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11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, a mountain ablaze to the sky above it[a] and yet dark with a thick cloud.[b] 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the middle of the fire; you heard speech but you could not see anything—only a voice was heard.[c] 13 And he revealed to you the covenant[d] he has commanded you to keep, the Ten Commandments,[e] writing them on two stone tablets.

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  1. Deuteronomy 4:11 tn Heb “a mountain burning with fire as far as the heart of the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
  2. Deuteronomy 4:11 tn Heb “darkness, cloud, and heavy cloud.”
  3. Deuteronomy 4:12 tn The words “was heard” are supplied in the translation to avoid the impression that the voice was seen.
  4. Deuteronomy 4:13 sn This is the first occurrence of the word בְּרִית (berit, “covenant”) in the Book of Deuteronomy but it appears commonly hereafter (4:23, 31; 5:2, 3; 7:9, 12; 8:18; 9:9, 10, 11, 15; 10:2, 4, 5, 8; 17:2; 29:1, 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, 21, 25; 31:9, 16, 20, 25, 26; 33:9). Etymologically, it derives from the notion of linking or yoking together. See M. Weinfeld, TDOT 2:255.
  5. Deuteronomy 4:13 tn Heb “the ten words.”

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain(A) while it blazed with fire(B) to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.(C) 12 Then the Lord spoke(D) to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;(E) there was only a voice.(F) 13 He declared to you his covenant,(G) the Ten Commandments,(H) which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.

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