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It was Moses’ practice to take the Tent of Meeting[a] and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of the Lord would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.

Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside. As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. 11 Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.

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Footnotes

  1. 33:7 This “Tent of Meeting” is different from the Tabernacle described in chapters 26 and 36.

A New Copy of the Covenant

34 Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.”

So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.

Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh.[a] The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,

“Yahweh![b] The Lord!
    The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
    and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.[c]
    I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
    I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren;
the entire family is affected—
    even children in the third and fourth generations.”

Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.”

10 The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you.

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Footnotes

  1. 34:5 Yahweh is a transliteration of the proper name YHWH that is sometimes rendered “Jehovah”; in this translation it is usually rendered “the Lord” (note the use of small capitals).
  2. 34:6 See note on 34:5.
  3. 34:7 Hebrew for thousands.

27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.”

28 Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord[a] wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments[b]—on the stone tablets.

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Footnotes

  1. 34:28a Hebrew he.
  2. 34:28b Hebrew the ten words.

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