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Exodus 19:21

21 and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish.

Read Exodus 19:21 Using Other Translations

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
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.
Then the LORD told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the LORD, or they will die.

What does Exodus 19:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 19:21

And the Lord said unto Moses, go down
As soon as he was got to the top of the mount he was bid to go down again to the bottom, with a message to the people:

charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze;
to see if they could observe any similitude or likeness of God, that they might have an idea of it in their minds, or make an image like unto it; to prevent which, the Lord, knowing the vanity and curiosity of their minds, ordered Moses to give them a strict charge not to transgress the bounds set them, or to break down or break through the fence of stones and sand, or hedge of bushes, brambles, and branches of trees, or whatever was placed for bounds:

and many of them perish;
or "fall" F26; by the hand of God; either fall by death, or into some grievous calamity, as the men of Bethshemesh perished through looking into the ark, ( 1 Samuel 6:19 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F26 (lpn) (peswsin) Sept. "et corruant", Pagninus, Tigurine version; "et cadat", Montanus; "cadant", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius; so Ainsworth.
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