Exodus 19:1–25

At Mount Sinai

19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypta—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai.b After they set out from Rephidim,c they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.d

Then Moses went up to God,e and the Lord calledf 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: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt,g and how I carried you on eagles’ wingsh and brought you to myself.i Now if you obey me fullyj and keep my covenant,k then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.l Although the whole earthm is mine, youa will be for me a kingdom of priestsn and a holy nation.’o These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So Moses went back and summoned the eldersp of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak.q The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.”r So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud,s so that the people will hear me speakingt with you and will always put their trustu in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecratev them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothesw 11 and be ready by the third day,x because on that day the Lord will come downy on Mount Sinaiz in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limitsa 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 stonedb 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 hornc sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”d

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.e 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstainf from sexual relations.”

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunderg and lightning, with a thick cloudh over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.i Everyone in the camp trembled.j 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.k 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,l because the Lord descended on it in fire.m The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace,n and the whole mountainb trembledo violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voicep of God answeredq him.c

20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinair 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 sees the Lord and many of them perish.t 22 Even the priests, who approachu the Lord, must consecratev themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”w

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai,x because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limitsy around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’ ”

24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaronz 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.”a

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

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