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Exodus 20:19

19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

Read Exodus 20:19 Using Other Translations

And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."
And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

What does Exodus 20:19 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 20:19

And they said unto Moses
Who was now come down from the mountain, and to whom the heads of the tribes and elders of the people came from the camp, and out of their tents, by whom the people said to him, as follows, see ( Deuteronomy 5:23 Deuteronomy 5:30 ) ,

speak thou with us,
and we will hear; their request is, that whatsoever it was the will and pleasure of God to declare to them, that he would communicate it to Moses, and he deliver it to them, promising that they would hearken to it, and obey it, as if they had heard it from the mouth of God himself:

but let not God speak with us, lest we die;
pray to him, that he would not speak immediately, but by a mediator, which they now saw the need of; that there was no drawing nigh to God, nor hearing nor receiving anything from him without one; that his law, as it came from him to them sinful creatures, was a killing letter, and the ministration of condemnation and death, and injected such terror into their minds, that if it was continued they must die under it: thus, as the apostle observes, when "they heard the voice of words, entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more, for they could not endure that which was commanded", ( Hebrews 12:19 Hebrews 12:20 ) .

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