1The Israeli people then left Rephidim, and exactly two months after leaving Egypt, they/we came to the desert near Sinai Mountain. They/We set up their/our tents at the base of the mountain.
3Moses/I climbed up the mountain to talk with God. Yahweh called to him/me from the top of the mountain and said, “This is what I want you to say to the Israeli people, the descendants of Jacob:
4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You have seen what I did for all of you and how I brought you here to me. It was as though I lifted you up as an eagle carries its young eaglets on its wings MET.
5So now, if you will do what I tell you and obey all that I command you, you will be my own people. All the people-groups on the earth are mine, but you will be ◄dearer/more special► to me than all the other people-groups.
6You will be people over whom I will rule, and you will all ◄be like priests/represent me to other nations as priests represent me to one nation► MET, and you will be completely dedicated to me.’ That is what you must tell the Israeli people.”
7So Moses/I went down the mountain and summoned the elders/leaders of the people. He/I told them everything that Yahweh had told him/me to tell them.
8The people all said, “We will do everything that Yahweh has told us to do.” Then Moses/I climbed back up the mountain and reported to Yahweh what the people had said.
9Then Yahweh said to Moses/me, “ Listen carefully: I am going to appear to you from inside a thick cloud. When I am speaking to you, the people will hear it, and they will always trust in you.” Then Moses/I went down the mountain and reported to the people what Yahweh said. Then he/I went back up the mountain and told Yahweh what the people replied.
10Then Yahweh said to Moses/me, “Go back down to the people again. Tell them to purify themselves today and tomorrow. Tell them to wash their clothes, too.
11They must do that to be ready on the day after tomorrow. On that day I will come down to Sinai Mountain to where all the people can see me.
12You must make a boundary around the base of the mountain, and tell them, ‘Be sure that you do not climb the mountain or even go near it. Anyone who even touches the base of the mountain must be executed.’
13Do not let anyone touch any person or any animal that touches the mountain. You must kill any person or animal that touches the mountain by throwing stones at it or shooting it with arrows. But when you hear a long loud trumpet sound, the people can come close to the base of the mountain.”
14So Moses/I went down the mountain again and told the people to purify themselves. They did what Moses/I told them to do, and they also washed their clothes.
15Then Moses/I said to the people, “Be ready on the day after tomorrow. And you men must not have sex with EUP your wives until after then.”
16Two days later, during the morning, there was thunder and lightning, and a very dark cloud on the mountain. A trumpet sounded very loudly, with the result that the people in the camp shook/trembled because they were very afraid.
17Then Moses/I led the people outside the camp to meet with God. They stood at the base of the mountain.
18All of Sinai Mountain was covered in smoke, because Yahweh had descended on it, surrounded by a fire. The smoke rose up like the smoke from the chimney of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.
19As the sound of the trumpet continued to become louder, Moses/I spoke to Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him/me in a loud voice that sounded like thunder.
20Then Yahweh came down again onto the top of Sinai Mountain, and he summoned Moses/me to come up to the top of the mountain. So Moses/I went up.
21Yahweh said to Moses/me, “Go down again and warn the people not to cross the boundary in order to look at me. If they do that, many of them will die.
22Also, the priests who habitually come near me must purify themselves. If they do not do that, I will punish them.”
23Then Moses/I said to Yahweh, “The people will not climb the mountain, because you commanded them, saying, ‘Set a boundary around the mountain, to make it sacred/taboo.’”
24Yahweh replied, “Go down the mountain, and bring Aaron back up with you. But do not allow the priests or other people to cross the boundary to come up to me. If they cross it, I will punish them.”
25So Moses/I went down the mountain again and told the people what Yahweh had said.