1 The Israelites arrived at the desert of Sinai in the third month after they left the land of Egypt.
2 They traveled from Rephidim to the desert of Sinai. Israel camped in the wilderness at the foot of Mount Sinai.
3 Jehovah called Moses from the mountain. So Moses went up the mountain to God. Jehovah told him: »This is what you must say to the descendants of Jacob. Tell the Israelites:
4 You have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on the wings of eagles and brought you to me.
5 If you will obey me and are faithful to the terms of my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my own special possession, for all the earth is mine.
6 You will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation. These are the words you must speak to the children of Israel.«
7 Moses went down the mountain and called for the elders of the people. He repeated to them all the words that Jehovah had commanded him.
8 All the people answered together: »We will do everything Jehovah has said.« So Moses brought their answer back to Jehovah.
9 Jehovah said to Moses: »I will come to you in a thick cloud. The people will hear me speaking with you and will believe you from now on.« Moses gave Jehovah the peoples answer.
10 Jehovah continued: »Go to the people and tell them to spend today and tomorrow purifying themselves for worship. They must wash their clothes.
11 »They should be ready in three days. I will descend to Mount Sinai, where all of them can see me.
12 »Warn the people that they are forbidden to touch any part of the mountain. Anyone who touches the mountain will be put to death,
13 with stones or arrows, and no one must touch the body of a person killed in this way. Even an animal that touches this mountain must be put to death. You may go up the mountain only after a signal is given on the trumpet.«
14 Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their garments.
15 He said to the people: »Get ready for the third day. Do not go near a woman for sexual intercourse.«
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain. A very loud trumpet sounded. It caused all the people in the camp to tremble.
17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They stood at the foot of the mountain.
18 Mount Sinai was all in smoke because Jehovah descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace. The whole mountain quaked violently!
19 The sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder.
20 Jehovah descended on the top of Mount Sinai. Jehovah called Moses to the top of the mountain. Moses climbed to the peak of Mount Sinai.
21 Jehovah spoke to Moses: »Go down and warn the people. They should not break through to gaze at Jehovah. Many of them would perish.
22 »Let the priests who come near to Jehovah consecrate purify themselves, or else Jehovah will destroy them.«
23 Moses said to Jehovah: »The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai for you warned us. You said: Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.«
24 Jehovah replied to him: »You and Aaron come up to me. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to Jehovah, or he will destroy some of them.«
25 Moses returned to the people and told them.