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The Ten Commandments

Moses called all the people of Israel together and said: Listen, Israel, to the commands and laws I give you today. Learn them and obey them carefully. The Lord our God made an agreement with us at Mount Sinai. He did not make this agreement with our ancestors. He made it with us. He made it with all of us who are alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face. He spoke from the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between you and the Lord. I told you what the Lord said. You were afraid of the fire. So you would not go up on the mountain.) The Lord said:

“I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves.

“You must not have any other gods except me.

“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. 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. 10 But I will be very kind to thousands who love me and obey my commands.

11 “You must not use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly. The Lord will punish anyone who is guilty and misuses his name.

12 “Keep the Sabbath as a holy day. The Lord your God has commanded you to do this. 13 You may work and get everything done during six days each week. 14 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 ox, your donkey nor any of your animals may work. The foreigners living in your cities may not work. That way your servants may rest as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. The Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by his great power and strength. So the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day.

16 “Honor your father and your mother. The Lord your God has commanded you to do this. Then you will live a long time. And things will go well for you in the land. The Lord your God is going to give you this land.

17 “You must not murder anyone.

18 “You must not be guilty of adultery.

19 “You must not steal.

20 “You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court.

21 “You must not want to take your neighbor’s wife. You must not want to take your neighbor’s house or land. You must not want to take his men or women slaves. You must not want to take his ox or his donkey. You must not want to take anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

22 The Lord gave these commands to all of you on the mountain. He spoke them in a loud voice out of the fire. He spoke from the cloud and the deep darkness. He did not say anything else. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets. And he gave them to me.

23 You heard the voice from the darkness. The mountain was blazing with fire. Then all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. 24 And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and majesty. We have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks to him. 25 But now, we will die! This great fire will burn us up. And we will die if we hear the Lord our God speak anymore. 26 No human being has ever heard the living God speaking from a fire and still lived. But we have. 27 Moses, you go near and listen to everything the Lord our God says. Then you tell us what the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”

28 The Lord heard what you said to me. And he said to me, “I have heard what the people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29 I wish their hearts would always respect me. I wish they would always obey my commands. Then things would go well for them and their children forever!

30 “Go and tell the people to return to their tents. 31 But you stay here with me. I will give you all the commands, rules and laws. Teach the people to obey them in the land I am giving them to own.”

32 So be careful. Do what the Lord your God has commanded you. You must follow the commands exactly. 33 Live the way the Lord your God has commanded you. Then you will live and be successful. You will live a long time in the land you will own.

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