Scripture: Exodus 19-24
19 In the third month from the very day the Israelites left the land of Egypt, they came to the Sinai Wilderness. 2 They traveled from Rephidim, came to the Sinai Wilderness, and camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob and explain to the Israelites: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, 6 and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
7 After Moses came back, he summoned the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 Then all the people responded together, “We will do all that the Lord has spoken.” So Moses brought the people’s words back to the Lord.
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you and will always believe you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, 10 and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 No hand may touch him;[a] instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows and not live, whether animal or human. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.”
14 Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 He said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with women.”
16 On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.
20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain. Then the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and he went up. 21 The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. 22 Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.”
23 Moses responded to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, since you warned us: Put a boundary around the mountain and consecrate it.” 24 And the Lord replied to him, “Go down and come back with Aaron. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out in anger against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
20 Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
3 Do not have other gods besides me.
4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, 6 but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.
7 Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
18 All the people witnessed[b] the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it[c] they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”
20 Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear him and will not[d] sin.” 21 And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the total darkness where God was.
22 Then the Lord told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23 Do not make gods of silver to rival me; do not make gods of gold for yourselves.
24 “Make an earthen altar for me, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your flocks and herds. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause my name to be remembered. 25 If you make a stone altar for me, do not build it out of cut stones. If you use your chisel on it, you will defile it. 26 Do not go up to my altar on steps, so that your nakedness is not exposed on it.
21 “These are the ordinances that you are to set before them:
2 “When you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for six years; then in the seventh he is to leave as a free man[e] without paying anything. 3 If he arrives alone, he is to leave alone; if he arrives with[f] a wife, his wife is to leave with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children belong to her master, and the man must leave alone.
5 “But if the slave declares, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I do not want to leave as a free man,’ 6 his master is to bring him to the judges[g] and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master will pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life.
7 “When a man sells his daughter as a concubine,[h] she is not to leave as the male slaves do. 8 If she is displeasing to her master, who chose her for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners because he has acted treacherously toward her. 9 Or if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her according to the customary treatment of daughters. 10 If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she may leave free of charge, without any payment.[i]
12 “Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death. 13 But if he did not intend any harm,[j] and yet God allowed it to happen, I will appoint a place for you where he may flee. 14 If a person schemes and willfully[k] acts against his neighbor to murder him, you must take him from my altar to be put to death.
15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother must be put to death.
16 “Whoever kidnaps a person must be put to death, whether he sells him or the person is found in his possession.
17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother must be put to death.
18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or his fist, and the injured man does not die but is confined to bed, 19 if he can later get up and walk around outside leaning on his staff, then the one who struck him will be exempt from punishment. Nevertheless, he must pay for his lost work time[l] and provide for his complete recovery.
20 “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod, and the slave dies under his abuse,[m] the owner must be punished.[n] 21 However, if the slave can stand up after a day or two, the owner should not be punished[o] because he is his owner’s property.[p]
22 “When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. 23 If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.
26 “When a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he must let the slave go free in compensation for his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free in compensation for his tooth.
28 “When an ox[q] gores a man or a woman to death, the ox must be stoned, and its meat may not be eaten, but the ox’s owner is innocent. 29 However, if the ox was in the habit of goring, and its owner has been warned yet does not restrain it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox must be stoned, and its owner must also be put to death. 30 If instead a ransom is demanded of him, he can pay a redemption price for his life in the full amount demanded from him. 31 If it gores a son or a daughter, he is to be dealt with according to this same law. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, he must give thirty shekels of silver[r] to the slave’s master, and the ox must be stoned.
33 “When a man uncovers a pit or digs a pit, and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit must give compensation; he must pay to its owner, but the dead animal will become his.
35 “When a man’s ox injures his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they must sell the live ox and divide its proceeds; they must also divide the dead animal. 36 If, however, it is known that the ox was in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not restrained it, he must compensate fully, ox for ox; the dead animal will become his.
22 “When a man steals an ox or a sheep and butchers it or sells it, he must repay five cattle for the ox or four sheep for the sheep. 2 If a thief is caught in the act of breaking in, and he is beaten to death, no one is guilty of bloodshed. 3 But if this happens after sunrise, the householder is guilty of bloodshed. A thief must make full restitution. If he is unable, he is to be sold because of his theft. 4 If what was stolen—whether ox, donkey, or sheep—is actually found alive in his possession, he must repay double.
5 “When a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed in, and then allows his animals to go and graze in someone else’s field, he must repay[s] with the best of his own field or vineyard.
6 “When a fire gets out of control, spreads to thornbushes, and consumes stacks of cut grain, standing grain, or a field, the one who started the fire must make full restitution for what was burned.
7 “When a man gives his neighbor valuables[t] or goods to keep, but they are stolen from that person’s house, the thief, if caught, must repay double. 8 If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house must present himself to the judges[u] to determine[v] whether or not he has taken his neighbor’s property. 9 In any case of wrongdoing involving an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or anything else lost, and someone claims, ‘That’s mine,’[w] the case between the two parties is to come before the judges.[x] The one the judges condemn[y] must repay double to his neighbor.
10 “When a man gives his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any other animal to care for, but it dies, is injured, or is stolen, while no one is watching, 11 there must be an oath before the Lord between the two of them to determine whether or not he has taken his neighbor’s property. Its owner must accept the oath, and the other man does not have to make restitution. 12 But if, in fact, the animal was stolen from his custody, he must make restitution to its owner. 13 If it was actually torn apart by a wild animal, he is to bring it as evidence; he does not have to make restitution for the torn carcass.
14 “When a man borrows an animal from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not there with it, the man must make full restitution. 15 If its owner is there with it, the man does not have to make restitution. If it was rented, the loss is covered by[z] its rental price.
16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and he sleeps with her, he must certainly pay the bridal price for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must pay an amount in silver equal to the bridal price for virgins.
18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.
19 “Whoever has sexual intercourse with an animal must be put to death.
20 “Whoever sacrifices to any gods, except the Lord alone, is to be set apart for destruction.
21 “You must not exploit a resident alien or oppress him, since you were resident aliens in the land of Egypt.
22 “You must not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, they will no doubt cry to me, and I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will burn, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.
25 “If you lend silver to my people, to the poor person among you, you must not be like a creditor to him; you must not charge him interest.
26 “If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as collateral, return it to him before sunset. 27 For it is his only covering; it is the clothing for his body.[aa] What will he sleep in? And if he cries out to me, I will listen because I am gracious.
28 “You must not blaspheme God[ab] or curse a leader among your people.
29 “You must not hold back offerings from your harvest or your vats. Give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your flock. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but on the eighth day you are to give them to me.
31 “Be my holy people. You must not eat the meat of a mauled animal found in the field; throw it to the dogs.
23 “You must not spread a false report. Do not join[ac] the wicked to be a malicious witness.
2 “You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing. Do not testify in a lawsuit and go along with a crowd to pervert justice. 3 Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him.
5 “If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, and you want to refrain from helping it, you must help with it.[ad]
6 “You must not deny justice to a poor person among you in his lawsuit. 7 Stay far away from a false accusation. Do not kill the innocent and the just, because I will not justify the guilty. 8 You must not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and corrupts the words[ae] of the righteous. 9 You must not oppress a resident alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be a resident alien because you were resident aliens in the land of Egypt.
10 “Sow your land for six years and gather its produce. 11 But during the seventh year you are to let it rest and leave it uncultivated, so that the poor among your people may eat from it and the wild animals may consume what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12 “Do your work for six days but rest on the seventh day so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave as well as the resident alien may be refreshed.
13 “Pay strict attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.[af]
14 “Celebrate a festival in my honor three times a year. 15 Observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib,[ag] because you came out of Egypt in that month. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. 16 Also observe the Festival of Harvest[ah] with the firstfruits of your produce from what you sow in the field, and observe the Festival of Ingathering[ai] at the end of the year, when you gather your produce[aj] from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord God.
18 “You must not offer the blood of my sacrifices with anything leavened. The fat of my festival offering must not remain until morning.
19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the house of the Lord your God.
“You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
20 “I am going to send an angel before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Be attentive to him and listen to him. Do not defy him, because he will not forgive your acts of rebellion, for my name is in him. 22 But if you will carefully obey him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 For my angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, Hethites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow in worship to their gods, and do not serve them. Do not imitate their practices. Instead, demolish them[ak] and smash their sacred pillars to pieces. 25 Serve the Lord your God, and he[al] will bless your bread and your water. I will remove illnesses from you. 26 No woman will miscarry or be childless in your land. I will give you the full number of your days.
27 “I will cause the people ahead of you to feel terror[am] and will throw into confusion all the nations you come to. I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you in retreat.[an] 28 I will send hornets[ao] in front of you, and they will drive the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hethites away from you. 29 I will not drive them out ahead of you in a single year; otherwise, the land would become desolate, and wild animals would multiply against you. 30 I will drive them out little by little ahead of you until you have become numerous[ap] and take possession of the land. 31 I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea,[aq] and from the wilderness to the Euphrates River.[ar] For I will place the inhabitants of the land under your control, and you will drive them out ahead of you. 32 You must not make a covenant with them or their gods. 33 They must not remain in your land, or else they will make you sin against me. If you serve their gods, it will be a snare for you.”
24 Then he said to Moses, “Go up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders, and bow in worship at a distance. 2 Moses alone is to approach the Lord, but the others are not to approach, and the people are not to go up with him.”
3 Moses came and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. Then all the people responded with a single voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has commanded.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early the next morning and set up an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel at the base of the mountain. 5 Then he sent out young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half the blood and set it in basins; the other half of the blood he splattered on the altar. 7 He then took the covenant scroll and read it aloud to the people. They responded, “We will do and obey all that the Lord has commanded.”
8 Moses took the blood, splattered it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.”
9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. 11 God did not harm[as] the Israelite nobles; they saw him, and they ate and drank.
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay there so that I may give you the stone tablets with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
13 So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua and went up the mountain of God. 14 He told the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15 When Moses went up the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moses from the cloud. 17 The appearance of the Lord’s glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop. 18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.