New Living Translation

Exodus 19

The Lord Reveals Himself at Sinai

1Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt,[a] they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai. After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai.

Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.”

Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 10 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.[b]

14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes. 15 He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”

16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply. 20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.

21 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. 22 Even the priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”

23 “But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”

24 But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had said.

Notas al pie

  1. 19:1 Hebrew In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt, on the very day, i.e., two lunar months to the day after leaving Egypt. Compare Num 33:3.
  2. 19:13 Or up to the mountain.

New International Reader's Version

Exodus 19

Israel Comes to Mount Sinai

1Exactly three months after the people of Israel left Egypt, they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they started out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai. They camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

Then Moses went up to God. The Lord called out to him from the mountain. He said, “Here is what I want you to say to my people, who belong to Jacob’s family. Tell the Israelites, ‘You have seen for yourselves what I did to Egypt. You saw how I carried you on the wings of eagles and brought you to myself. Now obey me completely. Keep my covenant. If you do, then out of all the nations you will be my special treasure. The whole earth is mine. But you will be a kingdom of priests to serve me. You will be my holy nation.’ That is what you must tell the Israelites.”

So Moses went back. He sent for the elders of the people. He explained to them everything the Lord had commanded him to say. All the people answered together. They said, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “I am going to come to you in a thick cloud. The people will hear me speaking with you. They will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people. Today and tomorrow set them apart for me. Have them wash their clothes. 11 Have the people ready by the third day. On that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai. Everyone will see it. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain. Tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not go near the mountain. Do not even touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 Do not lay a hand on any of them. Kill them with stones or shoot them with arrows. Whether they are people or animals, do not let them live.’ They may go near the mountain only when the ram’s horn gives out a long blast.”

14 Moses went down the mountain to the people. After he set them apart for the Lord, they washed their clothes. 15 Then he spoke to the people. He said, “Get ready for the third day. Don’t have sex.”

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud covered the mountain. A trumpet gave out a very loud blast. Everyone in the camp trembled with fear. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God. They stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Smoke covered Mount Sinai, because the Lord came down on it in fire. The smoke rose up from it like smoke from a furnace. The whole mountain trembled and shook. 19 The sound of the trumpet got louder and louder. Then Moses spoke. And the voice of God answered him.

20 The Lord came down to the top of Mount Sinai. He told Moses to come to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people. They must not force their way through to see the Lord. If they do, many of them will die. 22 The priests approach the Lord when they serve him. But even they must set themselves apart for the Lord. If they do not, his anger will break out against them.”

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people can’t come up Mount Sinai. You yourself warned us. You said, ‘Put limits around the mountain. Set it apart as holy.’ ”

24 The Lord replied, “Go down. Bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through. They must not come up to the Lord. If they do, his anger will break out against them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.