Old Testament

Exodus 20
The Ten Commandments
201Then God spoke all these words:
2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.[]
3You shall have no other gods beside me.[] 4You shall not make any carved image for yourself or a likeness of anything in heaven above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. 5Do not bow down to them or be subservient to them,[] for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.[] I follow up on[] the guilt of the fathers with their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren, if they also hate me. 6But I show mercy to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
7You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not permit anyone who misuses his name to escape unpunished.
8Remember the Sabbath day[] by setting it apart as holy. 9Six days you are to serve and do all your regular work, 10but the seventh day shall be a sabbath rest to the Lord your God. Do not do any regular work, neither you, nor your sons or daughters, nor your male or female servants, nor your cattle, nor the alien who is residing inside your gates, 11for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. In this way the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy.
12Honor your father and your mother so that you may spend many days on the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.
13You shall not commit murder.
14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.[]
18All the people saw and heard the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram's horn and the mountain smoking. The people saw,[] and they trembled and stood far away. 19Then they said to Moses, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, or we will die.”
20Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you may always fear him, so that you do not sin.”
21The people stayed at a distance, but Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
22Then the Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel the following things:
You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23You shall not make gods of silver or gods of gold and place them beside me. You shall not make them for yourselves.
24You are to make an altar of earth for me and to sacrifice your whole burnt offerings on it, as well as your fellowship offerings, your sheep, and your cattle. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered, I will come to you and I will bless you.
25If you make a stone altar for me, you are not to build it out of cut stones, because by applying a tool to it you would pollute it.
26You are not to go up to my altar by steps, so that your nakedness will not be uncovered upon it.


  • 20:2 Literally the house of slaves
  • 20:3 Literally against my face or besides me or before me or in my presence or because of my presence
  • 20:5 The verb is not the normal form for serve but a special form that implies subservience.
  • 20:5 That is, I am a God who demands exclusive loyalty
  • 20:5 Or demand an accounting for. The Hebrew verb pachad has traditionally been translated visit, but in present-day English visit usually has a social connotation. The term, however, refers to an official visit to bring punishment or reward to someone.
  • 20:8 That is, the day of rest
  • 20:17 Another version of the Ten Commandments appears in Deuteronomy 5:1–21.
  • 20:18 A variant in some ancient versions is feared.