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Exodus 20

The 10 commandments

1 Then God spoke all these words:

2 ‘I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt, out of the country where you were slaves.

3 You must not have any other gods except me.

4 You must not make any false god for yourself. Do not make a false god in the shape of anything in the sky. Do not make one in the shape of anything on the earth or in the water. 5 You must not bend down your head to a false god, nor worship it. I, the LORD your God, will be angry if you do not remember me. I will punish the children for the bad things that their fathers do. I will even punish the grandchildren and their children. I will do this to those who hate me. 6 But I will love thousands of people who love me. These are the people who obey my commandments.

7 You must not use the name of the LORD your God in a wrong way. The LORD will be angry with anyone who uses his name in a wrong way.

8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it as a special day. 9 You must do all your work for six days. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work on that day. Your son and your daughter must not work on that day. Your male servant and your female servant must not work on that day. The stranger who lives among you and even your animals must not work on that day. 11 In six days, the LORD made the sky, the earth and the sea. He also made everything that is in them. But on the seventh day, the LORD rested. And he blessed the seventh day and he made it special.

12 Always be very kind to your father and your mother. Then you will live for many years in the country that the LORD will give to you.

13 You must not murder anyone.

14 You must not have sex with another person's husband or wife.

15 You must not take another person's things for yourself.

16 You must not say false things about your neighbour.

17 You must not want to take your neighbour's house, or his wife, or his servants. You must not want to take his cow, or his donkey, or anything that your neighbour has.’

18 The people saw the very bright light and they heard the loud noises. They heard the loud music and they saw the smoke on the mountain. They were so afraid that they could not stop their bodies moving. They would not come near. 19 They said to Moses: ‘Speak to us yourself. We will listen to you. But do not let God speak to us. If he does, we will die.’

20 Moses said to the people: ‘Do not be afraid. God has only come to test you. He wants you to love him. He wants you to obey him. Then you will not want to do bad things.’

21 So the people stayed away from the mountain. But Moses walked toward the thick, dark cloud, where God was.

22 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites this: “You yourselves have heard me speak to you from heaven. 23 Do not make any gods to be equal to me. Do not make for yourselves gods out of silver or out of gold. 24 Make a table out of earth for me. Burn your dead animals upon it and also your other gifts to me. I will cause people in many places to love my name. And in those places, I will come to you and I will make you happy. 25 You can make a table of stone for me also. But do not build it with stones that you have cut. If you use tools on the stones, the table will not be clean for God.

26 Do not climb up to my table on anything, because someone may see parts of your body.”