Exodus 19 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
God’s Agreement With Israel
19 The Israelites reached the desert of Sinai in the third month of their trip from Egypt. 2 They had traveled from Rephidim to the Sinai desert. The Israelites camped in the desert near Mount Sinai. 3 Then Moses climbed up the mountain to meet with God. The Lord spoke to him on the mountain and said, “Tell this to the Israelites, the great family of Jacob: 4 ‘You people saw what I did to the people of Egypt. You saw that I carried you out of Egypt like an eagle and brought you here to me. 5 So now I tell you to obey my commands and keep my agreement. So if you do this, you will be my own special people. The whole world belongs to me, but I am choosing you to be my own special people. 6 You will be a special nation—a kingdom of priests.’ Moses, you must tell the Israelites what I have said.”
7 So Moses climbed down the mountain and called the elders of the people together. Moses told the elders everything the Lord had commanded him to tell them. 8 All the people spoke at the same time and said, “We will obey everything the Lord says.”
Then Moses went back up the mountain and told the Lord that the people would obey him. 9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in the thick cloud. I will speak to you. All the people will hear me talking to you. I will do this so that they will always believe what you tell them.”
Then Moses told God everything the people had said.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Today and tomorrow you must prepare the people for a special meeting. They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready for me on the third day. On the third day, the Lord will come down to Mount Sinai. And all the people will see me. 12-13 But you must tell the people to stay away from the mountain. Make a line and don’t let them cross it. Any person or animal that touches the mountain must be killed with stones or shot with arrows. But don’t let anyone touch them. The people must wait until the trumpet blows. Only then can they go up the mountain.”
14 So Moses climbed down the mountain and went to the people. He got them ready for the special meeting and they washed their clothes.
15 Then Moses said to the people, “Be ready for the meeting with God in three days. Until that time do not have sexual relations.”
16 On the morning of the third day, a thick cloud came down onto the mountain. There was thunder and lightning and a very loud sound from a trumpet. All the people in the camp were frightened. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to a place near the mountain to meet God. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke. Smoke rose off the mountain like smoke from a furnace. This happened because the Lord came down to the mountain in fire. Also the whole mountain began to shake. 19 The noise from the trumpet became louder and louder. Every time Moses spoke to God, God answered him with a voice like thunder.
20 So the Lord came down to Mount Sinai. He came from heaven to the top of the mountain. Then he called Moses to come up to the top of the mountain with him. So Moses went up the mountain.
21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to come near me and look at me. If they do, many will die. 22 Also tell the priests who come near the Lord that they must prepare themselves for this special meeting. If they don’t, I, the Lord, will punish them.”
23 Moses said to the Lord, “But the people cannot come up the mountain. You yourself told us to make a line and not allow the people to cross the line to holy ground.”
24 The Lord said to him, “Go down to the people. Get Aaron and bring him back with you. But don’t let the priests or the people come near me. I will punish them if they come too close.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them these things.
Exodus 19 New International Version (NIV)
At Mount Sinai
19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”
14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain[b] trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.[c]
20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.