The Ten Commandments

5 I sent for all of the people of Israel. Here is what I said to them.

Israel, listen to me. Here are the rules and laws I’m announcing to you today. Learn them well. Be sure to follow them.

2The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Mount Horeb. 3He didn’t make it only with our parents. He also made it with us. In fact, he made it with all of us who are alive here today. 4The Lord spoke to you face to face. His voice came out of the fire on the mountain.

5At that time I stood between the Lord and you. I announced to you the Lord’s message. I did it because you were afraid of the fire. You didn’t go up the mountain.

The Lord said,

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

7 “Do not put any other gods in place of me.

8 “Do not make statues of gods that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. 9Do not bow down to them or worship them. I am the Lord your God. I am a jealous God. I punish the children for the sin of their parents. I judge the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who hate me. 10But for all time to come I show love to all those who love me and keep my commandments.

11 “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will find guilty anyone who misuses his name.

12 “Observe the Sabbath day. Keep it holy, just as the Lord your God commanded you. 13Do all of your work in six days. 14But the seventh day is a Sabbath in honor of the Lord your God. Do not do any work on that day. The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen, your donkeys and your other animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in your cities. I want your male and female servants to rest, just as you do. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. The Lord your God reached out his mighty hand and powerful arm and brought you out of there. So he has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

16 “Honor your father and mother, just as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long time in the land he is giving you. And things will go well with you there.

17 “Do not commit murder.

18 “Do not commit adultery.

19 “Do not steal.

20 “Do not give false witness against your neighbor.

21 “Do not long for your neighbor’s wife. Do not long to have anything that belongs to your neighbor. Do not long to have your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey.”

22Those are the commandments the Lord announced in a loud voice to your whole community. He gave them to you there on the mountain. He spoke out of the fire, cloud and deep darkness. He didn’t add anything else. Then he wrote the commandments on two stone tablets. And he gave them to me.

23The mountain was blazing with fire. You heard the voice coming out of the darkness. So your elders and all of the leaders of your tribes came to me.

24You said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and majesty. We have heard his voice coming out of the fire. Today we have seen that a man can still stay alive even if God speaks with him. 25But why should we die? This great fire will burn us up. We’ll die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God again.

26“We have heard the voice of the living God. We’ve heard him speaking out of the fire. Has any other human being ever heard him speak like that and stayed alive? 27Go near and listen to everything the Lord our God says. Then tell us what he tells you. We will listen and obey.”

28The Lord heard you when you spoke to me. He said to me, “I have heard what these people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29But I wish they would always have respect for me in their hearts. I wish they would always obey all of my commands. Then things would go well with them and their children forever.

30“Go and tell them to return to their tents. 31But you stay here with me. Then I will give you all of my commands, rules and laws. You must teach the people to follow them in the land I am giving them as their very own.”

32So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you. Don’t turn away from his commands to the right or the left. 33Live exactly as the Lord your God has commanded you to live. Then you will enjoy life in the land you will soon own. Things will go well with you there. You will live there for a long time.


About New International Reader’s Version (1998)

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


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