The New Stone Tablets
34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make two more stone tablets like the first two that were broken. I will write the same words on these stones that were written on the first two stones. 2 Be ready tomorrow morning and come up on Mount Sinai. Stand before me there on the top of the mountain. 3 No one will be allowed to come with you. No one should even be seen anywhere on the mountain. Even your herds of animals or flocks of sheep will not be allowed to eat grass at the bottom of the mountain.”
4 So Moses made two more stone tablets like the first ones. Early the next morning Moses went up Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded. Moses carried the two stone tablets with him. 5 Then the Lord came down to him in a cloud, stood there with Moses, and spoke his own name. 6 That is, the Lord passed in front of Moses and said, “Yahweh, the Lord, is a kind and merciful God. He is slow to become angry. He is full of great love. He can be trusted. 7 He shows his faithful love to thousands of people.[a] He forgives people for the wrong things they do, but he does not forget to punish guilty people. Not only will he punish the guilty people, but their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren will also suffer for the bad things these people do.”
8 Then Moses quickly bowed to the ground and worshiped the Lord. Moses said, 9 “Lord, if you are pleased with me, please go with us. I know that these are stubborn people, but forgive us for the bad things we did. Accept us as your people.”
10 Then the Lord said, “I am making this agreement with all of your people. I will do amazing things that have never before been done for any other nation on earth. The people with you will see that I, the Lord, am very great. They will see the wonderful things that I will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today, and I will force your enemies to leave your land. I will force out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 12 Be careful! Don’t make any agreement with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you make an agreement with them, it will bring you trouble. 13 So destroy their altars, break the stones they worship, and cut down their idols.[b] 14 Don’t worship any other god. I am Yahweh Kanah—the jealous Lord. That is my name. I hate for my people to worship other gods.[c]
15 “Be careful not to make any agreements with the people who live in that land. If you do this, you might join them when they worship their gods. They will invite you to join them, and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 You might choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons. Those daughters serve false gods. They might lead your sons to do the same thing.
17 “Don’t make idols.
18 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days, eat the bread made without yeast as I commanded you before. Do this during the month I have chosen, the month of Abib, because that is the month you came out of Egypt.
19 “A woman’s first baby always belongs to me. Even the first animals that are born from your cattle or sheep belong to me. 20 If you want to keep a donkey that is the first born, then you can buy it with a lamb. But if you don’t buy that donkey with a lamb, you must break the donkey’s neck. You must buy back all of your firstborn sons from me. No one should come before me without a gift.
21 “You will work for six days, but on the seventh day you must rest. You must rest even during the times of planting and harvesting.
22 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest. Use the first grain from the wheat harvest for this festival. And in the fall[d] celebrate the Festival of Shelters.
23 “Three times each year all your men must go to be with the Lord God, the God of Israel.
24 “When you go into your land, I will force your enemies out of that land. I will expand your borders—you will get more and more land. You will go before the Lord your God three times each year. At that time no one will try to take your land from you.
25 “When you kill an animal and offer its blood as a sacrifice, you must not include anything that has yeast in it.
“Don’t let any of the meat from the Passover meal remain until morning.
26 “Give the Lord the very first crops that you harvest. Bring them to the house[e] of the Lord your God.
“Never cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write everything that I have told you. This is the agreement that I made with you and the Israelites.”
28 Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses did not eat any food or drink any water. And he wrote the words of the agreement (the Ten Commandments) on the two stone tablets.
Moses’ Shining Face
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he carried the two stone tablets of the agreement. Because he had talked with the Lord, his face was shining, but he did not know it. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw that Moses’ face was shining bright. So they were afraid to go near him. 31 But Moses called to them. So Aaron and all the leaders of the people went to him. Moses talked with them. 32 After that all the Israelites came near Moses, and he gave them the commands that the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses finished speaking to the people, he put a covering over his face. 34 Any time Moses went before the Lord to speak with him, Moses took off the covering. Then Moses would come out and tell the Israelites what the Lord commanded. 35 The people would see that Moses’ face was shining bright, so he would cover his face again. He kept his face covered until the next time he went in to speak with the Lord.
- Exodus 34:7 people Or “generations.”
- Exodus 34:13 stones … idols Literally, “memorials … Asherah poles.” These were stone markers and wood poles that the people set up to help them remember and honor false gods.
- Exodus 34:14 I hate … gods Or “I am El Kanah—the Jealous God.”
- Exodus 34:22 fall Literally, “at the changing of the year.”
- Exodus 34:26 house The “Holy Tent” where the people went to meet with God. See Ex. 25:8, 9.