Exodus 20:1 to 31:18
20:1 Yahweh spoke directly to Moses and laid down the law.
(1) "I am the only god that helped you escape from Egypt. Don't even consider any of those other gods to be more important than me, ever."
(2) "Don't make any religious statues of anything at all, not of me, or of angels, or men, or fish, or cows, or anything, no statues at all. Don't bow down to statues for I am very much the jealous type."
"I will do brutally punishing things to the people who hate me. I will even extend that punishment onto their innocent children, and even to their children's children down to the fourth generation. But to those that love and obey me I will give a break."
(3) "Don't drop my name casually just to sound cool to your friends, and don't order me to damn stuff, I hate that!"
(4) "Don't work on Saturday. It took me almost a whole week to create the Universe but on Saturday I took a break so just for that reason alone, from now until forever, you mustn't work at all on that day. Neither should you allow your slaves to work then. Don't even allow your cows to work on Saturday! If a stranger comes by, don't let him work on Saturday either. Saturday, no workie."
(5) "Respect your parents and I'll allow you to grow old."
(6) "Don't kill."
(7) "Don't cheat on your spouse."
(8) "Don't steal stuff."
(9) "Don't lie about people."
(10) "Don't wish that you had your neighbor's house, or slaves, or donkeys, or wife."
All the loud noise and smoke and lightning bolts Yahweh was making while he was barking out the rules frightened the people and they ran away to a safer distance. They said to Moses "Tell us what he said but we don't want to hear him speak directly, that would kill us." Moses answered "Don't be afraid of being afraid. Being afraid is good. It's what keeps you in line and subservient."
Yahweh said to Moses "Now that we've had this little talk, don't go making little statues of me, but do make me a nice big table out of a flat rock, but don't use any tools to make it. That would just ruin it. Routinely kill animals and burn them on the stone table, extra crispy. Don't make the table so tall that you need steps to get up to it or everyone will be able to see you approaching it with no clothes on."
Yahweh was far from through handing down heaven's ordinances with just ten. He had lots more "shalls" and "shall nots," almost three hundred actually. For instance he laid out the universal business code and some celestial corporate contract law. He created a whole set of official laws for mankind concerning just the buying and selling of slaves, the breeding of slaves, and the marketing of slave children. He briefed Moses with the supreme, absolute, and beyond-challenge legalities like...
21:4 "If you breed one of your stud slaves to some of your momma slaves, you own all the children slaves resulting from your breeding program. If you set a slave free who had a wife before you bought him, he gets to keep the wife. If you gave him a wife during enslavement, he has to leave her behind. If he would rather remain your slave than leave his wife, then pierce his ear, give him an earring, and he is your slave for life."
"If you kill a slave all sudden-like then you will receive some punishment, maybe just a little, but if you beat a slave and he lives a couple of days before dying, then no punishment. After all he's your money."
"If you sell your daughter into slavery, and she fails to please her new master, he cannot re-sell her to a foreigner, only a local."
"If you kill an Israelite you get the death penalty. If you punch one of your parents, death penalty. Capture and enslave an Israelite, death penalty. Cuss out your folks, death penalty. If assaulted by someone you may sue them for minor damages."
"If you cause a woman to miscarry but she herself doesn't die, a judge will determine how much of a fine to pay to her husband. If she dies, just remember this, it's life for a life, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for a hand, foot for a foot, burn for a burn, wound for a wound, stripe for a stripe."
"You are responsible for the conduct of your animals. If your ox kills somebody you might have to die, especially if you had been warned or knew already it was an ornery critter. If your ox just pushes someone around, you pay them 30 bucks and they get to throw rocks at the ox."
"You may kill burglars if you wish. No one likes burglars anyway so no charges will be filed against you."
"If you rape a young girl, marry her or pay a virginity fee."
"Kill ALL witches."
"People who have sex with animals; death penalty."
"Anyone who gives any gift to any god other than me must be completely and utterly and unequivocally destroyed! Immediately!"
"If you harm widows or orphans, I the amazing Yahweh will personally come stab you to death with a sword."
"All loans made to my favorite people must be zero-interest loans."
"Don't even hesitate to give me the first and very best of all your fruits and booze, just bring them to the local priest."
"Give me all of your firstborn sons, even the animal's firstborn sons should be given to me when they are eight days old, just bring them to the local priest."
"If you find some meat lying around somewhere, um, just give it to your dogs."
"Be nice to strangers."
"Have three feasts per year; The feast of hard biscuits I already told you about earlier, a harvest feast, and a year's end feast. At all three feasts you must take a live animal and cut its throat."
23:20 Yahweh also said "I'll be sending one of my goons soon to help you out and if you follow his orders he will help you commit genocide on the Canaanites.
Totally destroy their entire cultural identities and totally abolish their religions. I will scare people for you and I will generally kill any indigenous
population you come to. I will send angry hornets after those damn Canaanites, that's what I'll do. I'll drive them off I swear, youíll see, but it will not be this year.
It's going to take awhile. I'll be doing it a little at a time. Meanwhile don't you dare make any separate deals with them or any of their damned gods."
Under Yahweh's direction, Moses and the tribal leaders began slaughtering oxen and smearing the blood here and there just so, as instructed. To seal the bargain, Moses told all the rules that Yahweh had made to the people and sprinkled lots of fresh warm ox blood right on the people themselves.
The blood-soaked tribal elders were at last allowed to sneak a quick peek at Yahweh himself. He was standing on a platform of shiny sapphire pavement, and looked rather transparent. Very transparent.
24:12 Yahweh said "Moses, come up here on my mountain and get these heavy rock slabs on which I've personally chiseled a bunch of these rules." Moses took his army commander Joshua with him and went up the trail to get the rock slabs. Yahweh appeared as a dark cloud that covered the top of the mountain for a whole week. On the seventh day he transformed himself into a huge fire. Moses walked right into the middle of the fire and stayed there for well over a month.
Yahweh said to Moses "Get everyone to chip in and use the money to build me a fancy box to live in. Make it about 5 feet long and half that much wide. Use lots and lots of gold." Yahweh mentioned the need for gold a lot and insisted that the people should give lots of gold to Moses. He wanted a seat of gold on top of the fancy box and molded gold creatures on the sides of it, and long poles attached to the sides of it so it could be carried. He said he would be communicating with them from inside the fancy gold box. He said to put the rocks with the rules he carved inside the box.
Yahweh gave Moses a long list of furniture to be made out of pure gold. He then outlined the construction of a giant elaborate tent of immense cost. From now on this tent was to be used as a place to perform their new religious dogma. A priest was to wear an expensive jeweled breastplate with a pocket containing a couple of dice-like objects called "lights and perfections." With a toss of these magic dice Yahweh could always be counted on to answer simple questions with "Yes," "No," or "Answer hazy try again later."
Yahweh described just how to honor him by cutting up animals and smearing the blood in a very precise manner and then burning the animalís bloody entrails on the big stone altar. He was very specific. For now, Aaron was to be the high priest and ritualistically smear blood on himself and his children and on the floor.
In one of his longest speeches ever Yahweh went on and on about smearing blood and guts and building expensive furniture. Once again he stressed very sternly and in no uncertain terms that anyone caught working on Saturday was to be put to death. Any work at all, immediate death. Yahweh personally carved all of this stuff on rocks and handed them directly to Moses.
Meanwhile, back down at basecamp, the tribes figured Moses was taking way too long up there on that mountain.