God and Israel Make Their Agreement
1The Lord told Moses, “You, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel must come up to me and worship me from a distance. 2Then Moses alone must come near me; the others must not come near. The rest of the people must not come up the mountain with Moses.”
3Moses told the people all the Lord’s words and laws for living. Then all of the people answered out loud together, “We will do all the things the Lord has said.” 4So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. And he got up early the next morning and built an altar near the bottom of the mountain. He set up twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 5Then Moses sent young Israelite men to offer whole burnt offerings and to sacrifice young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6Moses put half of the blood of these animals in bowls, and he sprinkled the other half of the blood on the altar. 7Then he took the Book of the Agreement and read it so the people could hear him. And they said, “We will do everything that the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8Then Moses took the blood from the bowls and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood that begins the Agreement, the Agreement which the Lord has made with you about all these words.”
9Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain 10and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky! 11These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.
God Promises Moses the Stone Tablets
12The Lord said to Moses, “Come up the mountain to me. Wait there, and I will give you two stone tablets. On these are the teachings and the commands I have written to instruct the people.”
13So Moses and his helper Joshua set out, and Moses went up to Sinai, the mountain of God. 14Moses said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone who has a disagreement with others can take it to them.”
Moses Meets with God
15When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.