At Mount Sinai
- 1 The Israelites left Rephidim. Then two months after leaving
Egypt, they arrived at the desert near Mount Sinai, where they
set up camp at the foot of the mountain.
3 Moses went up the mountain to meet
with the Lord God, who told him to say to the people:
- 4 You saw what I did in Egypt, and
you know how I brought you here to me, just as a mighty eagle
carries its young. 5 Now if you will faithfully obey me, you
will be my very own people. The whole world is mine, 6 but you
will be my holy nation and serve me as priests.
Moses, that is what you must tell the
- 7 After Moses went back, he reported
to the leaders what the Lord had said, 8 and they promised, We
will do everything the Lord has commanded. So Moses told
the Lord about this.
9 The Lord said to Moses, I will
come to you in a thick cloud and let the people hear me speak
to you. Then they will always trust you. Again Moses reported
to the people what the Lord had told him.
10 Once more the Lord spoke to Moses:
- Go back and tell the people that
today and tomorrow they must get themselves ready to meet me.
They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the day after
tomorrow, when I will come down to Mount Sinai, where all of
them can see me.
12 Warn the people that they are forbidden
to touch any part of the mountain. Anyone who does will be put
to death, 13 either with stones or arrows, and no one must touch
the body of a person killed in this way. Even an animal that
touches this mountain must be put to death. You may go up the
mountain only after a signal is given on the trumpet.
- 14 After Moses went down the mountain,
he gave orders for the people to wash their clothes and make
themselves acceptable to worship God. 15 He told them to be ready
in three days and not to have sex in the meantime.
The Lord Comes
to Mount Sinai
16 On the morning of the third day
there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud covered the mountain,
a loud trumpet blast was heard, and everyone in camp trembled
with fear. 17 Moses led them 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 had come down in a flaming fire. Smoke poured
out of the mountain just like a furnace, and the whole mountain
shook. 19 The trumpet blew louder and louder. Moses spoke, and
God answered him with thunder.
20 The Lord came down to the top of Mount
Sinai and told Moses to meet him there. 21 Then he said, Moses,
go and warn the people not to cross the boundary that you set
at the foot of the mountain. They must not cross it to come and
look at me, because if they do, many of them will die. 22 Only
the priests may come near me, and they must obey strict rules
before I let them. If they dont, they will be punished.
23 Moses replied, The people cannot
come up the mountain. You warned us to stay away because it is
24 Then the Lord told Moses, Go
down and bring Aaron back here with you. But the priests and people
must not try to push their way through, or I will rush at them
like a flood!
25 After Moses had gone back down, he
told the people what the Lord had said.
The Ten Commandments
- 1 God said to the people of Israel:
- 2 I am the Lord your God, the one
who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.
3 Do not worship any god except me.
4 Do not make idols that look like anything
in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. 5 Dont
bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand
all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families
for three or four generations. 6 But if you love me and obey
my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.
7 Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord
your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.
8 Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs
to me. 9 You have six days when you can do your work, 10 but
the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one
is to work on that daynot you, your children, your slaves,
your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11 In
six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything
in them, but on the seventh day I rested. Thats why I made
the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.
12 Respect your father and your mother,
and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Be faithful in marriage.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not tell lies about others.
17 Do not want anything that belongs
to someone else. Dont want anyones house, wife or
husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.
The People Are Afraid
- 18 The people trembled with fear
when they heard the thunder and the trumpet and saw the lightning
and the smoke coming from the mountain. They stood a long way
off 19 and said to Moses, If you speak to us, we will listen.
But dont let God speak to us, or we will die!
20 Dont be afraid!
Moses replied. God has come only to test you, so that by
obeying him you wont sin. 21 But when Moses went
near the thick cloud where God was, the people stayed a long
- 22 The Lord told Moses to say to the people of Israel:
With your own eyes, you saw me speak
to you from heaven. 23 So you must never make idols of silver
or gold to worship in place of me.
24 Build an altar out of earth, and offer
on it your sacrifices of sheep, goats, and cattle. Wherever
I choose to be worshiped, I will come down to bless you. 25 If
you ever build an altar for me out of stones, do not use any
tools to chisel the stones, because that would make the altar
unfit. 26 And dont build an altar that requires steps;
you might expose yourself when you climb up.
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary