Chapter 12

  1. In the third month when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim and had come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself. Now therefore if you will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people — for all the earth is mine. And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken, we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
  2. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you and believe you for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes and be ready against the third day, for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai. And you shall set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves that you go not up into the mount or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mount shall be surely put to death. There shall not a hand touch it but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live. When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day; come not at your wives.
  3. And it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceedingly loud, so that all the people that were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the lower part of the mount. And Mount Sinai was altogether smoking because the Lord descended upon it in fire, and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount; and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount, and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze and many of them perish. And let the priests also who come near to the Lord sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you charge us, saying, Set bounds about the mount and sanctify it. And the Lord said unto him, Away. Go down, and you shall come up, you and Aaron with you. But let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people and spoke unto them.
  4. And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.
  5. You shall not make unto you any engraved 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. You shall not bow down yourself to them nor serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
  6. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
  7. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work — you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Wherefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  8. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you.
  9. You shall not kill.
  10. You shall not commit adultery.
  11. You shall not steal.
  12. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  13. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
  14. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak with us and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not, for God has come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that you sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
  15. And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus you shall say unto the children of Israel: You have seen that I have talked with you from Heaven. You shall not make unto you gods of silver, neither shall you make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth you shall make unto me and shall sacrifice thereon your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In all places where I record my name, I will come unto you and I will bless you. And if you will make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone, for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it. Neither shall you go up by steps unto my altar, that your nakedness be not revealed thereon.