In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt1--on the very day--they came to the Desert of Sinai.22
After they set out from Rephidim,3 they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.43
Then Moses went up to God,5 and the LORD called6 to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel:
'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt,7 and how I carried you on eagles' wings8 and brought you to myself.95
Now if you obey me fully10 and keep my covenant,11 then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.12 Although the whole earth13 is mine,
youa will be for me a kingdom of priests14 and a holy nation.'15 These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."
So Moses went back and summoned the elders16 of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak.178
The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said."18 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,19 so that the people will hear me speaking20 with you and will always put their trust21 in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate22 them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes2311
and be ready by the third day,24 because on that day the LORD will come down25 on Mount Sinai26 in the sight of all the people.
Put limits27 for the people around the mountain and tell them, 'Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.
He shall surely be stoned28 or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.' Only when the ram's horn29 sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain."3014
After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.3115
Then he said to the people, "Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain32 from sexual relations."
On the morning of the third day there was thunder33 and lightning, with a thick cloud34 over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.35 Everyone in the camp trembled.3617
Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.3718
Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,38 because the LORD descended on it in fire.39 The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace,40 the whole mountainb trembled41 violently,
and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice42 of God answered43 him.c20
The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai44 and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up
and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see45 the LORD and many of them perish.4622
Even the priests, who approach47 the LORD, must consecrate48 themselves, or the LORD will break out against them."4923
Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up Mount Sinai,50 because you yourself warned us, 'Put limits51 around the mountain and set it apart as holy.' "
The LORD replied, "Go down and bring Aaron52 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."5325
So Moses went down to the people and told them.