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Exodus 20:18–21

The People Afraid of God’s Presence

18 Now zall the people awitnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain bsmoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, c“You speak with us, and we will hear; but dlet not God speak with us, lest we die.”

20 And Moses said to the people, e“Do not fear; ffor God has come to test you, and gthat His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near hthe thick darkness where God was.

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Exodus 20:18–21 — The New International Version (NIV)

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — English Standard Version (ESV)

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — New Living Translation (NLT)

18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

21 As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — New Century Version (NCV)

18 When the people heard the thunder and the trumpet, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke rising from the mountain, they shook with fear and stood far away from the mountain. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”

20 Then Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, because God has come to test you. He wants you to respect him so you will not sin.”

21 The people stood far away from the mountain while Moses went near the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

18 And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the flames, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said to the people, Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the obscurity where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

18 All the people heard the thunder and saw the lightning. They heard the blast of the ram’s horn and saw the mountain covered with smoke. So they shook with fear and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we’ll listen. But don’t let God speak to us, or we’ll die!”

20 Moses answered the people, “Don’t be afraid! God has come only to test you, so that you will be in awe of him and won’t sin.”

21 The people kept their distance while Moses went closer to the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”

20 Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.” 21 And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” 21 Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

18 And all the people were seeing the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking, and the people saw, and they trembled, and they stood at a distance. 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will listen, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that his fear will be before you so that you do not sin.” 21 And the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the very thick cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18–21 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

18 The people saw the thunder and lightning. They heard the trumpet. They saw the mountain covered with smoke. They trembled with fear and stayed a long way off.

19 They said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself. Then we’ll listen. But don’t let God speak to us. If he does, we’ll die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. God has come to put you to the test. He wants you to have respect for him. That will keep you from sinning.”

21 Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. But the people remained a long way off.

Exodus 20:18–21 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.

19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.