11 The Lord spoke to Moses: 12 When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each of them should pay compensation for their life to the Lord when they are counted. Then no plague will descend on them when they are counted. 13 Every one who is counted should pay a half shekel according to the official shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs). The half shekel is a gift offering to the Lord. 14 Every one who is counted, from 20 years old and above, should present a gift offering to the Lord. 15 When you bring this gift offering to the Lord to pay compensation for your lives, the rich shouldn’t give more and the poor shouldn’t give less than the half shekel. 16 Take the compensation money from the Israelites and use it to support the service of the meeting tent. It will serve for the Israelites as a reminder in the Lord’s presence of the compensation paid for your lives.
17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18 Make a copper basin for washing along with its copper stand. Put it between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons will use it to wash their hands and their feet. 20 When they go into the meeting tent or approach the altar to minister and to offer a food gift to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they don’t die. 21 They must wash their hands and their feet so that they don’t die. This will be a permanent regulation for them, for Aaron and his descendants in every generation.
22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 Now take for yourself high-quality spices: five hundred weight of solid myrrh; half as much of sweet-smelling cinnamon, that is, two hundred fifty; two hundred fifty weight of sweet-smelling cane; 24 five hundred of cassia—measured by the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Prepare a holy anointing oil, blending them like a skilled perfume maker to produce the holy anointing oil. 26 Use it to anoint the meeting tent, the chest containing the covenant, 27 the table and all its equipment, the lampstand and its equipment, the incense altar, 28 the altar for entirely burned offerings and all its equipment, and the washbasin with its stand. 29 Make them holy so that they may be perfectly holy. Whatever touches them will become holy. 30 Then anoint Aaron and his sons and make them holy to serve me as priests. 31 Say to the Israelites: This will be my holy anointing oil in every generation. 32 Don’t allow anyone else to use this oil. Don’t make another oil like it by using the same formula. This oil is holy, and you should regard it as holy. 33 Whoever blends an oil like it or whoever uses the oil on someone else will be cut off from the people.
34 The Lord said to Moses: Take an equal amount of each of these spices: gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense. 35 Like a skilled perfume maker, carefully blend them together and make incense, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Beat some of it into a fine powder and put part of it in front of the covenant document in the meeting tent where I will meet with you. You should regard it as perfectly holy. 37 When you make incense according to this formula, you shouldn’t make any of it for your own use. You should regard it as holy to the Lord. 38 Whoever makes incense with this same formula to enjoy its fragrance will be cut off from the people.
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 Look, I have chosen Bezalel, Uri’s son and Hur’s grandson from the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the divine spirit, with skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work. 4 He will be able to create designs; do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper; 5 cut stones for setting; carve wood; and do every kind of work. 6 I have also appointed with him Oholiab, Ahisamach’s son from the tribe of Dan. To all who are skillful, I have given the skill to make everything that I have commanded you: 7 the meeting tent, the chest containing the covenant, the cover that is on top of it, all the tent’s furnishings, 8 the table and its equipment, the pure lampstand with all its equipment, the incense altar, 9 the altar for entirely burned offerings with all its equipment, the washbasin with its stand, 10 the woven clothing, the holy clothes for Aaron the priest and for his sons for their service as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and the sweet-smelling incense for the sanctuary. They will do just as I have commanded you.
12 The Lord said to Moses: 13 Tell the Israelites: “Be sure to keep my sabbaths, because the Sabbath is a sign between me and you in every generation so you will know that I am the Lord who makes you holy. 14 Keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who violates the Sabbath will be put to death. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath, that person will be cut off from the people. 15 Do your work for six days. But the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest that is holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day will be put to death. 16 The Israelites should keep the Sabbath. They should observe the Sabbath in every generation as a covenant for all time. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the Israelites that in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day the Lord rested and was refreshed.”
18 When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, God gave him the two covenant tablets, the stone tablets written by God’s finger.
1 The people saw that Moses was taking a long time to come down from the mountain. They gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come on! Make us gods who can lead us. As for this man Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t have a clue what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron said to them, “All right, take out the gold rings from the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took out the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He collected them and tied them up in a cloth. Then he made a metal image of a bull calf, and the people declared, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf. Then Aaron announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” 6 They got up early the next day and offered up entirely burned offerings and brought well-being sacrifices. The people sat down to eat and drink and then got up to celebrate.
7 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Hurry up and go down! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, are ruining everything! 8 They’ve already abandoned the path that I commanded. They have made a metal bull calf for themselves. They’ve bowed down to it and offered sacrifices to it and declared, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ve been watching these people, and I’ve seen how stubborn they are. 10 Now leave me alone! Let my fury burn and devour them. Then I’ll make a great nation out of you.”
11 But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, “Lord, why does your fury burn against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and amazing force? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He had an evil plan to take the people out and kill them in the mountains and so wipe them off the earth’? Calm down your fierce anger. Change your mind about doing terrible things to your own people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, whom you yourself promised, ‘I’ll make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And I’ve promised to give your descendants this whole land to possess for all time.’” 14 Then the Lord changed his mind about the terrible things he said he would do to his people.
15 Moses then turned around and came down the mountain. He carried the two covenant tablets in his hands. The tablets were written on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were God’s own work. What was written there was God’s own writing inscribed on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp.”
18 But Moses said,
“It isn’t the sound of a victory song.
It isn’t the sound of a song of defeat.
The sound of party songs is what I hear.”
19 When he got near the camp and saw the bull calf and the dancing, Moses was furious. He hurled the tablets down and shattered them in pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it in a fire. Then he ground it down to crushed powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.
21 Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you that you led them to commit such a terrible sin?”
22 Aaron replied, “Don’t get angry with me, sir. You know yourself that these people are out of control. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who can lead us. As for this man Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t have a clue what has happened to him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off!’ So they gave it to me, I threw it into the fire, and out came this bull calf!”
25 Moses saw that the people were out of control because Aaron had let them get out of control, making them an easy target for their enemies. 26 So Moses stood at the camp’s gate and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side, come to me!” All the Levites gathered around him. 27 Moses said to them, “This is what the Lord, Israel’s God, says: Each of you, strap on your sword! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Each of you, kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor!” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded. About three thousand people were killed that day. 29 Moses said, “Today you’ve been ordained to the Lord, each one of you at the cost of a son or a brother. Today you’ve gained a special blessing for yourselves.”
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You’ve committed a terrible sin. So now I will go up to the Lord. Maybe I can arrange reconciliation on account of your sin.” 31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed! They made for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin! And if not, then wipe me out of your scroll that you’ve written.”
33 But the Lord said to Moses, “The ones I’ll wipe out of my scroll are those who sinned against me. 34 Now go and lead the people to the place I described to you. My messenger here will go in front of you. When the day of reckoning comes, I’ll count their sin against them.” 35 Then the Lord sent a plague on the people because of what they did with the bull calf that Aaron made.
1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go and leave this place, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt. Go to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I’ll give it to your descendants.’ 2 I’ll send a messenger before you. I’ll drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3 Go to this land full of milk and honey. But I won’t go up with you because I would end up destroying you along the way since you are a stubborn people.”
4 When the people heard the bad news, they were sorry. No one put on any jewelry, 5 because the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stubborn people. If I were to go up with you even for a single moment, I would destroy you. So now take off your jewelry, while I figure out what to do with you.’” 6 So after leaving Mount Horeb the Israelites rid themselves of their jewelry.
7 Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, far away from the camp. He called it the meeting tent. Everyone who wanted advice from the Lord would go out to the meeting tent outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand at the entrance to their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9 When Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at the tent’s entrance while the Lord talked with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the column of cloud standing at the tent’s entrance, they would all rise and then bow down at the entrances to their tents. 11 In this way the Lord used to speak to Moses face-to-face, like two people talking to each other. Then Moses would come back to the camp. But his young assistant Joshua, Nun’s son, wouldn’t leave the tent.
12 Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you’ve been telling me, ‘Lead these people forward.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. Yet you’ve assured me, ‘I know you by name and think highly of you.’ 13 Now if you do think highly of me, show me your ways so that I may know you and so that you may really approve of me. Remember too that this nation is your people.”
14 The Lord replied, “I’ll go myself, and I’ll help you.”
15 Moses replied, “If you won’t go yourself, don’t make us leave here. 16 Because how will anyone know that we have your special approval, both I and your people, unless you go with us? Only that distinguishes us, me and your people, from every other people on the earth.”
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.”
18 Moses said, “Please show me your glorious presence.”
19 The Lord said, “I’ll make all my goodness pass in front of you, and I’ll proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord.’ I will be kind to whomever I wish to be kind, and I will have compassion to whomever I wish to be compassionate. 20 But,” the Lord said, “you can’t see my face because no one can see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near me where you will stand beside the rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I’ll set you in a gap in the rock, and I’ll cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. 23 Then I’ll take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face won’t be visible.”
1 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the first ones. I’ll write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke into pieces. 2 Get ready in the morning and come up to Mount Sinai. Stand there on top of the mountain in front of me. 3 No one else can come up with you. Don’t allow anyone even to be seen anywhere on the mountain. Don’t even let sheep and cattle graze in front of the mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two stone tablets like the first ones. He got up early in the morning and climbed up Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded him. He carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 The Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him, and proclaimed the name, “The Lord.” 6 The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed:
“The Lord! The Lord!
a God who is compassionate and merciful,
full of great loyalty and faithfulness,
7 showing great loyalty to a thousand generations,
forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion,
yet by no means clearing the guilty,
punishing for their parents’ sins
their children and their grandchildren,
as well as the third and the fourth generation.”
8 At once Moses bowed to the ground and worshipped. 9 He said, “If you approve of me, my Lord, please go along with us. Although these are stubborn people, forgive our guilt and our sin and take us as your own possession.”
10 The Lord said: I now make a covenant. In front of all your people, I’ll perform dramatic displays of power that have never been done before anywhere on earth or in any nation. All the people who are around you will see what the Lord does, because I will do an awesome thing with you.
11 Be sure to obey what I command you today. I’m about to drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 12 Be careful that you don’t make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, or it will become a dangerous trap for you. 13 You must tear down their altars, smash their sacred stone pillars, and cut down their sacred poles. 14 You must not bow down to another god, because the Lord is passionate: the Lord’s name means “a passionate God.” 15 Don’t make a covenant with those who live in the land. When they prostitute themselves with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, they may invite you and you may end up eating some of the sacrifice. 16 Then you might go and choose their daughters as wives for your sons. And their daughters who prostitute themselves with their gods might lead your sons to prostitute themselves with their gods.
17 Don’t make metal gods for yourself.
18 Observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. You should eat unleavened bread for seven days, as I commanded you, at the set time in the month of Abib, because it was in the month of Abib that you came out of Egypt.
19 Every first offspring is mine. That includes all your male livestock, the oldest offspring of cows and sheep. 20 But a donkey’s oldest offspring you may ransom with a sheep. Or if you don’t ransom it, you must break its neck. You should ransom all of your oldest sons.
No one should appear before me empty-handed.
21 You should do your work for six days, but on the seventh day you should rest. Even during plowing or harvesttime you should rest. 22 You should observe the Festival of Weeks, for the early produce of the wheat harvest, and the Gathering Festival at the end of the year. 23 All your males should appear three times a year before the Lord God, Israel’s God. 24 I will drive out nations before you and extend your borders. No one will desire and try to take your land if you go up and appear before the Lord your God three times a year.
25 Don’t slaughter the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened. The sacrifice of the Passover Festival shouldn’t be left over until the morning.
26 Bring the best of the early produce of your farmland to the Lord your God’s temple.
Don’t boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
27 The Lord said to Moses: “Write down these words because by these words I hereby make a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He didn’t eat any bread or drink any water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten words.
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two covenant tablets in his hand, Moses didn’t realize that the skin of his face shone brightly because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw the skin of Moses’ face shining brightly, they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called them closer. So Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 After that, all the Israelites came near as well, and Moses commanded them everything that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 Whenever Moses went into the Lord’s presence to speak with him, Moses would take the veil off until he came out again. When Moses came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face was shining brightly. So Moses would put the veil on his face again until the next time he went in to speak with the Lord.
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