Arrival at Sinai. 1In the third month after the Israelites’ departure from the land of Egypt, on the first day, they came to the wilderness of Sinai. 2After they made the journey from Rephidim and entered the wilderness of Sinai, they then pitched camp in the wilderness.
While Israel was encamped there in front of the mountain, 3Moses went up to the mountain of God. Then the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying: This is what you will say to the house of Jacob; tell the Israelites: 4You have seen how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now, if you obey me completely and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession among all peoples, though all the earth is mine. 6You will be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. That is what you must tell the Israelites. 7So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people. When he set before them all that the Lord had ordered him to tell them, 8all the people answered together, “Everything the Lord has said, we will do.” Then Moses brought back to the Lord the response of the people.
9The Lord said to Moses: I am coming to you now in a dense cloud, so that when the people hear me speaking with you, they will also remain faithful to you.
When Moses, then, had reported the response of the people to the Lord, 10the Lord said to Moses: Go to the people and have them sanctify themselves today and tomorrow. Have them wash their garments 11and be ready for the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12Set limits for the people all around, saying: Take care not to go up the mountain, or even to touch its edge. All who touch the mountain must be put to death. 13No hand shall touch them, but they must be stoned to death or killed with arrows. Whether human being or beast, they must not be allowed to live. Only when the ram’s horn sounds may they go up on the mountain. 14Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and had them sanctify themselves, and they washed their garments. 15He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not approach a woman.”
The Great Theophany. 16On the morning of the third day there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud blast of the shofar, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the Lord had come down upon it in fire. The smoke rose from it as though from a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19The blast of the shofar grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking and God was answering him with thunder.
20When the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21Then the Lord told Moses: Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord in order to see him; otherwise many of them will be struck down. 22For their part, the priests, who approach the Lord must sanctify themselves; else the Lord will break out in anger against them. 23But Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot go up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying: Set limits around the mountain to make it sacred.” 24So the Lord said to him: Go down and come up along with Aaron. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord; else he will break out against them.” 25So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
The Ten Commandments. 1Then God spoke all these words:
2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3You shall not have other gods beside me. 4You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 5you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; 6but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7You shall not invoke the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. For the Lord will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain.
8Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. 9Six days you may labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
12Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13You shall not kill.
14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Moses Accepted as Mediator. 18Now as all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blast of the shofar and the mountain smoking, they became afraid and trembled. So they took up a position farther away 19and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we shall die.” 20Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come only to test you and put the fear of him upon you so you do not sin.” 21So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.
The Covenant Code. 22The Lord said to Moses: This is what you will say to the Israelites: You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23You shall not make alongside of me gods of silver, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24An altar of earth make for me, and sacrifice upon it your burnt offerings and communion sacrifices, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be invoked I will come to you and bless you. 25But if you make an altar of stone for me, do not build it of cut stone, for by putting a chisel to it you profane it. 26You shall not ascend to my altar by steps, lest your nakedness be exposed.
Teaching About the Law. 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 20I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Teaching About Anger. 21“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. 23Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, 24leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
Teaching About Adultery. 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
Teaching About Divorce. 31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’ 32But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Teaching About Oaths. 33“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ 34But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.
Teaching About Retaliation. 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. 40If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. 41Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. 42Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
Love of Enemies. 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
For footnotes and cross references see BibleGateway.com or United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)