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The Second Set of Commandments

Moses said to the people:

10 The Lord told me to chisel out two flat stones, just like the ones he had given me earlier. He also commanded me to make a wooden chest, then come up the mountain and meet with him. He told me that he would write the same words on the new stones that he had written on the ones I broke, and that I could put these stones in this sacred chest.

So I made a chest out of acacia wood, and I chiseled two flat stones like the ones I broke. Then I carried the stones up the mountain, where the Lord wrote the Ten Commandments on them, just as he had done the first time. The commandments were exactly what he had announced from the fire, when you were gathered at the mountain.

After the Lord returned the stones to me, I took them down the mountainside and put them in the chest, just as he had commanded. And they are still there.

Aaron Died

Moses said to Israel:

Later we set up camp at the wells belonging to the descendants of Jaakan.[a] Then we moved on and camped at Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became the priest. Next, we camped at Gudgodah and then at Jotbathah, where there are flowing streams.

The Levites Were Appointed To Carry the Chest

Moses said to Israel:

After I put the two stones in the sacred chest,[b] the Lord chose the tribe of Levi, not only to carry the chest, but also to serve as his priests at the place of worship and to bless the other tribes in his name. And they still do these things. The Lord promised that he would always provide for the tribe of Levi, and that’s why he won’t give them any land, when he divides it among the other tribes.

The Lord Answered the Prayers of Moses

Moses said to Israel:

10 When I had taken the second set of stones up the mountain, I spent forty days and nights there, just as I had done before. Once again, the Lord answered my prayer and did not destroy you. 11 Instead, he told me, “Moses, get ready to lead the people into the land that I promised their ancestors.”[c]

What the Lord Wants

Moses said:

12 People of Israel, what does the Lord your God want from you? The Lord wants you to respect and follow him, to love and serve him with all your heart and soul, 13 and to obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. Do this, and all will go well for you.

14 Everything belongs to the Lord your God, not only the earth and everything on it, but also the sky and the highest heavens. 15 Yet the Lord loved your ancestors and wanted them to belong to him. So he chose them and their descendants rather than any other nation, and today you are still his people.

16 Remember your agreement with the Lord and stop being so stubborn. 17 The Lord your God is more powerful than all other gods and lords, and his tremendous power is to be feared. His decisions are always fair, and you cannot bribe him to change his mind. 18 The Lord defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing. 19 And you should also care for them, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

20 Respect the Lord your God, serve only him, and make promises in his name alone. 21 Offer your praises to him, because you have seen him work such terrifying miracles for you.

22 When your ancestors went to live in Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But the Lord has blessed you, and now there are more of you than there are stars in the sky.

Footnotes

  1. 10.6 the wells. . . Jaakan: Or “Beeroth Bene-Jaakan.”
  2. 10.8 After. . . chest: Or “After Israel reached Jotbathah.”
  3. 10.11 lead. . . ancestors: The Lord would later tell Moses that he would not be allowed to enter the land (see 1.37; 3.23-28; Numbers 20.10-12).