Exodus 34:1-28

Two new flat stones

1 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Cut two flat stones like the first stones. Then I will write on them all the words that I wrote on the first stones. Those were the stones that you broke into pieces. 2 Make yourself ready in the morning and come up Sinai mountain. Stand there, ready to meet me on the top of the mountain. 3 Nobody must come with you. Nobody must go anywhere on the mountain. Even your sheep and your cows must not eat grass near the bottom of the mountain.’

34:1See Exodus 32:19.

4 So Moses cut two flat stones like the first stones. Early in the morning, he went up Sinai mountain, as the Lord had commanded him. He carried the two flat stones in his hands. 5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud. He came and he stood with Moses. The Lord spoke aloud his own name, the Lord.

6 The Lord passed in front of Moses. He said in a loud voice, ‘I am the Lord! The Lord! I am kind to people and I forgive them. I do not quickly become angry. My faithful love for my people continues for ever, and I am always faithful. 7 I faithfully love thousands of people. I forgive their sins when they turn against me. But if people are guilty, I surely punish them. I punish their children, their grandchildren and their grandchildren's children.’

8 Then Moses quickly bent down low to worship the Lord. 9 He said, ‘Lord, my God, if you are pleased with me, please travel with us! It is true that these people are proud and they often do not obey you. But please forgive all our sins. Please accept us as your own people.’

10 Then the Lord said, ‘I will make a covenant with the Israelites. I will do great miracles for them to see. Nobody in any nation anywhere in the world has ever done such great things. All the people who live near you will see the great things that I, the Lord, will do. The powerful things that I do among you will make them very afraid.

11 Obey the commands that I am giving you today. Then I will chase out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as you move into the land. 12 Do not make any agreements with those people in the land where you are going. If you become their friends, they would teach you to do wrong things. 13 Instead, you must knock down their altars. Destroy the special stones that are their idols. Cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god instead of me. I am the Lord and I want you to belong to me alone.

15 Be careful not to make an agreement with the people who live in that land. They have turned away to worship their own gods. They offer sacrifices to their gods. When they do that, they may ask you to join with them. Then you will eat the food that they have offered to their gods. 16 Perhaps you may choose some of their daughters for your sons to marry. Their daughters will continue to worship their gods. Then they will teach your sons to turn away from me and worship their gods.

17 Do not melt metal to make images of false gods.

18 Eat the Feast of Flat Bread every year. Eat bread that has no yeast in it for seven days, as I commanded you. Do this on the right day in the month of Abib. That is the month that you came out from Egypt.

19 Every firstborn child that a woman gives birth to belongs to me. That is also true for every firstborn male that your animals give birth to. That includes your cows and your sheep. 20 For a firstborn donkey, you may pay for it with a lamb instead. If you do not pay for it, you must break the donkey's neck. You must pay me back for every firstborn son that you have.

Nobody may come to worship me without an offering to give me.

21 You may work for six days each week, but on the seventh day you must rest. That is true even when it is the time to plough your fields. It is also true at harvest time. You must rest on the seventh day each week.

22 Eat the Feast of Weeks every year when you cut the first wheat in your fields. Eat the Feast of Harvest at the end of each year. 23 Three times in every year, all your men must come to worship the Lord God, the God of Israel. 24 I will chase the nations out of the land as you move in. I will give you more and more land to live in. Three times each year you must come to worship the Lord your God. When you do that, nobody will try to take your land for themselves.

34:22See Deuteronomy 16:9-15. The Feast of Harvest was also called the Feast of Huts.

25 When you offer the blood of an animal to me as your sacrifice, do not also offer any bread with yeast in it. When you kill a lamb for the Passover sacrifice, do not keep any of the meat until the next morning.

26 When you cut the first crops from your fields, bring the best food to the house of the Lord your God.

Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.’

27 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write down these words. They are the rules of the covenant that I have made with you and with the Israelites.’

28 Moses was there on the mountain with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights. He did not eat anything or drink anything during that time. He wrote the words of God's covenant on the flat stones. Those were God's ten special commands.