Exodus 34

Two new flat stones

1 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Cut two flat stones like the first stones. Then I will write on them all the words that I wrote on the first stones. You broke the first stones into pieces.’

34:1In chapter 32:19, we read how Moses threw down the first stones. He broke them because he was so angry with the Israelites. Aaron had made a young cow from gold and everyone was worshipping it.

2 ‘Make yourself ready in the morning and come up Sinai mountain. Show yourself to me there, on the top of the mountain. 3 Nobody must come with you. Nobody must be anywhere on the mountain. Even the animals must not eat grass in front of the mountain.’

4 So Moses cut two flat stones like the first ones. He went up Sinai mountain early in the morning as the Lord had commanded him. And he carried the two flat stones in his hands. 5 Then the Lord came down in the special cloud and he stood by Moses. The Lord spoke with a loud voice and he said, ‘The Lord is my name!’

6 Then the Lord passed in front of Moses. He said in a loud voice, ‘The Lord! The Lord! The kind God who loves you becomes angry very slowly. He is a God of love who does not change. 7 He loves thousands of people. He forgives the bad things that they do. He forgives many people who do not obey him. He even forgives people who do bad things against him. But he does not forget to punish bad people. He punishes children and grandchildren for the bad things that their fathers did. He continues to punish them, even the children of the grandchildren.’

8 Then Moses bent down his head immediately and he worshipped. 9 He said, ‘Lord, if you love me, please go with us! I know that we have often not obeyed you. But please forgive the bad things that we have done. Take us with you as your own family.’

10 Then the Lord said, ‘I will make a covenant with you. I will do great and special things in front of all the Israelites. Nobody has done things like these before, in any country in the world. Your neighbours will see these great things that I, the Lord, will do for you. And they will feel afraid of you. 11 Obey what I command you today. Then I will go in front of you. And I will throw out these people: the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.

12 Do not make friends with the people in the country where you are going. If you did, they would teach you to do wrong things. 13 You must break their altars and destroy their special stones. You must cut down the tall sticks that they call holy. 14 Do not worship any other god. The Lord your God will not let you love any god except himself.

15 Be careful! Do not make friends with those people who live in that country. When they do bad things in front of their gods, they will ask you to do it with them. Then they will give you their bad food to eat. 16 Perhaps you may choose some of their daughters for your sons to marry. These daughters will still worship their gods. And they will teach your sons to do the same bad things.

17 Do not make false gods from hot metal.

18 Eat the Feast of Flat Bread every year. Eat bread that has no yeast in it for 7 days, as I commanded you. Do this on the right date in the month of Abib. This is because you came out of Egypt in that month.

19 Every first child or young animal that is born is my own. You must include every first male that is born of your cows and your sheep. 20 You must pay for every first donkey that is born. You must give a lamb to me to pay for the donkey. If you do not pay for it, you must break its neck. And you must pay for every first son that is born. Nobody must come to me without a gift in his hand.

21 You must work for six days but on the seventh day you must rest. Even when it is time to plough, you must rest on the seventh day. And when it is time to bring in your harvest, you must still rest on the seventh day.

22 Eat the Feast of Weeks when you cut the first of your food plants. Enjoy the party of harvest at the end of the year. 23 Three times in the year, all your men must appear in front of the Lord. He is your king, the God of Israel. 24 He will go in front of you and he will throw out your enemies. He will give you more and more land. Three times in the year, when you go in front of the Lord, nobody will take your land from you.

25 Do not offer to me the blood of an animal with anything that has yeast in it. And do not keep any of the meat from the Passover meal until the next morning.

26 When you cut the first of your food plants, bring the best to the Lord's house. Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.’

27 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, because I have made a covenant with you and with the Israelites. These words tell you about my covenant.’ 28 Moses was there, with the Lord, for 40 days and 40 nights. He did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the flat stones the words of God's covenant. He wrote down the ten special commands.

Moses' face shines

29 Moses came down from Sinai mountain with the two stones of the covenant in his hands. But he did not know that his face was shining. His face was shining because he had spoken with the Lord. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses' face, they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses shouted to them. So Aaron and the leaders of the people came back to him. Then Moses talked to them. 32 After this, all the Israelites came near to Moses. And he gave them all the commands that the Lord had given to him on Sinai mountain.

33 When Moses had spoken to them, he covered his face with a thin cloth. 34 But when he spoke with the Lord in the Tent of Meeting, he removed the cloth. When he came out, he repeated God's commands to the Israelites. 35 They saw that his face shone. So Moses would put the thin cloth over his face again. The cloth would stay there until he spoke with the Lord again.