A New Copy of the Covenant
1Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. 2Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. 3No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.”
4So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.
5Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh.#34:5 Yahweh is a transliteration of the proper name YHWH that is sometimes rendered “Jehovah”; in this translation it is usually rendered “the Lord” (note the use of small capitals). 6The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,
“Yahweh!#34:6 See note on 34:5. The Lord!
The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
7I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.#34:7 Hebrew for thousands.
I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren;
the entire family is affected—
even children in the third and fourth generations.”
8Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. 9And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.”
10The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you. 11But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
12“Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. 13Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. 14You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
15“You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. 16Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. 17You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves.
18“You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib,#34:18 Hebrew appointed time in the month of Abib. This first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of March and April. for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.
19“The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males#34:19 As in Greek version; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. 20A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.
“No one may appear before me without an offering.
21“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.
22“You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest#34:22a Hebrew Festival of Weeks; compare 23:16. This was later called the Festival of Pentecost. It is celebrated today as Shavuot (or Shabuoth). with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest#34:22b Or Festival of Ingathering. This was later called the Festival of Shelters or Festival of Tabernacles (see Lev 23:33-36). It is celebrated today as Sukkot (or Succoth). at the end of the harvest season. 23Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord, the God of Israel. 24I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the Lord your God three times each year.
25“You must not offer the blood of my sacrificial offerings together with any baked goods containing yeast. And none of the meat of the Passover sacrifice may be kept over until the next morning.
26“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.”
28Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord#34:28a Hebrew he. wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments#34:28b Hebrew the ten words.—on the stone tablets.
29When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,#34:29 Hebrew the two tablets of the Testimony; see note on 25:16. he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord. 30So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him.
31But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. 32Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. 34But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, 35and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.