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Exodus 19:1–34:35

Preparation for Receiving the Covenant at Mount Sinai

19 In the third month after the Israelitesa went out from the land of Egypt, on this day they came to the Sinai desert. They set out from Rephidim, and they came to the desert of Sinai, and they camped in the desert, and Israel camped there in front of the mountain.

And Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you will say to the house of Jacob and you will tell the Israelites,b ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and I brought you to me. And now if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be a treasured possession for me out of all the peoples, for all the earth is mine,c but you, you will belong to me as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you will speak to the Israelites.”d

And Moses came and called the elders of the people, and he placed before them all these words that Yahweh had commanded him. And all the people together answered and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” And Moses brought back the words of the people to Yahweh. And Yahweh said to Moses, “Look, I am going to come to you in a thick cloude in order that the people will hear when I speak with you and will also trust in you forever.” And Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh.

10 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes, 11 and they must be prepared for the third day, because on the third day, Yahweh will go down on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people. 12 And you must set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Guard yourselves againstf going up to the mountain and touching its edge. Anyone touching the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 Not a hand will touch it, because he will certainly be stoned or certainly be shot; whether an animal or a man, he will not live.’ At the blowing of the ram’s horn they may go up to the mountain.”

14 And Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and he consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day.g Do not go near to a woman.”

16 Andh on the third day, when it was morning, there was thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain and a very loud ram’s horn sound, and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out from the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke because Yahweh went down on it in the fire, and its smoke went up like the smoke of a smelting furnace, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And the sound of the ram’s horn became louder and louder,i and Moses would speak, and God would answer him with a voice.

20 And Yahweh went down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, and Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Yahweh to see and many from them fall. 22 And even the priests who come near Yahweh must consecrate themselves, lest Yahweh break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to Yahweh, “The people are not able to go up to Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’ ” 24 And Yahweh said to him, “Go, go down, and come up, you and Aaron with you and the priests, but the people must not break through to go up to Yahweh, lest he break out against them.” 25 And Moses went down to the people, and he told them.j

Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.

“There shall be for you no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generationsa of those hating me, and showing loyal love to thousands of generationsb of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God,c because Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name.d

“Remember the day of the Sabbath, to consecrate it. Six days you will work, and you will do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God; you will not do any work—you or your son or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your animal, or your alien who is in your gates—11 because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and on the seventh day he rested. Therefore Yahweh blessed the seventh day and consecrated it.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days can be long on the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not testify against your neighbor with a false witness.

17 “You shall not covet the house of your neighbor; you will not covet the wife of your neighbor or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

18 And all the people were seeing the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking, and the people saw, and they trembled, and they stood at a distance. 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will listen, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that his fear will be before you so that you do not sin.” 21 And the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the very thick cloud where God was.

Instructions for Building Altars

22 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Thus you will say to the Israelites,e ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from the heavens. 23 You will not make alongside me gods of silver, and gods of gold you will not make for yourselves. 24 An altar of earth you will make for me, and you will sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your fellowship offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered,f I will come to you, and I will bless you. 25 And if you make an altar of stones for me, you will not build them as hewn stone, because if you use your chisel on it, you have defiled it. 26 You will not go up with steps onto my altar, that your nakedness not be exposed on it.’

Regulations Regarding Hebrew Slaves

21 “And these are the regulations that you will set before them.

‘If you buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve six years, and in the seventh he will go out as free for nothing.a If he comes in single, he will go out single. If he is the husband of a wife, his wife will go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears for him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will belong to her master, and the slave will go out single. But if the slave explicitly says, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,” his master will present him to Godb and bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve him forever.

“ ‘And if a man sells his daughter as a slave woman, she will not go out as male slaves go out. If she does not please her masterc who selected her, he will allow her to be redeemed; he has no authority to sell her to foreign people, since he has dealt treacherously with her. And if he selects her for his son, he shall do for her according to the regulations for daughters. 10 If he takes for himself another, he will not reduce her food, her clothing, or her right of cohabitation. 11 And if he does not do for her these three, she shall go out for nothing; there will not be silverd paid for her.

Regulations Regarding Murder, Manslaughter, and Various Injuries

12 “ ‘Whoever strikes someonee and he dies will surely be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait and it was an accident,f I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man schemes against his neighbor to kill him by treachery,g you will take him from my altar to die. 15 And whoever strikesh his father or his mother will surely be put to death.

16 “ ‘And whoever kidnaps someonei and sells him, or he is found in his possession,j he will surely be put to death.

17 “ ‘And one who curses his father or his mother will surely be put to death.

18 “ ‘And if men quarrel and a man strikes his neighbor with a stone or with a fist and he does not die, but he is confined to bed,k 19 if he stands and walks about in the outside on his staff, the striker will be unpunished; he will only pay for his inactivityl toward his full recovery.”m 20 And if a man strikes his male slave or his female slave with the rod and he dies under his hand, he will surely be avenged. 21 Yet if he survives a day or two days, he will not be avenged, because he is his money.n

22 “ ‘And if men fight and they injure a pregnant woman, and her children go out and there is not serious injury, he will surely be fined as the woman’s husband demands concerning him and as the judges determine.o 23 And if there is serious injury, you will give life in place of life, 24 eye in place of eye, tooth in place of tooth, hand in place of hand, foot in place of foot, 25 burn in place of burn, wound in place of wound, bruise in place of bruise.

26 “ ‘And if a man strikes the eye of his male slave or the eye of his female slave and destroys it, he shall release him as free in place of his eye. 27 And if he causes the tooth of his male slave or the tooth of his female …

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