18 mJethro, nthe priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, 3 along with her otwo sons. The name of the one was Gershom (pfor he said, q“I have been a sojourner1 in a foreign land”), 4 and the name of the other, Eliezer2 (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). 5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the rmountain of God. 6 And when he sent word to Moses, “I,3 your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” 7 Moses swent out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and tkissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law uall that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, v“Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that wthe Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they xdealt arrogantly with the people.”4 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law ybefore God.
13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because zthe people come to me to inquire of God; 16 awhen they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I bmake them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. cYou are not able to do it alone. 19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall drepresent the people before God and ebring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know fthe way in which they must walk and gwhat they must do. 21 Moreover, look for hable men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And ilet them judge the people at all times. jEvery great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will kbear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be lable to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 mMoses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And nthey judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and ohe went away to his own country.
Israel at Mount Sinai
19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they pcame into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from qRephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before rthe mountain, 3 while sMoses went up to God. tThe Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 u‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how vI bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be wmy treasured possession among all peoples, for xall the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a ykingdom of priests and za holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 aAll the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you bin a thick cloud, that cthe people may hear when I speak with you, and may also dbelieve you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and econsecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them fwash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day gthe Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. hWhoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot;1 whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When ithe trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses jwent down from the mountain to the people and econsecrated the people; fand they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the kthird day; ldo not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the kthird day there were mthunders and lightnings and na thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud otrumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp ptrembled. 17 Then qMoses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now rMount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and sthe whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the osound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and tGod answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord uto look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord vconsecrate themselves, lest the Lord wbreak out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, x‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people ybreak through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
The Ten Commandments
20 zAnd aGod spoke all these words, saying,
2 b“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 c“You shall have no other gods before1 me.
4 d“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 eYou shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am fa jealous God, gvisiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands2 of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 h“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8 i“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 jSix days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the kseventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the lsojourner who is within your gates. 11 For min six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 n“Honor your father and your mother, othat your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
14 q“You shall not commit adultery.
15 r“You shall not steal.
16 s“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 t“You shall not covet uyour neighbor’s house; vyou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
18 Now when all the people saw wthe thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid4 and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, x“You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 yMoses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to ztest you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the athick darkness where God was.
Laws About Altars
22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have btalked with you from heaven. 23 cYou shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. dIn every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and ebless you. 25 fIf you make me an altar of stone, gyou shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’
Laws About Slaves
21 “Now these are the hrules that you shall set before them. 2 iWhen you buy a Hebrew slave,1 he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. 5 But jif the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to kGod, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.
7 “When a man lsells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has designated her2 for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or mher marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.
12 n“Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 oBut if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then pI will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, qyou shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.
16 r“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found sin possession of him, shall be put to death.
17 t“Whoever curses3 his father or his mother shall be put to death.
18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.
20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the uslave is his money.
22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and vhe shall pay as the wjudges determine. 23 But if there is harm,4 then you shall pay xlife for life, 24 yeye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.
28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the zox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If aa ransom is imposed on him, then vhe shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master bthirty shekels5 of silver, and zthe ox shall be stoned.
Laws About Restitution
33 “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.
35 “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.
22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and cfour sheep for a sheep. 2 1 If a thief is found dbreaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He2 shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then ehe shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the stolen beast fis found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, ghe shall pay double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.
6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.
7 “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, ghe shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. 9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.
10 “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 han oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if iit is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.
14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.3
Laws About Social Justice
16 j“If a man seduces a virgin4 who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price5 for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, jhe shall pay money equal to the kbride-price for virgins.
18 l“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
19 m“Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.
20 n“Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.6
21 o“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 pYou shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they qcry out to me, I will surely rhear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and syour wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
25 t“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 uIf ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he qcries to me, I will hear, for I am vcompassionate.
28 w“You shall not revile God, nor wcurse a ruler of your people.
29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. xThe firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 yYou shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: zseven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
31 a“You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore byou shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; cyou shall throw it to the dogs.