Then the LORD instructed Moses: "Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel's leaders. All of them must worship at a distance.
You alone, Moses, are allowed to come near to the LORD. The others must not come too close. And remember, none of the other people are allowed to climb on the mountain at all."
When Moses had announced to the people all the teachings and regulations the LORD had given him, they answered in unison, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do."
Then Moses carefully wrote down all the LORD's instructions. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars around the altar, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then he sent some of the young men to sacrifice young bulls as burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD.
Moses took half the blood from these animals and drew it off into basins. The other half he splashed against the altar.
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They all responded again, "We will do everything the LORD has commanded. We will obey."
Then Moses sprinkled the blood from the basins over the people and said, "This blood confirms the covenant the LORD has made with you in giving you these laws."
Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the leaders of Israel went up the mountain.
There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a pavement of brilliant sapphire, as clear as the heavens.
And though Israel's leaders saw God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they shared a meal together in God's presence!
And the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there while I give you the tablets of stone that I have inscribed with my instructions and commands. Then you will teach the people from them."
So Moses and his assistant Joshua climbed up the mountain of God.
Moses told the other leaders, "Stay here and wait for us until we come back. If there are any problems while I am gone, consult with Aaron and Hur, who are here with you."
Then Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered it.
And the glorious presence of the LORD rested upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from the cloud.
The Israelites at the foot of the mountain saw an awesome sight. The awesome glory of the LORD on the mountaintop looked like a devouring fire.
Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.