The Ten Commandments
5 1 Moses called all Israel together. He said to them, Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them. 2 God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 God didn't just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. 4 God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. 5 At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn't climb the mountain. He said:
6 I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a house of slaves. 7 No other gods, only me. 8 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. 9 Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am God, your God, and I'm a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. 10 But I'm lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. 11 No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won't put up with the irreverent use of his name. 12 No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as God, your God, commanded you. 13 Work six days, doing everything you have to do, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day - no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. 15 Don't ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That's why God, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest. 16 Respect your father and mother - God, your God, commands it! You'll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well. 17 No murder. 18 No adultery. 19 No stealing. 20 No lies about your neighbor. 21 No coveting your neighbor's wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either - nothing that belongs to your neighbor!
The People's Fear
22 These are the words that God spoke to the whole congregation at the mountain. He spoke in a tremendous voice from the fire and cloud and dark mist. And that was it. No more words. Then he wrote them on two slabs of stone and gave them to me.
23 As it turned out, when you heard the Voice out of that dark cloud and saw the mountain on fire, you approached me, all the heads of your tribes and your leaders, 24 and said, 25 But why risk it further? This huge fire will devour us if we stay around any longer. If we hear God's voice anymore, we'll die for sure. 26 Has anyone ever known of anyone who has heard the Voice of God the way we have and lived to tell the story? 27 "From now on, you go and listen to what God, our God, says and then tell us what God tells you. We'll listen and we'll do it." 28 God heard what you said to me and told me, "I've heard what the people said to you. They're right - good and true words. 29 What I wouldn't give if they'd always feel this way, continuing to revere me and always keep all my commands; they'd have a good life forever, they and their children! 30 "Go ahead and tell them to go home to their tents. 31 But you, you stay here with me so I can tell you every commandment and all the rules and regulations that you must teach them so they'll know how to live in the land that I'm giving them as their own." 32 So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don't veer off to the right or the left. 33 Walk straight down the road God commands so that you'll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you're about to possess.
The Great Commandment
6 1 This is the commandment, the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you're about to cross into to possess. 2 This is so that you'll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I'm commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives. 3 Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you're told so that you'll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.
4 Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! 5 Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! 6 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you 7 and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. 8 Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; 9 inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Warnings against Disobedience
10 When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you're going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn't build, 11 well-furnished houses you didn't buy, come upon wells you didn't dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn't plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, 12 make sure you don't forget how you got there - God brought you out of slavery in Egypt. 13 Deeply respect God, your God. Serve and worship him exclusively. Back up your promises with his name only. 14 Don't fool around with other gods, the gods of your neighbors, 15 because God, your God, who is alive among you is a jealous God. Don't provoke him, igniting his hot anger that would burn you right off the face of the Earth. 16 Don't push God, your God, to the wall as you did that day at Massah, the Testing-Place.
17 Carefully keep the commands of God, your God, all the requirements and regulations he gave you. 18 Do what is right; do what is good in God's sight so you'll live a good life and be able to march in and take this pleasant land that God so solemnly promised through your ancestors, 19 throwing out your enemies left and right - exactly as God said. 20 The next time your child asks you, "What do these requirements and regulations and rules that God, our God, has commanded mean?" 21 tell your child, "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and God powerfully intervened and got us out of that country. 22 We stood there and watched as God delivered miracle-signs, great wonders, and evil-visitations on Egypt, on Pharaoh and his household. 23 He pulled us out of there so he could bring us here and give us the land he so solemnly promised to our ancestors. 24 That's why God commanded us to follow all these rules, so that we would live reverently before God, our God, as he gives us this good life, keeping us alive for a long time to come. 25 "It will be a set-right and put-together life for us if we make sure that we do this entire commandment in the Presence of God, our God, just as he commanded us to do."
Israel Warned of the Idolatry of Canaan
7 1 When God, your God, brings you into the country that you are about to enter and take over, he will clear out the superpowers that were there before you: the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Those seven nations are all bigger and stronger than you are. 2 God, your God, will turn them over to you and you will conquer them. You must completely destroy them, offering them up as a holy destruction to God. Don't make a treaty with them. Don't let them off in any way. 3 Don't marry them: Don't give your daughters to their sons and don't take their daughters for your sons - 4 before you know it they'd involve you in worshiping their gods, and God would explode in anger, putting a quick end to you. 5 Here's what you are to do: Tear apart their altars stone by stone, smash their phallic pillars, chop down their sex-and-religion Asherah groves, set fire to their carved god-images.
A Holy People to the LORD
6 Do this because you are a people set apart as holy to God, your God. God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure. 7 God wasn't attracted to you and didn't choose you because you were big and important - the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. 8 He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. 10 But he also pays back those who hate him, pays them the wages of death; he isn't slow to pay them off - those who hate him, he pays right on time. 11 So keep the command and the rules and regulations that I command you today. Do them.
The Blessings of Obedience
12 And this is what will happen: When you, on your part, will obey these directives, keeping and following them, God, on his part, will keep the covenant of loyal love that he made with your ancestors: 13 He will love you, he will bless you, he will increase you. 14 You'll be blessed beyond all other peoples: no sterility or barrenness in you or your animals. 15 God will get rid of all sickness. And all the evil afflictions you experienced in Egypt he'll put not on you but on those who hate you. 16 You'll make mincemeat of all the peoples that God, your God, hands over to you. Don't feel sorry for them. And don't worship their gods - they'll trap you for sure. 17 You're going to think to yourselves, "Oh! We're outnumbered ten to one by these nations! We'll never even make a dent in them!" 18 But I'm telling you, Don't be afraid. Remember, yes, remember in detail what God, your God, did to Pharaoh and all Egypt. 19 Remember the great contests to which you were eyewitnesses: the miracle-signs, the wonders, God's mighty hand as he stretched out his arm and took you out of there. God, your God, is going to do the same thing to these people you're now so afraid of. 20 And to top it off, the Hornet. God will unleash the Hornet on them until every survivor-in-hiding is dead. 21 So don't be intimidated by them. God, your God, is among you - God majestic, God awesome. 22 God, your God, will get rid of these nations, bit by bit. You won't be permitted to wipe them out all at once lest the wild animals take over and overwhelm you. 23 But God, your God, will move them out of your way - he'll throw them into a huge panic until there's nothing left of them. 24 He'll turn their kings over to you and you'll remove all trace of them under Heaven. Not one person will be able to stand up to you; you'll put an end to them all. 25 Make sure you set fire to their carved gods. Don't get greedy for the veneer of silver and gold on them and take it for yourselves - you'll get trapped by it for sure. God hates it; it's an abomination to God, your God. 26 And don't dare bring one of these abominations home or you'll end up just like it, burned up as a holy destruction. No: It is forbidden! Hate it. Abominate it. Destroy it and preserve God's holiness.