Covenant at Sinai
1Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders, and worship from a distance. 2Only Moses may come near to the LORD. The others shouldn’t come near, while the people shouldn’t come up with him at all.”
3Moses came and told the people all the LORD’s words and all the case laws. All the people answered in unison, “Everything that the LORD has said we will do.” 4Moses then wrote down all the LORD’s words. He got up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up twelve sacred stone pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He appointed certain young Israelite men to offer entirely burned offerings and slaughter oxen as well-being sacrifices to the LORD. 6Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls. The other half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7Then he took the covenant scroll and read it out loud for the people to hear. They responded, “Everything that the LORD has said we will do, and we will obey.”
8Moses then took the blood and threw it over the people. Moses said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD now makes with you on the basis of all these words.”
Covenant meal with God
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw Israel’s God. Under God’s feet there was what looked like a floor of lapis-lazuli tiles, dazzlingly pure like the sky. 11God didn’t harm the Israelite leaders, though they looked at God, and they ate and drank.
12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there. I’ll give you the stone tablets with the instructions and the commandments that I’ve written in order to teach them.”
13So Moses and his assistant Joshua got up, and Moses went up God’s mountain. 14Moses had said to the elders, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur will be here with you. Whoever has a legal dispute may go to them.”
15Then Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The LORD’s glorious presence settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from the cloud. 17To the Israelites, the LORD’s glorious presence looked like a blazing fire on top of the mountain. 18Moses entered the cloud and went up the mountain. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.