Exodus 20:8-26

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance
19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Idols and Altars

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:
23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
24 “ ‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.
25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.
26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’

Images for Exodus 20:8-26

Exodus 20:8-26 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 20

In this chapter we have an account of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; the preface to it, Ex 20:1,2, the ten commandments it consists of, Ex 20:8-17, the circumstances attending it, which caused the people to remove at some distance, Ex 20:18, when they desired of Moses, that he would speak to them and not God, who bid them not fear, since this was for the trial of them; but still they kept at a distance, while Moses drew nigh to God, Ex 20:19-21 who ordered him to caution the children of Israel against idolatry, and directed what sort of an altar he would have made whereon to offer their sacrifices, promising that where his name was recorded he would grant his presence and blessing, Ex 20:22-26.

Exodus 20:8-26 In-Context

6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance
19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:
23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
24 “ ‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.
25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.
26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’

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Cross References 34

  • 1. S Exodus 16:23; Exodus 31:13-16; Exodus 35:3; Leviticus 19:3,30; Leviticus 26:2; Isaiah 56:2; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Ezekiel 22:8
  • 2. Exodus 23:12; Exodus 31:13-17; Exodus 34:21; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 23:3; Luke 13:14
  • 3. S Genesis 2:3; Exodus 31:14; Leviticus 23:38; Numbers 28:9; Isaiah 56:2; Ezekiel 20:12,20
  • 4. Ge 1:3-2:1
  • 5. S Genesis 2:2
  • 6. Exodus 31:17; Hebrews 4:4
  • 7. S Genesis 31:35; S Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4*; Matthew 19:19*; Mark 7:10*; Mark 10:19*; Luke 18:20*; Ephesians 6:2
  • 8. Deuteronomy 6:2; Ephesians 6:3
  • 9. Deuteronomy 11:9; Deuteronomy 25:15; Jeremiah 35:7
  • 10. S Genesis 4:23; Matthew 5:21*; Matthew 19:18*; Mark 10:19*; Luke 18:20*; Romans 13:9*; James 2:11*
  • 11. Leviticus 18:20; Leviticus 20:10; Nu 5:12,13,29; Proverbs 6:29,32; Matthew 5:27*; Matthew 19:18*; Mark 10:19*; Luke 18:20*; Romans 13:9*; James 2:11*
  • 12. Leviticus 19:11,13; Ezekiel 18:7; Matthew 19:18*; Mark 10:19*; Luke 18:20*; Romans 13:9*
  • 13. Leviticus 19:11; Jeremiah 9:3,5
  • 14. Exodus 23:1,7; Leviticus 19:18; Psalms 50:20; Psalms 101:5; Psalms 119:29; Matthew 19:18*; Mark 10:19; Luke 3:14*; Luke 18:20*
  • 15. Luke 12:15; Romans 7:7*; Romans 13:9*; Ephesians 5:3; Hebrews 13:5
  • 16. Exodus 19:16-19; Deuteronomy 4:36; Isaiah 58:1; Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 33:3; Hebrews 12:18-19; Revelation 1:10
  • 17. S Exodus 19:18
  • 18. S Genesis 3:10; S Exodus 14:31; S Exodus 19:16
  • 19. Job 37:4,5; Job 40:9; Psalms 29:3-4
  • 20. Dt 5:5,23-27; Deuteronomy 18:16; Galatians 3:19
  • 21. S Genesis 15:1
  • 22. S Genesis 22:1
  • 23. Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 6:2,24; Deuteronomy 10:12; Psalms 111:10; Psalms 128:1; Proverbs 1:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Isaiah 8:13
  • 24. Job 1:8; Job 2:3; Job 28:28; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 14:16; Proverbs 16:6
  • 25. S Exodus 19:9; Deuteronomy 5:22; Psalms 18:9; Psalms 68:4; Psalms 97:2; Isaiah 19:1
  • 26. Deuteronomy 5:24,26; Nehemiah 9:13
  • 27. S ver 3
  • 28. Exodus 22:20; Exodus 32:4,8,31; Exodus 34:17; Deuteronomy 29:17-18; Nehemiah 9:18
  • 29. Exodus 27:1; Exodus 40:29; Numbers 16:38; Deuteronomy 27:5; Joshua 8:30; 2 Kings 16:14; 2 Chronicles 4:1; Ezra 3:2; Ezekiel 43:13
  • 30. S Genesis 8:20; S Exodus 18:12
  • 31. Deuteronomy 12:5; Deuteronomy 16:6,11; Deuteronomy 26:2; 1 Kings 9:3; 2 Kings 21:4,7; 2 Chronicles 6:6; 2 Chronicles 12:13; Ezra 6:12
  • 32. S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 22:17
  • 33. Joshua 8:31; 1 Kings 6:7; Deuteronomy 27:5-6
  • 34. Ezekiel 43:17