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Israel at Mount Sinai

19 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on the same day they came into the Wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there before the mountain.

Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I lifted you up on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will faithfully obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

So Moses came and called for the elders of the people and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.

The Lord said to Moses, “Indeed, I am going to come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and always believe in you.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothes, 11 and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai. 12 You shall set boundaries for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves so that you not go up onto the mountain or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death. 13 No hand will touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through, whether it be beast or man. He shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.”

14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not go near your wives.”

16 So on the third day, in the morning, there was thunder and lightning, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet. All the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke because the Lord had descended upon it in fire, and the smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him with a voice.[a]

20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they force their way to the Lord to look, and many of them perish. 22 Let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break through against them.”

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set boundaries around the mountain, and sanctify it.’ ”

24 Then the Lord said to him, “Go, get down, and come up, you and Aaron with you, but do not let the priests and the people force their way through to come up to the Lord, lest He break through against them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.


  1. Exodus 19:19 Or thunder.