Exodus 19:10-23

10 the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and 1consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them 2wash their garments
11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day 3the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, 'Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. 4Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.
13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot;[a] whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When 5the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain."
14 So Moses 6went down from the mountain to the people and 7consecrated the people; 8and they washed their garments.
15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the 9third day; 10do not go near a woman."
16 On the morning of the 11third day there were 12thunders and lightnings and 13a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud 14trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp 15trembled.
17 Then 16Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now 17Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and 18the whole mountain trembled greatly.
19 And as the 19sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and 20God answered him in thunder.
20 The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD 21to look and many of them perish.
22 Also let the priests who come near to the LORD 22consecrate themselves, lest the LORD 23break out against them."
23 And Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, 24'Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.'"

Exodus 19:10-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 19

In this chapter we have an account of the coming of the children of Israel to Mount Sinai, Ex 19:1,2, of the covenant made with them there, the proposal on the part of God, and their acceptance of it, Ex 19:3-8, the previous notice God gave three days before of his appearance on the mount, the orders for their preparation to meet him, and the execution of them, Ex 19:9-15, the awful and tremendous appearance of God upon the mount, Ex 19:6-20 and the strict charge given, that neither people nor priests should come near and gaze, only Moses and Aaron with him were to come up, bounds being set to prevent the rest, Ex 19:21-24, and the chapter is closed with observing, that Moses went down from the mount, and delivered to the people what the Lord spoke to and by him, Ex 19:25.

Exodus 19:10-23 In-Context

8 All the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
9 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever."When Moses told the words of the people to the LORD,
10 the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments
11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, 'Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.
13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain."
14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments.
15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman."
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.
17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.
19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
20 The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to look and many of them perish.
22 Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them."
23 And Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, 'Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.'"
24 And the LORD said to him, "Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest he break out against them."
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Leviticus 11:44, 45; [Joshua 3:5]
  • 2. [Genesis 35:2; Leviticus 15:5]
  • 3. Exodus 34:5; [Deuteronomy 33:2]
  • 4. Cited Hebrews 12:20
  • 5. ver. 16, 19
  • 6. ver. 3
  • 7. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 8. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 9. ver. 11
  • 10. [1 Samuel 21:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 7:5]
  • 11. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 12. Psalms 77:18; Hebrews 12:18; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:19
  • 13. ver. 9
  • 14. ver. 13
  • 15. Hebrews 12:21
  • 16. Deuteronomy 4:10
  • 17. Exodus 24:17; Judges 5:5; [Psalms 144:5; Isaiah 6:4; Revelation 15:8]
  • 18. Psalms 68:8; Hebrews 12:26
  • 19. [See ver. 16 above]
  • 20. Nehemiah 9:13; Psalms 81:7
  • 21. [Exodus 3:6; 1 Samuel 6:19]
  • 22. Leviticus 10:3
  • 23. 2 Samuel 6:8; 1 Chronicles 13:11
  • 24. ver. 12; [Joshua 3:4]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, shot with an arrow
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.