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Exodus 19:15-17 New English Translation (NET Bible)

15 He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not approach your wives for marital relations.”[a]

16 On[b] the third day in the morning there was thunder and lightning and a dense[c] cloud on the mountain, and the sound of a very loud[d] horn;[e] all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their place at the foot of the mountain.


  1. Exodus 19:15 tn Heb “do not approach a woman.” The phrase with נָגַשׁ (nagash, “approach”) is an idiom for sexual relations, which is also true of similar verbs such as בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel, “come to”) and קָרַב (qarav, “approach”). NIV “Abstain from sexual relations.” NASV “Do not go near a woman.” Temporary abstinence was also part of the prescribed practice for war efforts because the Lord would be in their camp (Deut 23:9-14).sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 537) notes that as the people were to approach him they were not to lose themselves in earthly love. Such separations prepared the people for meeting God. Sinai was like a bride, forbidden to anyone else. Abstinence was the spiritual preparation for coming into the presence of the Holy One.
  2. Exodus 19:16 tn Heb “and it was on.”
  3. Exodus 19:16 tn Heb “heavy” (כָּבֵד, kaved).
  4. Exodus 19:16 tn Literally “strong” (חָזָק, khazaq).
  5. Exodus 19:16 tn The word here is שֹׁפָר (shofar), the normal word for “horn.” This word is used especially to announce something important in a public event (see 1 Kgs 1:34; 2 Sam 6:15). The previous word used in the context (v. 16) was יֹבֵל (yovel, “ram’s horn”).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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