

The Ten Commandments

20 Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You must have no other gods before[a] me.

Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.

Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 Do not kill.[c]

14 Do not commit adultery.

15 Do not steal.

16 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

17 Do not desire your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the horn, and the mountain smoking, the people shook with fear and stood at a distance. 19 They said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we’ll listen. But don’t let God speak to us, or we’ll die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, because God has come only to test you and to make sure you are always in awe of God so that you don’t sin.” 21 The people stood at a distance while Moses approached the thick darkness in which God was present.

Instructions about worship

22 The Lord said to Moses: “Say this to the Israelites: You saw for yourselves how I spoke with you from heaven. 23 Don’t make alongside me gods of silver or gold for yourselves. 24 Make for me an altar from fertile soil on which to sacrifice your entirely burned offerings, your well-being sacrifices, your sheep, and your oxen. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I make sure my name is remembered. 25 But if you do make for me an altar from stones, don’t build it with chiseled stone since using your chisel on the stone will make it impure. 26 Don’t climb onto my altar using steps: then your genitals won’t be exposed by doing so.”

Instructions about slaves

21 These are the case laws that you should set before them:

When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he will serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he will go free without any payment. If he came in single, he will leave single. If he came in married, then his wife will leave with him. If his master gave him a wife and she bore him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will belong to her master. He will leave single. However, if the slave clearly states, “I love my master, my wife, and my children, and I don’t want to go free,” then his master will bring him before God. He will bring him to the door or the doorpost. There his master will pierce his ear with a pointed tool, and he will serve him as his slave for life.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shouldn’t be set free in the same way as male slaves are set free. If she doesn’t please her master who chose her for himself, then her master must let her be bought back by her family. He has no right to sell her to a foreign people since he has treated her unfairly. If he assigns her to his son, he must give her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he takes another woman for himself, he may not reduce her food, clothing, or marital rights. 11 If he doesn’t do these three things for her, she will go free without any payment, for no money.

Instructions about human violence

12 Anyone who hits and kills someone should be put to death. 13 If the killing wasn’t on purpose but an accident allowed by God, then I will designate a place to which the killer can run away. 14 But if someone plots and kills another person on purpose, you should remove the killer from my altar and put him to death.

15 Anyone who violently hits their father or mother should be put to death.

16 Anyone who kidnaps a person, whether they have been sold or are still being held, should be put to death.

17 Anyone who curses their father or mother should be put to death.

18 When two people are fighting and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist so that he is in bed for a while but doesn’t die— 19 if he recovers and is able to walk around outside with a cane, then the one who hit him shouldn’t be punished, except to pay for the loss of time from work and to pay for his full recovery.

20 When a slave owner hits a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner should be punished. 21 But if the slave gets up after a day or two, the slave owner shouldn’t be punished because the slave is the owner’s property.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 20:3 Or besides
  2. Exodus 20:6 Or to thousands
  3. Exodus 20:13 Or murder
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Matthew 23:13-39

Condemnation of the legal experts and the Pharisees

13 “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. You don’t enter yourselves, and you won’t allow those who want to enter to do so.[a]

15 “How terrible it will be for you, legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make one convert. But when they’ve been converted, they become twice the child of hell you are.

16 “How terrible it will be for you blind guides who say, ‘If people swear by the temple, it’s nothing. But if people swear by the gold in the temple, they are obligated to do what they swore.’ 17 You foolish and blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold holy? 18 You say, ‘If people swear by the altar, it’s nothing. But if they swear by the gift on the altar, they are obligated to do what they swore.’ 19 You blind people! Which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy? 20 Therefore, those who swear by the altar swear by it and by everything that’s on it. 21 Those who swear by the temple swear by it and by everything that’s part of it. 22 Those who swear by heaven swear by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

23 “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You give to God a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, but you forget about the more important matters of the Law: justice, peace, and faith. You ought to give a tenth but without forgetting about those more important matters. 24 You blind guides! You filter out an ant but swallow a camel.

25 “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside they are full of violence and pleasure seeking. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside of the cup will be clean too.

27 “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs. They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth. 28 In the same way you look righteous to people. But inside you are full of pretense and rebellion.

29 “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 You say, ‘If we had lived in our ancestors’ days, we wouldn’t have joined them in killing the prophets.’ 31 You testify against yourselves that you are children of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, complete what your ancestors did. 33 You snakes! You children of snakes! How will you be able to escape the judgment of hell? 34 Therefore, look, I’m sending you prophets, wise people, and legal experts. Some of them you will kill and crucify. And some you will beat in your synagogues and chase from city to city. 35 Therefore, upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been poured out on the earth, from the blood of that righteous man Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. 36 I assure you that all these things will come upon this generation.

Crying over Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. 38  Look, your house is left to you deserted. 39  I tell you, you won’t see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 23:13 Most critical editions of the Gk New Testament omit 23:14 How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You eat up widows’ houses and make a show of praying long prayers. Therefore, you will receive greater judgment.
  2. Matthew 23:39 Ps 118:26
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Psalm 28

Psalm 28

Of David.

28 I cry out to you, Lord.
    You are my rock; don’t refuse to hear me.
    If you won’t talk to me,
        I’ll be just like those going down to the pit.
Listen to my request for mercy when I cry out to you,
    when I lift up my hands to your holy inner sanctuary.
Don’t drag me off with the wicked and those who do evil;
    the type who talk nice to their friends
    while evil thoughts are in their hearts!
Pay them back for what they’ve done!
    Pay them back for their evil deeds!
    Pay them back for their handiwork!
    Give back to them exactly what they deserve!
Because they have no regard for what the Lord has done,
    no regard for his handiwork,
    God will tear them down and never rebuild!

Bless the Lord
    because he has listened to my request for mercy!
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
    My heart trusts him.
        I was helped, my heart rejoiced,
            and I thank him with my song.
The Lord is his people’s strength;
    he is a fortress of protection for his anointed one.
Save your people, God!
    Bless your possession!
    Shepherd them and carry them for all time!

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Proverbs 7:1-5

Avoid loose women

My son, keep my words;
    store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
    and my instruction like the pupil of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”;
    call understanding “friend,”
    so she might guard you against the mysterious woman,
        from the foreign woman who flatters you.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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