Exodus 22; Exodus 23; Exodus 24

1 "Suppose a man steals an ox or a sheep. And suppose he kills it or sells it. Then he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox. Or he must pay back four sheep or goats for the sheep. 2 "Suppose you catch a thief breaking into your house. And suppose you hit the thief and kill him. Then you are not guilty of murder. 3 But suppose it happens after the sun has come up. Then you are guilty of murder. "A thief must pay for what he has stolen. But suppose he does not have anything. Then he must be sold to pay for what he has stolen. 4 "What if the stolen ox, donkey or sheep is found alive with him? Then the thief must pay back twice as much as he stole. 5 "Suppose a man lets his livestock eat grass in someone else's field or vineyard. Then he must pay that person back from the best crops of his own field or vineyard. 6 "Suppose a fire breaks out and spreads into bushes. It burns grain that has been cut and stacked. Or it burns grain that is still growing. Or it burns the whole field. Then the one who started the fire must pay for the loss. 7 "Suppose a man gives his neighbor silver or other things to keep safe. And suppose they are stolen from the neighbor's house. If the thief is caught, he must pay back twice as much as he stole. 8 "But suppose the thief is not found. Then the neighbor must go to the judges. They will decide whether the neighbor has stolen the other person's property. 9 "Suppose you have an ox, donkey, sheep or clothing that does not belong to you. Or you have other property that was lost by someone else. And suppose someone says, 'That belongs to me.' Then both people must bring their case to the judges. The one the judges decide is guilty must pay back twice as much to the other person. 10 "Suppose a man asks his neighbor to take care of a donkey, ox, sheep or any other animal. And suppose the animal dies or gets hurt. Or suppose it is stolen while no one is looking. 11 Then the problem will be settled by taking an oath and promising the LORD to tell the truth. "Suppose the neighbor takes an oath and says, 'I didn't steal your property.' Then the owner must accept what the neighbor says. No payment is required. 12 "But suppose the animal really was stolen. Then the neighbor must pay the owner back. 13 "Or suppose it was torn to pieces by a wild animal. Then the neighbor must bring in what is left as proof. No payment is required. 14 "Suppose a man borrows an animal from his neighbor. And it gets hurt or dies while the owner is not there. Then the man must pay for it. 15 "But suppose the owner is with the animal. Then the man will not have to pay. If he hired the animal, the money he paid to hire it covers the loss. 16 "Suppose a man meets a virgin who is not engaged. And he talks her into having sex with him. Then he must pay her father the price for a bride. And he must get married to her. 17 "But suppose her father absolutely refuses to give her to him. Then he must still pay the price for getting married to a virgin. 18 "Do not let a woman who does evil magic stay alive. Put her to death. 19 "Anyone who has sex with an animal must be put to death. 20 "Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than me must be destroyed. 21 "Do not treat outsiders badly. Do not beat them down. Remember, you were outsiders in Egypt. 22 "Do not take advantage of widows. Do not take advantage of children whose fathers have died. 23 "If you do, they might cry out to me. Then I will certainly hear them. 24 And I will get angry. I will kill you with a sword. Your wives will become widows. Your children's fathers will die. 25 "Suppose you lend money to one of my people among you who is in need. Then do not be like those who lend money and charge interest. Do not charge any interest. 26 "Suppose your neighbor owes you money and gives you a coat as a promise to pay it back. Then return it to him by sunset. 27 That coat is the only thing he owns to wear or sleep in. When he cries out to me, I will listen, because I am loving and kind. 28 "Do not speak evil things against me. Do not call down a curse on the ruler of your people. 29 "Do not hold back your grain offerings or wine offerings. "You must give me the oldest of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days. But give them to me on the eighth day. 31 "I want you to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of any animal that has been torn by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.
1 "Do not spread reports that are false. Do not help an evil person by telling lies in court. 2 "Do not follow the crowd when they do what is wrong. When you are a witness in court, do not turn what is right into wrong. Do not go along with the crowd. 3 Do not show favor to a poor person in court. 4 "Suppose you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering away. Then be sure to take it back to him 5 "Suppose you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has fallen down under its load. Then do not leave it there. Be sure you help him with it. 6 "Be fair to your poor people in their court cases. 7 Do not have anything to do with a charge that is false. Do not put to death those who are not guilty of doing anything wrong. I will not let those who are guilty go free. 8 "Do not take money from people who want special favors. It makes you blind to the truth. It twists the words of godly people. 9 "Do not beat an outsider down. You yourselves know how it feels to be outsiders. Remember, you were outsiders in Egypt. 10 "For six years plant your fields and gather your crops. 11 But during the seventh year do not plow your land or use it. Then the poor people who are among you can get food from it. The wild animals can eat what is left over. Do the same thing with your vineyards and your groves of olive trees. 12 "Do all of your work in six days. But do not do any work on the seventh day. Then your oxen and donkeys can rest. The slaves who are born in your house can be renewed. And so can the outsiders. 13 "Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not use the names of other gods. Do not even let them be heard on your lips. 14 "Three times a year you must celebrate a feast in my honor 15 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Eat bread that is made without yeast for seven days, just as I commanded you. Do it at the appointed time in the month of Abib. You came out of Egypt in that month. "You must not come to worship me with your hands empty. 16 "Celebrate the Feast of Weeks. Bring the first share of your crops from your field. "Celebrate the Feast of Booths. Hold it in the fall when you gather in your crops from the field. 17 "Three times a year all of your men must come to worship me. I am your LORD and King. 18 "Do not include anything that is made with yeast when you offer me the blood of a sacrifice. "Suppose the fat from sacrifices is left over from my feasts. Then do not keep it until morning. 19 "Bring the best of the first share of your crops to my house. I am the LORD your God. "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk 20 "I am sending an angel ahead of you. He will guard you along the way. He will bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him. Listen to what he says. Do not refuse to obey him. He will not forgive you if you turn against him. My very Name is in him 22 Listen carefully to what he says. Do everything I say. Then I will be an enemy to your enemies. I will fight against those who fight against you. 23 "My angel will go ahead of you. He will bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites. I will wipe them out. 24 "Do not do what they do. Do not bow down to their gods or worship them. You must destroy the statues of their gods. You must break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 "I am the LORD your God. Worship me. Then I will bless your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. 26 In your land no woman will give birth to a dead baby. Every woman will be able to have children. I will give you a long life. 27 "I will send my terror ahead of you. I will throw every nation you meet into a panic. I will make all of your enemies turn their backs and run away. 28 I will send hornets ahead of you. They will drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 "But I will not drive them out in just one year. If I did, the land would be deserted. There would be too many wild animals for you. 30 I will drive them out ahead of you little by little. I will do it until your numbers have increased enough for you to take control of the land. 31 "I will make your borders secure from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. They will go from the desert to the Euphrates River. "I will hand over to you the people who live in the land. You will drive them out to make room for you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land. If you do, they will cause you to sin against me. If you worship their gods, that will certainly be a trap for you."
1 The LORD said to Moses, "You and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel must come up to me. Do not come close when you worship. 2 Only Moses can come close to me. The others must not come near. And the people may not go up with him." 3 Moses went and told the people all of the LORD's words and laws. They answered with one voice. They said, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do." 4 Then Moses wrote down everything the LORD had said. Moses got up early the next morning. He built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up 12 stone pillars. They stood for the 12 tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men to offer burnt offerings. They also sacrificed young bulls as friendship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls. He sprinkled the other half on the altar. 7 Then he took the Scroll of the Covenant and read it to the people. They answered, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do. We will obey him." 8 Then Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people. He said, "This is the blood that puts the covenant into effect. The LORD has made this covenant with you in keeping with all of these words." 9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel went up. 10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a street made out of sapphire. It was as clear as the sky itself. 11 But God didn't raise his hand against those leaders of the people of Israel. They saw God. And they ate and drank. 12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain. Stay here. I will give you the stone tablets. They contain the law and commands I have written to teach the people." 13 Then Moses and Joshua, his helper, started out. Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, "Wait for us here until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you. Anyone who has a problem can go to them." 15 Moses went up on the mountain. Then the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. The cloud covered the mountain for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called out to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 The people of Israel saw the glory of the Lord. It looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18 Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.
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