He said to Moses, "Climb the mountain to God, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They will worship from a distance;
only Moses will approach God. The rest are not to come close. And the people are not to climb the mountain at all."
So Moses went to the people and told them everything God had said - all the rules and regulations. They all answered in unison: "Everything God said, we'll do."
Then Moses wrote it all down, everything God had said. He got up early the next morning and built an Altar at the foot of the mountain using twelve pillar-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then he directed young Israelite men to offer Whole-Burnt-Offerings and sacrifice Peace-Offerings of bulls.
Moses took half the blood and put it in bowls; the other half he threw against the Altar.
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it as the people listened. They said, "Everything God said, we'll do. Yes, we'll obey."
Moses took the rest of the blood and threw it out over the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has made with you out of all these words I have spoken."
Then they climbed the mountain - Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel -
and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires - pure, clear sky-blue.
He didn't hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank.
God said to Moses, "Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I'll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I've written to instruct them."
So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God.
He told the elders of Israel, "Wait for us here until we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if there are any problems, go to them."
Then Moses climbed the mountain. The Cloud covered the mountain.
The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses.
In the view of the Israelites below, the Glory of God looked like a raging fire at the top of the mountain.
Moses entered the middle of the Cloud and climbed the mountain. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
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)