Exodus 19 Living Bible (TLB)
19 The Israelis arrived in the Sinai peninsula three months after the night of their departure from Egypt. 2-3 After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the base of Mount Sinai and set up camp there. Moses climbed the rugged mountain to meet with God, and from somewhere in the mountain God called to him and said, “Give these instructions to the people of Israel. Tell them, 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I brought you to myself as though on eagles’ wings. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep your part of my contract with you, you shall be my own little flock from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth is mine. 6 And you shall be a kingdom of priests to God, a holy nation.’”
7 Moses returned from the mountain and called together the leaders of the people and told them what the Lord had said.
8 They all responded in unison, “We will certainly do everything he asks of us.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.
9 Then he said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in the form of a dark cloud, so that the people themselves can hear me when I talk with you, and then they will always believe you. 10 Go down now and see that the people are ready for my visit. Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothes. 11 Then, the day after tomorrow, I will come down upon Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Set boundary lines the people may not pass, and tell them, ‘Beware! Do not go up into the mountain or even touch its boundaries; whoever does shall die— 13 no hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot to death with arrows, whether man or animal.’ Stay away from the mountain entirely until you hear a ram’s horn sounding one long blast; then gather at the foot of the mountain!”
14 So Moses went down to the people and sanctified them and they washed their clothing.
15 He told them, “Get ready for God’s appearance two days from now, and do not have sexual intercourse with your wives.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was a terrific thunder and lightning storm, and a huge cloud came down upon the mountain, and there was a long, loud blast as from a ram’s horn; and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because Jehovah descended upon it in the form of fire; the smoke billowed into the sky as from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook with a violent earthquake. 19 As the trumpet blast grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God thundered his reply. 20 So the Lord came down upon the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses up to the top of the mountain, and Moses ascended to God.
21 But the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to cross the boundaries. They must not come up here to try to see God, for if they do, many of them will die. 22 Even the priests on duty[a] must sanctify themselves, or else I will destroy them.”
23 “But the people won’t come up into the mountain!” Moses protested. “You told them not to! You told me to set boundaries around the mountain and to declare it off limits because it is reserved for God.”
24 But Jehovah said, “Go down and bring Aaron back with you, and don’t let the priests and the people break across the boundaries to try to come up here, or I will punish them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what God had said.
Exodus 19 New International Version (NIV)
At Mount Sinai
19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”
14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain[b] trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.[c]
20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.