The Israelites Reach Mount Sinai
1On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.2They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.3Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites:4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.5Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,6but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”7So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him.8The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.9Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.”
The People Consecrated
When Moses had told the words of the people to the Lord,10the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes11and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.12You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death.13No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.”14So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes.15And he said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.”16On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled.17Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain.18Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.19As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder.20When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.21Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord to look; otherwise many of them will perish.22Even the priests who approach the Lord must consecrate themselves or the Lord will break out against them.”23Moses said to the Lord, “The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.’ ”24The Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the Lord; otherwise he will break out against them.”25So Moses went down to the people and told them.Chapter 20The Ten Commandments
1Then God spoke all these words:2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;3you shall have no other gods before me.4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.9Six days you shall labor and do all your work.10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.13You shall not murder.14You shall not commit adultery.15You shall not steal.16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.17You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.18When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance,19and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”20Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”21Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.The Law concerning the Altar
22The Lord said to Moses: Thus you shall say to the Israelites: “You have seen for yourselves that I spoke with you from heaven.23You shall not make gods of silver alongside me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.24You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.25But if you make for me an altar of stone, do not build it of hewn stones; for if you use a chisel upon it you profane it.26You shall not go up by steps to my altar, so that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.”Chapter 21The Law concerning Slaves
1These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:2When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt.3If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.4If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone.5But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,”6then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.7When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.8If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her.9If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.10If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.11And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.The Law concerning Violence
12Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.13If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.14But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.15Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.16Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.17Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.18When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed,19but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.20When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished.21But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property.22When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.26When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye.27If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.Laws concerning Property
28When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall not be liable.29If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.30If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim's life.31If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule.32If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slaveowner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.33If someone leaves a pit open, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,34the owner of the pit shall make restitution, giving money to its owner, but keeping the dead animal.35If someone's ox hurts the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it; and the dead animal they shall also divide.36But if it was known that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not restrained it, the owner shall restore ox for ox, but keep the dead animal.Chapter 22Laws of Restitution
1 When someone steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, the thief shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 3b (3b) The thief shall make restitution, but if unable to do so, shall be sold for the theft.2(4) When the animal, whether ox or donkey or sheep, is found alive in the thief's possession, the thief shall pay double.3 If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred;4(3a) but if it happens after sunrise, bloodguilt is incurred.5When someone causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets livestock loose to graze in someone else's field, restitution shall be made from the best in the owner's field or vineyard.6When fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, the one who started the fire shall make full restitution.7When someone delivers to a neighbor money or goods for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor's house, then the thief, if caught, shall pay double.8If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall be brought before God, to determine whether or not the owner had laid hands on the neighbor's goods.9In any case of disputed ownership involving ox, donkey, sheep, clothing, or any other loss, of which one party says, “This is mine,” the case of both parties shall come before God; the one whom God condemns shall pay double to the other.10When someone delivers to another a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal for safekeeping, and it dies or is injured or is carried off, without anyone seeing it,11an oath before the Lord shall decide between the two of them that the one has not laid hands on the property of the other; the owner shall accept the oath, and no restitution shall be made.12But if it was stolen, restitution shall be made to its owner.13If it was mangled by beasts, let it be brought as evidence; restitution shall not be made for the mangled remains.14When someone borrows an animal from another and it is injured or dies, the owner not being present, full restitution shall be made.15If the owner was present, there shall be no restitution; if it was hired, only the hiring fee is due.Social and Religious Laws
16When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.17But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins.18You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.19Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.20Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.21You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.22You shall not abuse any widow or orphan.23If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry;24my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.25If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them.26If you take your neighbor's cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down;27for it may be your neighbor's only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.28You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people.29You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.
The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me.30You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.31You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.Chapter 23Justice for All
1You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.2You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice;3nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.4When you come upon your enemy's ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.5When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.6You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits.7Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty.8You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.9You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.Sabbatical Year and Sabbath
10For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield;11but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.12Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have relief, and your homeborn slave and the resident alien may be refreshed.13Be attentive to all that I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.The Annual Festivals
14Three times in the year you shall hold a festival for me.15You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt.
No one shall appear before me empty-handed.16You shall observe the festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor.17Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.18You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my festival remain until the morning.19The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.
You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.The Conquest of Canaan Promised
20I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.21Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him.22But if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.23When my angel goes in front of you, and brings you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I blot them out,24you shall not bow down to their gods, or worship them, or follow their practices, but you shall utterly demolish them and break their pillars in pieces.25You shall worship the Lord your God, and I will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from among you.26No one shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.27I will send my terror in front of you, and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.28And I will send the pestilence in front of you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you.29I will not drive them out from before you in one year, or the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply against you.30Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.31I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; for I will hand over to you the inhabitants of the land, and you shall drive them out before you.32You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.33They shall not live in your land, or they will make you sin against me; for if you worship their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.Chapter 24The Blood of the Covenant
1Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance.2Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”3Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”4And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel.5He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord.6Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar.7Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”8Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”On the Mountain with God
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,10and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.11God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.12The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.”13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.16The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud.17Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.