God said to Moses, "Go to the people. For the next two days get these people ready to meet the Holy God. Have them scrub their clothes
so that on the third day they'll be fully prepared, because on the third day God will come down on Mount Sinai and make his presence known to all the people.
Post boundaries for the people all around, telling them, 'Warning! Don't climb the mountain. Don't even touch its edge. Whoever touches the mountain dies - a certain death.
And no one is to touch that person, he's to be stoned. That's right - stoned. Or shot with arrows, shot to death. Animal or man, whichever - put to death.' "A long blast from the horn will signal that it's safe to climb the mountain."
Moses went down the mountain to the people and prepared them for the holy meeting. They gave their clothes a good scrubbing.
Then he addressed the people: "Be ready in three days. Don't sleep with a woman."
On the third day at daybreak, there were loud claps of thunder, flashes of lightning, a thick cloud covering the mountain, and an ear-piercing trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp shuddered in fear.
Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God. They stood at attention at the base of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all smoke because God had come down on it as fire. Smoke poured from it like smoke from a furnace. The whole mountain shuddered in huge spasms.
The trumpet blasts grew louder and louder. Moses spoke and God answered in thunder.
God descended to the peak of Mount Sinai. God called Moses up to the peak and Moses climbed up.
God said to Moses, "Go down. Warn the people not to break through the barricades to get a look at God lest many of them die.
And the priests also, warn them to prepare themselves for the holy meeting, lest God break out against them."
Moses said to God, "But the people can't climb Mount Sinai. You've already warned us well telling us: 'Post boundaries around the mountain. Respect the holy mountain.'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)