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Yahweh’s Description of Himself

34 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. And be ready for the morning, and go up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself to me there on the top of the mountain. And no one will go up with you, and neither let anyone be seen on all the mountain, nor let the sheep and goats and the cattle graze opposite[a] that mountain.”

And Moses cut two stone tablets like the first ones, and he started early in the morning, and he went up to Mount Sinai, as Yahweh had commanded him, and he took in his hand the two stone tablets. And Yahweh descended in the cloud, and he stood with him there, and he proclaimed the name of Yahweh. And Yahweh passed over before him, and he proclaimed, “Yahweh, Yahweh, God, who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger,[b] and abounding with[c] loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love to the thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and he does not leave utterly unpunished, punishing the guilt of fathers on sons and on sons of sons on third and fourth generations.”

And Moses hurried and knelt down to the earth and worshiped. And he said, “Please, if I have found favor in your eyes, Lord, let my Lord, please, go among us—indeed it is a stiff-necked people—and forgive our iniquity and our sin and take us as your possession.”[d]

Covenant Stipulations

10 And he said, “Look, I am about to make a covenant. In front of all your people I will do wonders that have not been created on all the earth and among all the nations, and all the people among whom you are will see Yahweh’s work, because what I am about to do with you will be awesome.

11 “Keep for yourself what I myself have commanded you today. Look, I am about to drive from before you the Amorites and the Canaanites[e] and the Hittites[f] and the Perizzites[g] and the Hivites[h] and the Jebusites.[i] 12 Be careful for yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, lest it be a snare among you. 13 Rather, you will tear down their altars, and you will break their stone pillars, and you will cut off their Asherah poles. 14 For you will not bow in worship to another god, for ‘Yahweh Is Jealous’ is his name, he is a jealous God, 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they prostitute themselves after their gods, and they sacrifice to their gods, and they invite you, and you eat their sacrifice, 16 and you take from their daughters for your sons, and their daughters prostitute themselves after their gods, and they cause your sons to prostitute themselves after their gods. 17 You will not make gods of cast metal for yourself.

18 “You will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you will eat unleavened bread, which I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt. 19 Every first offspring of a womb is for me—all of your male livestock, the first offspring of cattle and small livestock. 20 But the first offspring of a donkey you will redeem with small livestock, and if you will not redeem it, you will break its neck. Every firstborn of your sons you will redeem, and you will not appear before me empty-handed. 21 Six days you will work, and on the seventh day you will rest; in the time of plowing and in the time of harvest you will rest. 22 And you yourself[j] will observe the Feast of Weeks—the firstfruits of the wheat harvest—and the Feast of Harvest Gathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times in the year all your males will appear before the Lord, Yahweh, the God of Israel, 24 because I will evict nations before you, and I will enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up to appear before Yahweh your God three times in the year.

25 “You will not slaughter the blood of my sacrifice on food with yeast, and the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover will not stay overnight to the morning. 26 The beginning of the firstfruits of your land you will bring to the house of Yahweh your God. You will not boil a young goat[k] in its mother’s milk.”

27 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Write for yourself these words, because according to[l] these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”

The Shining Face of Moses

28 And he was there with Yahweh forty days and forty nights. He ate no food and drank no water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten words. 29 And[m] when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony were in the hand of Moses at his coming down from the mountain; and Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with him. 30 And Aaron and all the Israelites[n] saw Moses, and, to their amazement,[o] the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid of coming near to him. 31 And Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 And afterward all the Israelites[p] came near, and he commanded them all that Yahweh had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 And Moses finished speaking with them, and he put a veil on his face. 34 And when Moses came before Yahweh to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he went out, and he would go out and would speak to the Israelites[q] what he had been commanded. 35 And the Israelites[r] would see the face of Moses, that the skin of the face of Moses shone, and Moses would put back the veil on his face until his coming to speak with him.


  1. Exodus 34:3 Literally “to the front of”
  2. Exodus 34:6 Literally “long of nose”
  3. Exodus 34:6 Or “rich in” or “great of”
  4. Exodus 34:9 Or “take possession of us,” “make us your inheritance”
  5. Exodus 34:11 Hebrew “Canaanite”
  6. Exodus 34:11 Hebrew “Hittite”
  7. Exodus 34:11 Hebrew “Perizzite”
  8. Exodus 34:11 Hebrew “Hivite”
  9. Exodus 34:11 Hebrew “Jebusite”
  10. Exodus 34:22 Literally “for yourself” or “as for you, you will observe”
  11. Exodus 34:26 Or “kid”
  12. Exodus 34:27 Literally “on the mouth of”
  13. Exodus 34:29 Literally “And it was”
  14. Exodus 34:30 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  15. Exodus 34:30 Literally “look” or “behold”
  16. Exodus 34:32 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  17. Exodus 34:34 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  18. Exodus 34:35 Literally “sons/children of Israel”