Exodus 20

1Then God said, 2“I am the Lord your God. I led you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. ˻So you must obey these commands:˼ 3“You must not worship any other gods except me. 4“You must not make any idols. Don’t make any statues or pictures of anything up in the sky or of anything on the earth or of anything down in the water. 5Don’t worship or serve idols of any kind. Why? Because I, the Lord, am your God. I hate my people worshiping other gods. People who sin against me become my enemies. And I will punish those people. And I will punish their children, their grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren. 6But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations! 7“You must not use the name of the Lord your God in a wrong way. If a person uses the Lord’s name in a wrong way, then that person is guilty. And the Lord will not make him innocent. 8“You must remember to keep the Sabbath a special day. 9Work at your job six days a week. 10But the seventh day is a day of rest in honor of the Lord your God. So on that day no person should work—not you, your sons and daughters, or your men and women slaves. Even your animals and the foreigners living in your cities must not work! 11Why? Because the Lord worked six days and made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. And on the seventh day, God rested. In this way, the Lord blessed the Sabbath—the day of rest. The Lord made that a very special day. 12“You must honor ˻(respect)˼ your father and your mother. Do this so you will have a full life in the land that the Lord your God gives you. 13“You must not murder anyone. 14“You must not do the sin of adultery. 15“You must not steal anything. 16“You must not tell lies about other people. 17“You must not want to take your neighbor’s house. You must not want his wife. And you must not want his men and women servants, or his cattle, or his donkeys. You must not want to take anything that belongs to another person!” 18During all this time, the people in the valley heard the thundering and saw the lightning on the mountain. They saw smoke rising from the mountain. The people were afraid, and they shook with fear. They stood away from the mountain and watched. 19Then the people said to Moses, “If you want to speak to us, then we will listen. But please don’t let God speak to us. If this happens, we will die.” 20Then Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! The Lord has come to prove that he loves you. He wants you to respect him so that you will not sin.” 21The people stood away from the mountain while Moses went to the dark cloud where God was. 22Then the Lord told Moses to say these things to the people of Israel: “You people have seen that I talked with you from heaven. 23So you must not make idols using gold or silver to compete with me. You must not make these false gods. 24“Make a special altar for me. Use dirt to make this altar. Offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on this altar as a sacrifice to me. Use your sheep and your cattle to do this. Do this in every place where I tell you to remember me. Then I will come and bless you. 25If you use stones to make an altar, then don’t use stones that were cut with an iron tool. If you do that, it will make the altar not acceptable. 26And you must not make steps leading up to the altar. If there are steps, then when people look up to the altar, they will be able to see under your clothes.”

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