Then God instructed the people as follows:
"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
"Do not worship any other gods besides me.
"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish.
You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.
But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.
"Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work,
but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
"Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.
"Do not murder.
"Do not commit adultery.
"Do not steal.
"Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
"Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the horn, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.
And they said to Moses, "You tell us what God says, and we will listen. But don't let God speak directly to us. If he does, we will die!"
"Don't be afraid," Moses said, "for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!"
As the people stood in the distance, Moses entered into the deep darkness where God was.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: You are witnesses that I have spoken to you from heaven.
Remember, you must not make or worship idols of silver or gold.
"The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me -- your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there.
If you build altars from stone, use only uncut stones. Do not chip or shape the stones with a tool, for that would make them unfit for holy use.
And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)