12 Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain will be put to death.(A) 13 No hand may touch him; instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows. No animal or man will live. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.”

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18 Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire.(A) Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace,(B) and the whole mountain shook violently.(C)

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The People’s Reaction

18 All the people witnessed[a] the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it[b] they trembled and stood at a distance.(A) 19 “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”(B)

20 Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not[c] sin.”(C) 21 And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.(D)

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Footnotes

  1. Exodus 20:18 Lit saw
  2. Exodus 20:18 Sam, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read smoking; the people (or they) were afraid
  3. Exodus 20:20 Lit that the fear of Him may be in you, and you do not

11 You came near and stood at the base of the mountain, a mountain blazing with fire into the heavens and enveloped in a dense, black cloud.

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At that time I was standing between the Lord and you to report the word[a] of the Lord to you, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain. And He said:

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Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 5:5 One Hb ms, DSS, Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg read words

25 But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer.

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