The Law of Moses
This goes along with pages 187-191 of Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster, which contains her summary of the beginning of the Jews paraphrased from Genesis through Deuteronomy. These are the actual verses, merged together in the same way as the Genevieve Foster book. We suggest that your student compare this side by side with Foster's paraphrase and compare. How are they alike? How are they different?
This page does not include the verse references. Alternate version with verse references.
This is the story of those earliest days of the Jews up to the death of Moses as told in the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
In the beginning the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God created the heavens and the earth. And on the sixth day God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs . . . And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man [to be] an help meet [and wife] for him. Now the woman, beguiled by the serpent, took of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which was in the midst of the garden, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Because God had forbidden them to eat of this tree [and lest they eat of the Tree of Life and live forever], God sent them forth out of the garden of Eden, condemned Adam to till the ground, until he should return to the dust from which he had been taken.
And in time Eve bore sons to Adam, Cain and his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Therefore the Lord sent Cain forth to be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth.
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply, and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, He said, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. But Noah made an ark as God commanded him. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. And all in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. And when the waters were abated and the earth dried, Noah went forth out of the ark. And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God blessed Noah and his sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And of them was the whole earth overspread.
And after many generations, from Shem was descended Abram. And Abram went forth with his father from the land of his birth in Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation. Walk before me, and be thou perfect, and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. And Abram did as the Lord commanded. And when Abram was an hundred years old, a son Isaac was born unto him.
Isaac had twin sons, Esau, who was red and all over like an hairy garment -- a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And it came to pass, the Lord appeared unto Jacob And God said unto him, Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name.
Now the sons of Israel, or Jacob, were twelve, but he loved Joseph more than all his children, and he made him a coat of many colours. And therefore his brothers hated Joseph. And it came to pass when his brethren went to feed their father's flock, and Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and the Ishmaelites brought Joseph into Egypt.
And in Egypt, Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, bought Joseph and made him overseer over his house, and all that he had. And for seven plenteous years Joseph gathered up all the food, and laid up the food in the cities. And then seven years of famine began to come and and all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn. Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, he sent Joseph's brothers to buy. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and and bring him down unto me and there will I nourish thee. And Jacob and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt. And Joseph dwelt and died in Egypt, he, and his father's house.
And the children of Israel multiplied, and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, and he said, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters and made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick. And he gave instructions that every man child born to a Hebrew mother should be killed.
Now the wife of a man of the house of Levi bore a son. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river, and when she saw the child, she had compassion on him, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses.
And it came to pass, when Moses was grown, that he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, and he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled and dwelt in the land of Midian. And he led the flock of Jethro his father in law to the backside of the desert to Horeb, the mountain of God. And God called unto him out of the midst of the burning bush and said, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. I am that I am. I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
And when the time came, the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, his brother, saying, In the tenth day of this month, let every man of the congregation of Israel take a lamb for each house. They shall kill it in the evening and they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. It is the Lord's passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not destroy you. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord for ever.
And when Pharoah had let the people go, God led them about through the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud and by night in a pillar of fire. And the heart of Pharaoh turned and he made ready and took all the chariots of Egypt and pursued after the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them and the sea returned to his strength and of all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them, there remained not so much as one of them.
In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, they into the wilderness of Sinai, and there Israel camped before the mount. And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, and called Moses, and Moses went up, and he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the Ten Commandments, which God spake, saying:
1. I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land of Canaan. This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob. I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.