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Israel Camps at Sinai

19 Exactly three months after the Israelites had left Egypt, ·they [L the sons/T children of Israel] ·reached [came to] the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Sinai. When they left Rephidim, they came to the ·Desert [Wilderness] of Sinai and camped in the ·desert [wilderness] in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up on the mountain to God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Say this to the ·family [L house] of Jacob, and tell the ·people [sons; children] of Israel: ‘Every one of you has seen what I did to the people of Egypt. You saw how I carried you out of Egypt, as if on eagle’s wings [C God protected and guided them; Deut. 32:11]. And I brought you here to me. So now if you ·obey me [L listen to my voice] and keep my ·agreement [covenant; treaty], you will be my own possession [special treasure], chosen from all nations. Even though the whole earth is mine, you will be my kingdom of priests and a holy nation [C set apart to serve God and bring others to him; Gen. 12:1–3].’ You must tell the ·Israelites [L the sons/T children of Israel] these words.”

So Moses went down and called the elders of the people together. He told them all the words the Lord had commanded him to say. All the people answered together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” Then Moses took ·their answer [L the words of the people] back to the Lord.

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a ·thick [dense] cloud and speak to you. The people will hear me speaking with you and will always trust you.” Then Moses told the Lord ·what the people had said [L the words of the people].

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and have them ·spend today and tomorrow preparing themselves [consecrate/sanctify themselves today and tomorrow]. They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the ·day after tomorrow [L third day]. On that day I, the Lord, will come down on Mount Sinai, and all the people will see me. 12 But you must set a ·limit around the mountain that the people are not to cross [L boundary around the people]. ·Tell [Warn] them not to go up on the mountain and not to touch the ·foot [edge] of it. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death 13 with stones or shot with arrows. No one is allowed to touch him [C touching a dead body rendered a person ritually unclean; Num. 5:2]. Whether it is a person or an animal, he will not live. But the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] will make a long blast, and only then may the people go up on the mountain.”

14 After Moses went down from the mountain to the people, he made them ·prepare themselves for service to God [consecrate/sanctify themselves], and they washed their clothes. 15 Then Moses said to the people, “Be ready in three days. Do not ·have sexual relations during this time [L touch a woman; C an emission of semen rendered a man ritually unclean; Lev. 15:16–18].”

16 On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud on the mountain. There was a very loud blast from a ·trumpet [ram’s horn], ·and [or so that] all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses ·led [brought] the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord came down on it in fire. The smoke rose from the mountain like smoke from a ·furnace [kiln], and the whole mountain ·shook wildly [trembled]. 19 The ·sound [blast] from the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] became louder. Then Moses spoke, and ·the voice of [or in thunder] God answered him.

20 When the Lord came down on top of Mount Sinai, he ·called [invited] Moses to come up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people that they must not ·force their way [break] through to see me. If they do, many of them will ·die [L fall]. 22 Even the priests, who may ·come near [approach] me, must first ·prepare [consecrate; sanctify] themselves. If they don’t, I, the Lord, will ·punish [L break out against] them.”

23 Moses told the Lord, “The people cannot come up on Mount Sinai, because you yourself ·told [warned] us, ‘Set a ·limit [boundary] around the mountain, and ·set it apart as holy [consecrate/sanctify it].’”

24 The Lord said to him, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you, but don’t allow the priests or the people to ·force their way [break] through. They must not come up to the Lord, or I will ·punish [L break out against] them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them these things.