Chapter 5

1And Moses called all Israel and said to them, "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, and learn them, and observe [them] to do them.
2The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3Not with our forefathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, we, all of whom are here alive today.
Not with our forefathers: Alone did the Lord make [this covenant], but with us.
4Face to face, the Lord spoke with you at the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
Face to face: Rabbi Berechiah said, “So said Moses: 'Do not say that I am misleading you about something that does not exist, as an agent does, acting between the seller and the buyer, [because] behold, the seller Himself is speaking with you.’” (Pesikta Rabbathi).
5(and I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to tell you the word of the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire, and you did not go up on the mountain) saying,
saying: This refers back to (verse 4), “the Lord spoke with you at the mountain out of the midst of the fire… saying, ‘I am the Lord…,’ and I stood between the Lord and you”.
6"I am the Lord your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7You shall not have the gods of others in My presence.
in My presence: Heb. עַל-פָּנָי, lit. before Me, i.e., wherever I am, and that is the entire world. Another explanation: As long as I exist [i.e., forever] (Mechilta). I have already explained the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-14).
8You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.
9You shall not prostrate yourself before them, nor worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a zealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.
10And [I] perform loving kindness to thousands [of generations] of those who love Me and to those who keep My commandments.
11You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain, for the Lord will not hold blameless anyone who takes His name in vain.
12Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord your God commanded you.
Keep [the Sabbath day]: But in the first set [of Ten Commandments] (in Exod. 20) it says: “Remember [the Sabbath day]!” The explanation is: Both of them (“Remember” and “Keep”) were spoken simultaneously as one word and were heard simultaneously. (Mechilta 20:8)
just as [the Lord your God] commanded you: Before the giving of the Torah, at Marah (Shab. 87b).
13Six days may you work, and perform all your labor,
14but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your ox, your donkey, any of your livestock, nor the stranger who is within your cities, in order that your manservant and your maidservant may rest like you.
15And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God took you out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, the Lord, your God, commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
And you shall remember that you were a slave…: God redeemed you on the condition that you will be His slave and keep His commandments.
16Honor your father and your mother as the Lord your God commanded you, in order that your days be lengthened, and that it may go well with you on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you.
as the Lord your God commanded you: Also regarding the honoring of father and mother they were commanded at Marah, as it is said: (Exod. 15:25),“There He gave them a statute and an ordinance.” (San. 56b)
17You shall not murder. And you shall not commit adultery. And you shall not steal. And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
And you shall not commit adultery: Adultery applies only [to relations] with a married woman.
18And you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor shall you desire your neighbor's house, his field, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
nor shall you desire: Heb. וְלֹא תִתְאַוֶּה. [As the Targum [Onkelos] renders:] וְלֹא תֵרוֹג,“you shall not desire.” This too is an expression of coveting (חֶמְדָּה) , just as“pleasant (נֶחְמָד) to see” (Gen. 2:9), which the Targum [Onkelos] interprets as“desirable (דִּמִרַגֵּג) to see.”
19The Lord spoke these words to your entire assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the opaque darkness, with a great voice, which did not cease. And He inscribed them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
which did not cease: Heb. וְלֹא יָסָף, interpreted by the Targum [Onkelos]: וְלָא פְּסָק“and it did not cease.” [Because it is human nature that one is unable to utter all his words in one breath, but he must pause, whereas the characteristic of the Holy One, blessed is He, is not so. God did not pause, and since He did not pause, He did not have to resume,] for His voice is strong and exists continuously (San. 17a). Another explanation of וְלֹא יָסָף : He never again revealed Himself so publicly [as He did on Mount Sinai. Accordingly, we render: and He did not continue].
20And it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, and the mountain was burning with fire, that you approached me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders.
21And you said, "Behold, the Lord, our God, has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we saw this day that God speaks with man, yet [man] remains alive.
22So now, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we continue to hear the voice of the Lord, our God, anymore, we will die.
23For who is there of all flesh, who heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
24You approach, and hear all that the Lord, our God, will say, and you speak to us all that the Lord, our God, will speak to you, and we will hear and do.
And you speak to us: Heb. וְאַתְּ, a feminine form]-You weakened my strength as that of a female, for I was distressed regarding you, and you weakened me, since I saw that you were not anxious to approach God out of love. Would it not have been preferable for you to learn [directly] from the mouth of the Almighty God, rather than to learn from me?
25And the Lord heard the sound of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, "I have heard the sound of the words of this people that they have spoken to you; they have done well in all that they have spoken.
26Would that their hearts be like this, to fear Me and to keep all My commandments all the days, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
27Go say to them, 'Return to your tents.'
28But as for you, stand here with Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances which you will teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess.
29Keep them to perform [them] as the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside either to the right or to the left.
30In all the way which the Lord, your God, has commanded you, you shall go, in order that you may live and that it may be well with you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land you will possess.