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Exodus: Chapter 20

The Ten Commandments are spoken by Yahweh, 1-17. The people are afraid, but Moses comforts them, 18-20. Idolatry is forbidden, 21, 22. Of what sort the altar should be, 23-26.

1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 "I am the LORD your God who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself any engraved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 And showing mercy to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 "Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall not do any work—you, your son, your daughter, your man-servant, your maid-servant, your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore, the LORD blessed the sabbath-day and hallowed it.

12 "Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.

13 "You shall not kill.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, his ox, his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, the lightnings, the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off. 19 And they said to Moses, "Speak with us and we will hear, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die." 20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to prove you, so that his fear may be before your faces and that you do not sin." 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

22 And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make to me and shall sacrifice thereon your burnt-offerings, your peace-offerings, your sheep, and your oxen. In all places where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you. 25 And if you will make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone, for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it. 26 You shall not go up by steps to my altar so that your nakedness is not discovered thereon.'"