The Israelites Multiply in Egypt
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
4 Dan and Naphtali;
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were fruitful and increased rapidly; they multiplied and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Oppression by a New King
8 Then a new king, who did not know Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become too numerous and too powerful for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase even more; and if a war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country. b”
11 So the Egyptians appointed taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. As a result, they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and flourished; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them on the birthstools. If the child is a son, kill him; but if it is a daughter, let her live.”
17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had instructed; they let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife arrives.”
The Birth and Adoption of Moses
(Acts 7:20–22; Hebrews 11:23)
3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got him a papyrus basket a and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in the basket and set it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 And his sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Soon the daughter of Pharaoh went down to bathe in the Nile, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. And when she saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maidservant to retrieve it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the little boy was crying. So she had compassion on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew children.”
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”
8 “Go ahead,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. And the girl went and called the boy’s mother.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him.
The Rejection and Flight of Moses
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people c and observed their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 After looking this way and that and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
13 The next day Moses went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you attacking your companion?”
Then Moses was afraid and thought, “This thing I have done has surely become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard about this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, where he sat down beside a well.
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And when some shepherds came along and drove them away, Moses rose up to help them and watered their flock.
19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they replied. “He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “So where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 And she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, g saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
God Hears the Cry of the Israelites
23 After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned and cried out under their burden of slavery, and their cry for deliverance from bondage ascended to God.
3 a The Hebrew can also mean ark ; also in verse 5; see Genesis 6:14.
10 b Moses sounds like a Hebrew term that means to lift out .
11 c Or his brothers
14 d Cited in Acts 7:27 and Acts 7:35
14 e LXX Are you planning to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? Cited in Acts 7:28
18 f Reuel was also called Jethro ; see Exodus 3:1.
22 g Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for foreigner .
Moses at the Burning Bush
1 Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, a the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, b the mountain of God. 2 There the angel c of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw the bush ablaze with fire, but it was not consumed. 3 So Moses thought, “I must go over and see this marvelous sight. Why is the bush not burning up?”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” d 6 Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” e
At this, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the affliction of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. 8 I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Therefore, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.” f
11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
13 Then Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?”
15 God also told Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.
16 Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me and said: I have surely attended to you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your affliction in Egypt, into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 The elders of Israel will listen to what you say, and you must go with them to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless a mighty hand compels him. i 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders I will perform among them. And after that, he will release you.
21 And I will grant this people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that when you leave, you will not go away empty-handed. 22 Every woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman staying in her house for silver and gold jewelry and clothing, and you will put them on your sons and daughters. So you will plunder the Egyptians.”
1 a Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was also called Reuel ; see Exodus 2:18.
1 b That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
2 c Or Angel
5 d Cited in Acts 7:33
6 e Cited in Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37, and Acts 7:32
10 f Cited in Acts 7:34
12 g Cited in Acts 7:7
14 h Or I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE
19 i Literally except by a mighty hand
1 Then Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to my voice? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ”
2 And the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
4 “Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail,” the LORD said to Moses, who reached out his hand and caught the snake, and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
7 “Put your hand back inside your cloak,” said the LORD.
So Moses put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his skin.
8 And the LORD said, “If they refuse to believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe that of the second. 9 But if they do not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. Then the water you take from the Nile will become blood on the ground.”
The Appointment of Aaron
10 “Please, Lord,” Moses replied, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant, for I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 And the LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Or who makes the mute or the deaf, the sighted or the blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go! I will help you as you speak, and I will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses replied, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
14 Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well, and he is now on his way to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. I will help both of you to speak, and I will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and it will be as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform signs with it.”
Moses Leaves for Egypt
“Go in peace,” Jethro replied.
19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who sought to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The LORD instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put within your power. But I will harden e his heart so that he will not let the people go.
22 Then tell Pharaoh that this is what the LORD says: ‘Israel is My firstborn son, 23 and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But since you have refused to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son!’ ”
24 Now at a lodging place along the way, the LORD met Moses f and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched it to Moses’ feet. g “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said.
26 So the LORD let him alone. (When she said, “bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.)
The People Believe Moses and Aaron
27 Meanwhile, the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” So he went and met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and all the signs He had commanded him to perform.
And Moses performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD had attended to the Israelites and had seen their affliction, they bowed down and worshiped.
3 a Hebrew nachash , in contrast to Aaron’s staff, which became a tannin in Exodus 7:10
6 b Hebrew into your bosom ; twice in this verse and twice in verse 7
6 c The Hebrew word traditionally translated as leprous was used for various skin diseases; see Leviticus 13.
18 d Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was also called Reuel ; see Exodus 2:18.
21 e Or stiffen or strengthen
24 f Hebrew him
25 g Hebrew his feet
Pharaoh’s First Refusal
1 After that, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”
2 But Pharaoh replied, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.”
3 “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they answered. “Please let us go on a three-day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD our God, or He may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labor!” 5 Pharaoh also said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you would be stopping them from their labor.”
Bricks and Straw
6 That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen: 7 “You shall no longer supply the people with straw for making bricks. They must go and gather their own straw. 8 But require of them the same quota of bricks as before; do not reduce it. For they are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Make the work harder on the men so they will be occupied and pay no attention to these lies.”
10 So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and said to them, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I am no longer giving you straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it; but your workload will in no way be reduced.’ ”
12 So the people scattered all over the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters kept pressing them, saying, “Fulfill your quota each day, just as you did when straw was provided.”
14 Then the Israelite foremen, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over the people, were beaten and asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as you did before?”
The Cry of the Israelites
15 So the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why are you treating your servants this way? 16 No straw has been given to your servants, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Look, your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”
17 “You are slackers!” Pharaoh replied. “Slackers! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ 18 Now get to work. You will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the full quota of bricks.”
19 The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce your daily quota of bricks.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who stood waiting to meet them.
21 “May the LORD look upon you and judge you,” the foremen said, “for you have made us a stench before Pharaoh and his officials; you have placed in their hand a sword to kill us!”
22 So Moses returned to the LORD and asked, “Lord, why have You brought trouble upon this people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and You have not delivered Your people in any way.”
God Promises Deliverance
1 But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for because of My mighty hand he will let the people go; because of My strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 God also told Moses, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, a but by My name the LORD I did not make Myself known to them. 4 I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land where they lived as foreigners. 5 Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant.
6 Therefore tell the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD!’ ”
9 Moses relayed this message to the Israelites, but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.
13 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge concerning both the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
Genealogies of Moses and Aaron
14 These were the heads of their fathers’ houses:
16 These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, by their clans.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.
These were the clans of the Levites according to their records.
20 And Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.
23 And Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.
These were the heads of the Levite families by their clans.
26 It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their divisions.” 27 Moses and Aaron were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
30 But in the LORD’s presence Moses replied, “Since I am unskilled in speech, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
3 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
12 b Hebrew I have uncircumcised lips ; also in verse 30
15 c Zohar is a variant of Zerah ; see Numbers 26:13 and 1 Chronicles 4:24.
22 d Elzaphan is a variant of Elizaphan ; see Numbers 3:30.
24 e Abiasaph is a variant of Ebiasaph ; see 1 Chronicles 6:23 and 1 Chronicles 9:19.
God Commands Moses and Aaron
1 The LORD answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his land.
Then I will lay My hand on Egypt, and by mighty acts of judgment I will bring the divisions of My people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD had commanded. Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent.
11 But Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers and magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same things by their magic arts. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up the other staffs.
The First Plague: Blood
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; c he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as you see him walking out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the wilderness. But you have not listened until now. 17 This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD. Behold, with the staff in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink its water.’ ”
19 And the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers and canals and ponds and reservoirs—that they may become blood.’ There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in the vessels of wood and stone.”
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded; in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials, Aaron raised the staff d and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. And there was blood throughout the land of Egypt.
22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same things by their magic arts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. 23 Instead, Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and did not take any of this to heart. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, because they could not drink the water from the river.
25 And seven full days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile.
9 a Hebrew tannin ; here and in verse 10, in contrast to Moses’ staff, which became a nachash in Exodus 4:3 and was noted again in Exodus 7:15
13 b Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 22
14 c Or heavy or stubborn
20 d Hebrew he raised the staff ; see verse 19; some translators Moses raised the staff .
The Second Plague: Frogs
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs, and they will come into your palace and up to your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’ ”
5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers and canals and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.’ ”
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
7 But the magicians did the same thing by their magic arts, and they also brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.
8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. Then I will let your people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.”
9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me. When shall I pray for you and your officials and your people that the frogs (except for those in the Nile) may be taken away from you and your houses?”
10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh answered.
“May it be as you say,” Moses replied, “so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”
12 After Moses and Aaron had left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the LORD for help with the frogs that He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did as Moses requested, and the frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields died. 14 They were piled into countless heaps, and there was a terrible stench in the land.
The Third Plague: Gnats
16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’ ”
17 This they did, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, gnats came upon man and beast. All the dust of the earth turned into gnats throughout the land of Egypt.
18 The magicians tried to produce gnats using their magic arts, but they could not. And the gnats remained on man and beast.
The Fourth Plague: Flies
20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, and when Pharaoh goes out to the water, stand before him and tell him that this is what the LORD says:‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 21 But if you will not let My people go, I will send swarms of flies c upon you and your officials and your people and your houses. The houses of the Egyptians and even the ground where they stand will be full of flies.
22 But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where My people live; no swarms of flies will be found there. In this way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land. 23 I will make a distinction d between My people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.’ ”
24 And the LORD did so. Thick swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined by swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within this land.”
26 But Moses replied, “It would not be right to do that, because the sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. If we offer sacrifices that are detestable before the Egyptians, will they not stone us? 27 We must make a three-day journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He commands us.”
28 Pharaoh answered, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
29 “As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will pray to the LORD, so that tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh and his officials and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceitfully again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the LORD.”
30 Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD, 31 and the LORD did as Moses requested. He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not one fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time as well, and he would not let the people go.
15 a Or made heavy ; also in verse 32
19 b Or stiffened or strengthened
21 c Literally a noxious mixture ; also in verses 22, 24, 29, and 31
23 d LXX and Vulgate; Hebrew I will set redemption
The Fifth Plague: Livestock
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 2 But if you continue to restrain them and refuse to let them go, 3 then the hand of the LORD will bring a severe plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys, camels, herds, and flocks. 4 But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ”
5 The LORD set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land.” 6 And the next day the LORD did just that. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. 7 Pharaoh sent officials and found that none of the livestock of the Israelites had died. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, a and he would not let the people go.
The Sixth Plague: Boils
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the furnace; in the sight of Pharaoh, Moses is to toss it into the air. 9 It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on man and beast throughout the land.”
10 So they took soot from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on man and beast. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and on all the Egyptians.
The Seventh Plague: Hail
13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 14 Otherwise, I will send all My plagues against you c and your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.
15 For by this time I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up d for this very purpose, that I might display My power to you, e and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth. f 17 Still, you lord it over My people and do not allow them to go.
18 Behold, at this time tomorrow I will rain down the worst hail that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded until now. 19 So give orders now to shelter your livestock and everything you have in the field. Every man or beast that remains in the field and is not brought inside will die when the hail comes down upon them.’ ”
20 Those among Pharaoh’s officials who feared the word of the LORD hurried to bring their servants and livestock to shelter, 21 but those who disregarded the word of the LORD left their servants and livestock in the field.
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt—on man and beast and every plant of the field throughout the land of Egypt.”
23 So Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. So the LORD rained down hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 The hail fell and the lightning continued flashing through it. The hail was so severe that nothing like it had ever been seen in all the land of Egypt from the time it became a nation.
25 Throughout the land of Egypt, the hail struck down everything in the field, both man and beast; it beat down every plant of the field and stripped every tree. 26 The only place where it did not hail was in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.
27 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said. “The LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28 Pray to the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go; you do not need to stay any longer.”
29 Moses said to him, “When I have left the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. 30 But as for you and your officials, I know that you still do not fear the LORD our God.”
33 Then Moses departed from Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the LORD. The thunder and hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.
34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart—he and his officials. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the LORD had said through Moses.
7 a Or made heavy ; also in verse 34
12 b Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 35
14 c Hebrew against your heart or against your inner man
16 d Or have spared you
16 e LXX in you
16 f Cited in Romans 9:17
The Eighth Plague: Locusts
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened a his heart and the hearts of his officials, that I may perform these miraculous signs of Mine among them, 2 and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how severely I dealt with the Egyptians when I performed miraculous signs among them, so that all of you may know that I am the LORD.”
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 4 But if you refuse to let My people go, I will bring locusts into your territory tomorrow. 5 They will cover the face of the land so that no one can see it. They will devour whatever is left after the hail and eat every tree that grows in your fields. 6 They will fill your houses and the houses of all your officials and every Egyptian—something neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since the day they came into this land.’ ”
Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh’s presence.
7 Pharaoh’s officials asked him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is in ruins?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the LORD your God,” he said. “But who exactly will be going?”
9 “We will go with our young and old,” Moses replied. “We will go with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.”
10 Then Pharaoh told them, “May the LORD be with you if I ever let you go with your little ones. Clearly you are bent on evil. 11 No, only the men may go and worship the LORD, since that is what you have been requesting.” And Moses and Aaron were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may swarm over it and devour every plant in the land—everything that the hail has left behind.”
13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and throughout that day and night the LORD sent an east wind across the land. By morning the east wind had brought the locusts.
14 The locusts swarmed across the land and settled over the entire territory of Egypt. Never before had there been so many locusts, and never again will there be. 15 They covered the face of all the land until it was black, and they consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees that the hail had left behind. Nothing green was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. 17 Now please forgive my sin once more and appeal to the LORD your God, that He may remove this death from me.”
18 So Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the LORD. 19 And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind that carried off the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. b Not a single locust remained anywhere in Egypt.
The Ninth Plague: Darkness
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that darkness may spread over the land of Egypt—a palpable darkness.”
22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and total darkness covered all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else, and for three days no one left his place. Yet all the Israelites had light in their dwellings.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Even your little ones may go with you; only your flocks and herds must stay behind.”
25 But Moses replied, “You must also provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. 26 Even our livestock must go with us; not a hoof will be left behind, for we will need some of them to worship the LORD our God, and we will not know how we are to worship the LORD until we arrive.”
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28 “Depart from me!” Pharaoh said to Moses. “Make sure you never see my face again, for on the day you see my face, you will die.”
29 “As you say,” Moses replied, “I will never see your face again.”
1 a Or made heavy
19 b Or the Sea of Reeds
20 c Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 27
The Plague on the Firstborn Foretold
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring upon Pharaoh and Egypt one more plague. After that, he will allow you to leave this place. And when he lets you go, he will drive you out completely. 2 Now announce to the people that men and women alike should ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”
3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.
4 So Moses declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, 5 and every firstborn son in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the servant girl behind the hand mill, as well as the firstborn of all the cattle. 6 Then a great cry will go out over all the land of Egypt. Such an outcry has never been heard before and will never be heard again. 7 But among all the Israelites, not even a dog will snarl at man or beast.’ a
Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 And all these officials of yours will come and bow before me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that, I will depart.”
And hot with anger, Moses left Pharaoh’s presence.
9 The LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
7 a Some translators close this quotation at the end of the verse.
10 b Or stiffened or strengthened
The First Passover
3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man must select a lamb a for his family, one per household. 4 If the household is too small for a whole lamb, they are to share with the nearest neighbor based on the number of people, and apportion the lamb accordingly.
5 Your lamb must be an unblemished year-old male, and you may take it from the sheep or the goats. 6 You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight. b 7 They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes c of the houses where they eat the lambs.
8 They are to eat the meat that night, roasted over the fire, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
9 Do not eat any of the meat raw or cooked in boiling water, but only roasted over the fire—its head and legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it until morning; before the morning you must burn up any part that is left over.
12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn male, both man and beast, and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood on the houses where you are staying will distinguish them; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will fall on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
(Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 28:16–25; Deuteronomy 16:1–8)
14 And this day will be a memorial for you, and you are to celebrate it as a feast to the LORD, as a permanent statute for the generations to come. 15 For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you are to remove the leaven from your houses. Whoever eats anything leavened from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
16 On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly, and another on the seventh day. You must not do any work on those days, except to prepare the meals—that is all you may do.
17 So you are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, e for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. You must keep this day as a permanent statute for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat unleavened bread, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days there must be no leaven found in your houses. If anyone eats something leavened, that person, whether a foreigner or native of the land, must be cut off from the congregation of Israel. 20 You are not to eat anything leavened;eat unleavened bread in all your homes.”
21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and told them, “Go at once and select for yourselves a lamb for each family, and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin, and brush the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.
23 When the LORD passes through to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway; so He will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ 27 you are to reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when He struck down the Egyptians and spared our homes.’ ”
Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 And the Israelites went and did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
29 Now at midnight the LORD struck down every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn among the livestock.
30 During the night Pharaoh got up—he and all his officials and all the Egyptians—and there was loud wailing in Egypt; for there was no house without someone dead.
The Exodus Begins
31 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Get up, leave my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds as well, just as you have said, and depart! And bless me also.”
33 And in order to send them out of the land quickly, the Egyptians urged the people on. “For otherwise,” they said, “we are all going to die!” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, carrying it on their shoulders in kneading bowls wrapped in clothing.
35 Furthermore, the Israelites acted on Moses’ word and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold, and for clothing. 36 And the LORD gave the people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that they granted their request. In this way they plundered the Egyptians.
37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth f with about 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children. 38 And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with great droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
39 Since their dough had no leaven, the people baked what they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened loaves. For when they had been driven out of Egypt, they could not delay and had not prepared any provisions for themselves.
40 Now the duration of the Israelites’ stay in Egypt g was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions went out of the land of Egypt. 42 Because the LORD kept a vigil that night to bring them out of the land of Egypt, this same night is to be a vigil to the LORD, to be observed by all the Israelites for the generations to come.
Instructions for the Passover
43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. 44 But any slave who has been purchased may eat of it, after you have circumcised him. 45 A temporary resident or hired hand shall not eat the Passover.
46 It must be eaten inside one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you may not break any of the bones.
47 The whole congregation of Israel must celebrate it. 48 If a foreigner resides with you and wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover, all the males in the household must be circumcised; then he may come near to celebrate it, and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised man may eat of it. 49 The same law shall apply to both the native and the foreigner who resides among you.”
3 a The Hebrew word can mean lamb or kid ; also in verses 4 and 5.
6 b Hebrew between the two evenings
7 c Literally on the two doorposts and on the lintel ; similarly in verses 22 and 23
11 d Literally Gird up your loins
17 e That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten
37 f Succoth means booths or shelters or tabernacles .
40 g MT; SP in Canaan and Egypt ; LXX in Egypt and Canaan
The Dedication of the Firstborn
3 So Moses told the people, “Remember this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; for the LORD brought you out of it by the strength of His hand. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.
4 Today, in the month of Abib, b you are leaving. 5 And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites—the land He swore to your fathers that He would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you shall keep this service in this month.
6 For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten during those seven days. Nothing leavened may be found among you, nor shall leaven be found anywhere within your borders.
8 And on that day you are to explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 It shall be a sign for you on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the Law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For with a mighty hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore you shall keep this statute at the appointed time year after year.
11 And after the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as He swore to you and your fathers, 12 you are to present to the LORD the firstborn male of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD. 13 You must redeem every firstborn donkey with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, you are to break its neck. And every firstborn of your sons you must redeem.
14 In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15 And when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of man and beast. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the firstborn male of every womb, but I redeem all the firstborn of my sons.’ 16 So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”
The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter. For God said, “If the people face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. c And the Israelites left the land of Egypt arrayed for battle. d
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear a solemn oath when he said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones with you from this place.” e
20 They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them in a pillar of cloud to guide their way by day, and in a pillar of fire to give them light by night, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place before the people.
2 a Cited in Luke 2:23
4 b Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
18 c Or the Sea of Reeds
18 d LXX left the land of Egypt in the fifth generation
19 e Genesis 50:25
Pharaoh Pursues the Israelites
3 For Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, ‘They are wandering the land in confusion;the wilderness has boxed them in.’ 4 And I will harden a Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. But I will gain honor by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”
So this is what the Israelites did.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.”
8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out defiantly. b 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi-hahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians marching after them, and they were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us into the wilderness to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
13 But Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Parting the Red Sea
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. Then I will gain honor by means of Pharaoh and all his army and chariots and horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I am honored through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
19 And the angel c of God, who had gone before the camp of Israel, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 so that it came between the camps of Egypt and Israel. The cloud was there in the darkness, but it lit up the night. d So all night long neither camp went near the other.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove back the sea with a strong east wind that turned it into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on their right and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians chased after them—all Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen—and followed them into the sea. 24 At morning watch, however, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and cloud, and He threw their camp into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to wobble, e so that they had difficulty driving. “Let us flee from the Israelites,” said the Egyptians, “for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal state. As the Egyptians were retreating, the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 The waters flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had chased the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore. 31 When Israel saw the great power that the LORD had exercised over the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.
4 a Or stiffen or strengthen ; similarly in verses 8 and 17
8 b Or marching out boldly ; literally marching out with an upraised hand
19 c Or Angel
20 d LXX and the night passed
25 e Or to swerve or to come off or to bind ; see also SP, LXX, and Syriac.
The Song at the Sea
1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for He is highly exalted.
The horse and rider
He has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song,
and He has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise Him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3 The LORD is a warrior,
the LORD is His name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and army
He has cast into the sea;
the finest of his officers
are drowned in the Red Sea. a
5 The depths have covered them;
they sank there like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O LORD,
is majestic in power;
Your right hand, O LORD,
has shattered the enemy.
7 You overthrew Your adversaries
by Your great majesty.
You unleashed Your burning wrath;
it consumed them like stubble.
8 At the blast of Your nostrils
the waters piled up;
like a wall the currents stood firm;
the depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy declared,
‘I will pursue, I will overtake.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword;
my hand will destroy them.’
10 But You blew with Your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
11 Who among the gods is like You, O LORD?
Who is like You—majestic in holiness,
revered with praises,
12 You stretched out Your right hand,
and the earth swallowed them up.
the people You have redeemed;
with Your strength You will guide them
to Your holy dwelling.
14 The nations will hear and tremble;
anguish will grip the dwellers of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
trembling will seize the leaders of Moab;
those who dwell in Canaan will melt away,
16 and terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of Your arm
they will be as still as a stone
until Your people pass by, O LORD,
until the people You have bought pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of Your inheritance—
the place, O LORD, You have prepared for Your dwelling,
the sanctuary, O Lord, Your hands have established.
18 The LORD will reign forever and ever!”
19 For when Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.
“Sing to the LORD,
for He is highly exalted;
the horse and rider
He has thrown into the sea.”
The Waters of Marah
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the Desert of Shur. For three days they walked in the desert without finding water. 23 And when they came to Marah, c they could not drink the water there because it was bitter. (That is why it was named Marah.)
There the LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He tested them, 26 saying, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His eyes, and pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, then I will not bring on you any of the diseases I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the waters.
4 a Or the Sea of Reeds ; also in verse 22
13 b Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .
23 c Marah means bitter .
Manna and Quail from Heaven
1 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt, the whole congregation of Israel set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, a which is between Elim and Sinai. 2 And there in the desert they all grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt!” they said. “There we sat by pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, but you have brought us into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death!”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test whether or not they will follow My instructions. 5 Then on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the LORD’s glory, because He has heard your grumbling against Him. For who are we that you should grumble against us?”
8 And Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat this evening and bread to fill you in the morning, for He has heard your grumbling against Him. Who are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole congregation of Israel, ‘Come before the LORD, for He has heard your grumbling.’ ”
10 And as Aaron was speaking to the whole congregation of Israel, they looked toward the desert, and there in a cloud the glory of the LORD appeared.
11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight b you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew had evaporated, there were thin flakes on the desert floor, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
So Moses told them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. You may take an omer c for each person in your tent.’ ”
17 So the Israelites did this. Some gathered more, and some less. 18 When they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no shortfall. d Each one gathered as much as he needed to eat.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one may keep any of it until morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses; some people left part of it until morning, and it became infested with maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Every morning each one gathered as much as was needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.
The Sabbath Observed
(Genesis 2:1–3; Hebrews 4:1–11)
22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much food—two omers per person e —and all the leaders of the congregation came and reported this to Moses. 23 He told them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil. Then set aside whatever remains and keep it until morning.’ ”
24 So they set it aside until morning as Moses had commanded, and it did not smell or contain any maggots. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. Today you will not find anything in the field. 26 For six days you may gather, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, it will not be there.”
27 Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find anything. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and instructions? 29 Understand that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day He will give you bread for two days. On the seventh day, everyone must stay where he is; no one may leave his place.”
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
The Jar of Manna
31 Now the house of Israel called the bread manna. f It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Keep an omer of manna for the generations to come, so that they may see the bread I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
33 So Moses told Aaron, “Take a jar and fill it with an omer of manna. Then place it before the LORD to be preserved for the generations to come.” 34 And Aaron placed it in front of the Testimony, g to be preserved just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
1 a The geographical name Sin is related to Sinai and should not be mistaken for the English word sin .
12 b Hebrew Between the two evenings
16 c An omer is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters; also in verses 18, 32, 33, and 36.
18 d Cited in 2 Corinthians 8:15
22 e 2 omers is approximately 4 dry quarts or 4.4 liters per person.
31 f Manna sounds like the Hebrew for What is it? (see verse 15).
34 g The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
36 h An ephah was a dry measure having the capacity of about 20 dry quarts or 22 liters.
Water from the Rock
1 Then the whole congregation of Israel left the Desert of Sin, a moving from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So the people contended with Moses, “Give us water to drink.”
“Why do you contend with me?” Moses replied. “Why do you test the LORD?”
3 But the people thirsted for water there, and they grumbled against Moses: “Why have you brought us out of Egypt—to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? A little more and they will stone me!”
5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Take along in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. b And when you strike the rock, water will come out of it for the people to drink.”
So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He named the place Massah c and Meribah d because the Israelites quarreled, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
The Defeat of the Amalekites
8 After this, the Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with the staff of God in my hand.”
10 Joshua did as Moses had instructed him and fought against the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed; but when he lowered them, Amalek prevailed. 12 When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on each side, so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down.
13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua, because I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 And Moses built an altar and named it The LORD Is My Banner. e 16 “Indeed,” he said, “a hand was lifted up toward the throne of the LORD. The LORD will war against Amalek from generation to generation.”
1 a The geographical name Sin is related to Sinai and should not be mistaken for the English word sin .
6 b Horeb is another name for Sinai.
7 c Massah means testing .
7 d Meribah means quarreling .
15 e Hebrew YHWH Nissi
The Visit of Jethro
2 After Moses had sent back his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro had received her, 3 along with her two sons. One son was named Gershom, b for Moses had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” 4 The other son was named Eliezer, c for Moses had said, “The God of my father was my helper and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, along with Moses’ wife and sons, came to him in the desert, where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships they had encountered along the way, and how the LORD had delivered them.
9 And Jethro rejoiced over all the good things the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had rescued from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 Jethro declared, “Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for He did this when they treated Israel with arrogance.”
12 Then Moses’ father-in-law Jethro brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
Jethro Advises Moses
13 The next day Moses took his seat to judge the people, and they stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone as judge, with all the people standing around you from morning till evening?”
15 “Because the people come to me to inquire of God,” Moses replied. 16 “Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me to judge between one man and another, and I make known to them the statutes and laws of God.”
17 But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 Surely you and these people with you will wear yourselves out, because the task is too heavy for you. You cannot handle it alone.
19 Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their causes to Him. 20 Teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way to live and the work they must do.
21 Furthermore, select capable men from among the people—God-fearing, trustworthy men who are averse to dishonest gain. Appoint them over the people as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
22 Have these men judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you any major issue, but all minor cases they can judge on their own, so that your load may be lightened as they share it with you.
23 If you follow this advice and God so directs you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people can go home in peace.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 So Moses chose capable men from all Israel and made them heads over the people as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times; they would bring the difficult cases to Moses, but any minor issue they would judge themselves.
27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own land.
Israel at Mount Sinai
1 In the third month, on the same day of the month a that the Israelites had left the land of Egypt, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 After they had set out from Rephidim, they entered the Wilderness of Sinai, and Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, “This is what you are to tell the house of Jacob and explain to the sons of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen for yourselves what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations—for the whole earth is Mine. 6 And unto Me you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, “We will do everything that the LORD has spoken.”
So Moses brought their words back to the LORD.
9 The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you, and they will always put their trust in you.”
And Moses relayed to the LORD what the people had said.
10 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 And you are to set up a boundary for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful not to go up on the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows—whether man or beast, he must not live.’ b
Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain. c”
The LORD Visits Sinai
16 On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the ram’s horn went out, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18 Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the LORD had descended on it in fire. And the smoke rose like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 And as the sound of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.
20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the summit. So Moses went up, 21 and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the LORD, lest many of them perish. 22 Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 But Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, for You solemnly warned us, ‘Put a boundary around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’ ”
24 And the LORD replied, “Go down and bring Aaron with you. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
The Ten Commandments
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations b of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.
8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Moses Comforts the People
(Deuteronomy 5:22–33; Hebrews 12:18–29)
18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sounding of the ram’s horn, and the mountain enveloped in smoke, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Moses replied. “For God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you, to keep you from sinning.” 21 And the people stood at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(1 Corinthians 10:14–22)
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “This is what you are to tell the Israelites: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23 You are not to make any gods alongside Me; you are not to make for yourselves gods of silver or gold.
24 You are to make for Me an altar of earth, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and cattle. In every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
25 Now if you make an altar of stones for Me, you must not build it with stones shaped by tools; for if you use a chisel on it, you will defile it. 26 And you must not go up to My altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.’
3 a Or besides Me
6 b Or to thousands
12 c Cited in Matthew 15:4, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10, Luke 18:20, and Ephesians 6:2–3
13 d Cited in Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
14 e Cited in Matthew 5:27, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
15 f Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, and Romans 13:9
16 g Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, and Luke 18:20
17 h Cited in Romans 7:7 and Romans 13:9
1 “These are the ordinances that you are to set before them:
2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free without paying anything. 3 If he arrived alone, he is to leave alone; if he arrived with a wife, she is to leave with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children; I do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master is to bring him before the judges. a And he shall take him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he shall serve his master for life.
7 And if a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as the menservants do. 8 If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who had designated her for himself, b he must allow her to be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, since he has broken faith with her. 9 And if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of his first wife. 11 If, however, he does not provide her with these three things, she is free to go without monetary payment.
Personal Injury Laws
14 But if a man schemes and acts willfully against his neighbor to kill him, you must take him away from My altar to be put to death.
15 Whoever strikes his father or mother must surely be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps another man must be put to death, whether he sells him or the man is found in his possession.
18 If men are quarreling and one strikes the other with a stone or a fist, and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 then the one who struck him shall go unpunished, as long as the other can get up and walk around outside with his staff. Nevertheless, he must compensate the man for his lost work and see that he is completely healed.
20 If a man strikes his manservant or maidservant with a rod, and the servant dies by his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 However, if the servant gets up after a day or two, the owner shall not be punished, since the servant is his property.
22 If men who are fighting strike a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, e but there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband demands and as the court allows. 23 But if a serious injury results, then you must require a life for a life— 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, f hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, and stripe for stripe.
26 If a man strikes and blinds the eye of his manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free as compensation for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free as compensation for the tooth.
29 But if the ox has a habit of goring, and its owner has been warned yet does not restrain it, and it kills a man or woman, then the ox must be stoned and its owner must also be put to death. 30 If payment is demanded of him instead, he may redeem his life by paying the full amount demanded of him.
31 If the ox gores a son or a daughter, it shall be done to him according to the same rule.
35 If a man’s ox injures his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they must sell the live one and divide the proceeds; they also must divide the dead animal. 36 But if it was known that the ox had a habit of goring, yet its owner failed to restrain it, he shall pay full compensation, ox for ox, and the dead animal will be his.
6 a Or before God
8 b Or so that he does not designate her for himself
17 c Or dishonors or reviles
17 d Cited in Matthew 15:4 and Mark 7:10
22 e Or she has a miscarriage
24 f Cited in Matthew 5:38
28 g Or a bull ; also in verses 29–36
32 h 30 shekels is approximately 12 ounces or 342 grams of silver.
A thief must make full restitution; if he has nothing, he himself shall be sold for his theft. 4 If what was stolen is actually found alive in his possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—he must pay back double.
5 If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and allows them to stray so that they graze in someone else’s field, he must make restitution from the best of his own field or vineyard.
6 If a fire breaks out and spreads to thornbushes so that it consumes stacked or standing grain, or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make full restitution.
7 If a man gives his neighbor money or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges b to determine whether he has taken his neighbor’s property.
9 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any lost item that someone claims, ‘This is mine,’ both parties shall bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges find guilty c must pay back double to his neighbor.
10 If a man gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any other animal to be cared for by his neighbor, but it dies or is injured or stolen while no one is watching, 11 an oath before the LORD shall be made between the parties to determine whether or not the man has taken his neighbor’s property. The owner must accept the oath and require no restitution.
12 But if the animal was actually stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner.
13 If the animal was torn to pieces, he shall bring it as evidence; he need not make restitution for the torn carcass.
14 If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies while its owner is not present, he must make full restitution. 15 If the owner was present, no restitution is required. If the animal was rented, the fee covers the loss.
Laws of Social Responsibility
16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged in marriage and sleeps with her, he must pay the full dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, the man still must pay an amount comparable to the bridal price of a virgin.
18 You must not allow a sorceress to live.
19 Whoever lies with an animal must surely be put to death.
21 You must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
22 You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to Me in distress, I will surely hear their cry. 24 My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will become widows and your children will be fatherless.
25 If you lend money to one of My people among you who is poor, you must not act as a creditor to him; you are not to charge him interest.
26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as collateral, return it to him by sunset, 27 because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? And if he cries out to Me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
29 You must not hold back offerings from your granaries or vats. You are to give Me the firstborn of your sons. 30 You shall do likewise with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but on the eighth day you are to give them to Me.
31 You are to be My holy people. You must not eat the meat of a mauled animal found in the field; you are to throw it to the dogs.
1 a Or a bull or a cow ; also in verses 4, 9, and 10
8 b Or before God ; also in verse 9
9 c Or whom God condemns
20 d Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
28 e LXX or speak evil about the ruler of your people ; cited in Acts 23:5
Justice and Mercy
1 “You shall not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked by being a malicious witness.
4 If you encounter your enemy’s stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him.
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you fallen under its load, do not leave it there; you must help him with it.
8 Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.
9 Do not oppress a foreign resident, since you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
(Leviticus 25:1–7; Deuteronomy 15:1–6)
10 For six years you are to sow your land and gather its produce, 11 but in the seventh year you must let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people may eat from the field and the wild animals may consume what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.
12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the son of your maidservant may be refreshed, as well as the foreign resident.
13 Pay close attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.
The Three Feasts of Pilgrimage
14 Three times a year you are to celebrate a feast to Me.
15 You are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread a as I commanded you: At the appointed time in the month of Abib b you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days, because that was the month you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before Me empty-handed.
And keep the Feast of Ingathering d at the end of the year, when you gather your produce from the field.
17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD.
18 You must not offer the blood of My sacrifices with anything leavened, nor may the fat of My feast remain until morning.
19 Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
God’s Angel to Lead
20 Behold, I am sending an angel before you to protect you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to his voice; do not defy him, for he will not forgive rebellion, since My Name is in him.
22 But if you will listen carefully to his voice and do everything I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will annihilate them.
24 You must not bow down to their gods or serve them or follow their practices. Instead, you are to demolish them and smash their sacred stones to pieces.
25 So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless e your bread and your water. And I will take away sickness from among you. 26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be barren; I will fulfill the number of your days.
27 I will send My terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn and run. 28 I will send the hornet before you to drive the Hivites and Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year; otherwise the land would become desolate and wild animals would multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out ahead of you, until you become fruitful and possess the land.
31 And I will establish your borders from the Red Sea f to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the Euphrates. g For I will deliver the inhabitants into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They must not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
15 a That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
15 b Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
16 c That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Weeks (see Exodus 34:22) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
16 d That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is later called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters ).
25 e LXX and Vulgate I will bless
31 f Or the Sea of Reeds
31 g Hebrew the River
The Covenant Sealed
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD—you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders—and you are to worship at a distance. 2 Moses alone shall approach the LORD, but the others must not come near. And the people may not go up with him.”
3 When Moses came and told the people all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all responded with one voice: “All the words that the LORD has spoken, we will do.”
4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD.
Early the next morning he got up and built an altar at the base of the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent out some young men of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people, who replied, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”
9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was a work like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 But God did not lay His hand on the nobles of Israel; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
Moses on the Mountain
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, so that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
13 So Moses set out with Joshua his attendant and went up on the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Whoever has a dispute can go to them.”
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop in the eyes of the Israelites.
18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up on the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Offerings for the Tabernacle
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive My offering from every man whose heart compels him. 3 This is the offering you are to accept from them:
gold, silver, and bronze;
4 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn;
6 olive oil for the light;
spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
7 and onyx stones and gemstones to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
The Ark of the Covenant
10 And they are to construct an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. b 11 Overlay it with pure gold both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.
12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, two rings on one side and two on the other. 13 And make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, in order to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of the ark; they must not be removed. 16 And place inside the ark the Testimony, c which I will give you.
The Mercy Seat
17 And you are to construct a mercy seat d of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. e 18 Make two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat, 19 one cherub on one end and one on the other, all made from one piece of gold. 20 And the cherubim are to have wings that spread upward, overshadowing the mercy seat. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the mercy seat.
21 Set the mercy seat atop the ark, and put the Testimony that I will give you into the ark.
The Table of Showbread
(Exodus 37:10–16; Leviticus 24:5–9)
23 You are also to make a table of acacia wood two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. g 24 Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. 25 And make a rim around it a handbreadth wide h and put a gold molding on the rim.
26 Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners at its four legs. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim, to serve as holders for the poles used to carry the table. 28 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them.
29 You are also to make the plates and dishes, as well as the pitchers and bowls for pouring drink offerings. Make them out of pure gold.
30 And place the Bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.
(Exodus 37:17–24; Numbers 8:1–4)
31 Then you are to make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. It shall be made of one piece, including its base and shaft, its cups, and its buds and petals.
32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms on the first branch, each with buds and petals, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches that extend from the lampstand.
34 And on the lampstand there shall be four cups shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 35 For the six branches that extend from the lampstand, a bud must be under the first pair of branches, a bud under the second pair, and a bud under the third pair. 36 The buds and branches are to be all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
37 Make seven lamps and set them up on the lampstand so that they illuminate the area in front of it. 38 The wick trimmers and their trays must be of pure gold. 39 The lampstand and all these utensils shall be made from a talent of pure gold. i
5 a Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
10 b The ark was approximately 3.75 feet long, 2.25 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (114.3 centimeters long, 68.6 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
16 c The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments; also in verses 21 and 22.
17 d Or an atonement cover ; here and throughout Exodus
17 e The mercy seat was approximately 3.75 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (114.3 centimeters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
22 f That is, the ark of the covenant
23 g The table was approximately 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (91.4 centimeters long, 45.7 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
25 h A handbreadth is approximately 2.9 inches or 7.4 centimeters.
39 i A talent is approximately 75.4 pounds or 34.2 kilograms of gold.
40 j Cited in Hebrews 8:5
The Ten Curtains for the Tabernacle
1 “You are to construct the tabernacle itself with ten curtains of finely spun linen, each with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and cherubim skillfully worked into them. 2 Each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide a —all curtains the same size.
3 Five of the curtains are to be joined together, and the other five joined as well. 4 Make loops of blue material on the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and do the same for the end curtain in the second set.
5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the second set, so that the loops line up opposite one another. 6 Make fifty gold clasps as well, and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle will be a unit.
The Eleven Curtains of Goat Hair
9 Join five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another. Then fold the sixth curtain over double at the front of the tent.
10 Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and fifty loops along the edge of the corresponding curtain in the second set. 11 Make fifty bronze clasps and put them through the loops to join the tent together as a unit.
12 As for the overlap that remains of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over shall hang down over the back of the tabernacle. 13 And the tent curtains will be a cubit c longer on either side, and the excess will hang over the sides of the tabernacle to cover it.
The Frames and Bases
15 You are to construct upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 16 Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. e 17 Two tenons f must be connected to each other for each frame. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
22 Make six frames for the rear of the tabernacle, the west side, 23 and two frames for the two back corners of the tabernacle, 24 coupled together from bottom to top and fitted into a single ring. These will serve as the two corners. 25 So there are to be eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.
26 You are also to make five crossbars of acacia wood for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 27 five for those on the other side, and five for those on the rear side of the tabernacle, to the west.
28 The central crossbar in the middle of the frames shall extend from one end to the other. 29 Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.
30 So you are to set up the tabernacle according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
31 Make a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it. 32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood, overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. 33 And hang the veil from the clasps and place the ark of the Testimony g behind the veil. So the veil will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. h
34 Put the mercy seat on the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place. 35 And place the table outside the veil on the north side of the tabernacle, and put the lampstand opposite the table, on the south side.
The Curtain for the Entrance
36 For the entrance to the tent, you are to make a curtain embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen. 37 Make five posts of acacia wood for the curtain, overlay them with gold hooks, and cast five bronze bases for them.
2 a Each of the ten curtains was approximately 42 feet long and 6 feet wide (12.8 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
8 b Each of the eleven curtains was approximately 45 feet long and 6 feet wide (13.7 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
13 c A cubit is approximately 18 inches or 45.7 centimeters.
14 d Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
16 e Each frame was approximately 15 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (4.6 meters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
17 f That is, projecting pieces of wood made for insertion into another piece; similarly in verse 19.
33 g That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verse 34
33 h Or the Holy of Holies ; also in verse 34
The Bronze Altar
1 “You are to build an altar of acacia wood. The altar must be square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high. a 2 Make a horn on each of its four corners, so that the horns are of one piece, and overlay it with bronze.
3 Make all its utensils of bronze—its pots for removing ashes, its shovels, its sprinkling bowls, its meat forks, and its firepans. 4 Construct for it a grate of bronze mesh, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the mesh. 5 Set the grate beneath the ledge of the altar, so that the mesh comes halfway up the altar.
8 Construct the altar with boards so that it is hollow. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.
9 You are also to make a courtyard for the tabernacle. On the south side of the courtyard make curtains of finely spun linen, a hundred cubits long b on one side, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and silver hooks and bands on the posts.
11 Likewise there are to be curtains on the north side, a hundred cubits long, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 12 The curtains on the west side of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide, c with ten posts and ten bases.
13 The east side of the courtyard, toward the sunrise, is to be fifty cubits wide. 14 Make the curtains on one side fifteen cubits long, d with three posts and three bases, 15 and the curtains on the other side fifteen cubits long, with three posts and three bases.
17 All the posts around the courtyard shall have silver bands, silver hooks, and bronze bases. 18 The entire courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide, f with curtains of finely spun linen five cubits high, g and with bronze bases. 19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for every use, including all its tent pegs and the tent pegs of the courtyard, shall be made of bronze.
The Oil for the Lamps
20 And you are to command the Israelites to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually.
21 In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil that is in front of the Testimony, h Aaron and his sons are to tend the lamps before the LORD from evening until morning. This is to be a permanent statute for the Israelites for the generations to come.
1 a The altar was approximately 7.5 feet in length and width, and 4.5 feet high (2.3 meters in length and width, and 1.4 meters high).
9 b 100 cubits is approximately 150 feet or 45.7 meters; also in verse 11.
12 c 50 cubits is approximately 75 feet or 22.9 meters; also in verse 13.
14 d 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters; also in verse 15.
16 e 20 cubits is approximately 30 feet or 9.1 meters.
18 f The courtyard was approximately 150 feet long and 75 feet wide (45.7 meters long and 22.9 meters wide).
18 g 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters.
21 h The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Garments for the Priests
1 “Next, have your brother Aaron brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, to serve Me as priests. 2 Make holy garments for your brother Aaron, to give him glory and splendor.
3 You are to instruct all the skilled craftsmen, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, to make garments for Aaron’s consecration, so that he may serve Me as priest. 4 These are the garments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these holy garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so that they may serve Me as priests. 5 They shall use gold, along with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.
6 They are to make the ephod of finely spun linen embroidered with gold, and with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. 7 It shall have two shoulder pieces attached at two of its corners, so it can be fastened. 8 And the skillfully woven waistband of the ephod must be of one piece, of the same workmanship—with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen.
9 Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel: 10 six of their names on one stone and the remaining six on the other, in the order of their birth. 11 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings. 12 Fasten both stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear their names on his two shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.
15 You are also to make a breastpiece of judgment with the same workmanship as the ephod. Construct it with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen. 16 It must be square when folded over double, a span long and a span wide. a
In the first row there shall be a ruby, a topaz, and an emerald;
18 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
19 in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
20 and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
Mount these stones in gold filigree settings. 21 The twelve stones are to correspond to the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
22 For the breastpiece, make braided chains like cords of pure gold. 23 You are also to make two gold rings and fasten them to the two corners of the breastpiece. 24 Then fasten the two gold chains to the two gold rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 25 and fasten the other ends of the two chains to the two filigree settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front.
26 Make two more gold rings and attach them to the other two corners of the breastpiece, on the inside edge next to the ephod.
27 Make two additional gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on its front, near its seam just above its woven waistband. 28 The rings of the breastpiece shall be tied to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece is above the waistband of the ephod and does not swing out from the ephod.
29 Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he shall bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of judgment, as a continual reminder before the LORD.
30 And place the Urim and Thummim c in the breastpiece of judgment, so that they will also be over Aaron’s heart whenever he comes before the LORD. Aaron will continually carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD.
Additional Priestly Garments
31 You are to make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening at its top in the center. Around the opening shall be a woven collar with an opening like that of a garment, d so that it will not tear.
35 Aaron must wear the robe whenever he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he enters or exits the sanctuary before the LORD, so that he will not die.
36 You are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal:
HOLY TO THE LORD. e
37 Fasten to it a blue cord to mount it on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. 38 And it will be worn on Aaron’s forehead, so that he may bear the iniquity of the holy things that the sons of Israel consecrate with regard to all their holy gifts. It shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be acceptable before the LORD.
41 After you put these garments on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint them, ordain them, and consecrate them so that they may serve Me as priests.
42 Make linen undergarments to cover their bare flesh, extending from waist to thigh. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die. This is to be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants.
16 a The breastpiece, when folded over, was approximately 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters in both length and width.
17 b The precise identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain.
30 c Literally Lights and Perfections
32 d The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; possibly a coat of mail .
36 e That is, the LORD
Consecration of the Priests
1 “Now this is what you are to do to consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without blemish, 2 along with unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil. Make them out of fine wheat flour, 3 put them in a basket, and present them in the basket, along with the bull and the two rams.
4 Then present Aaron and his sons at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 5 Take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself, and the breastplate. Fasten the ephod on him with its woven waistband. 6 Put the turban on his head and attach the holy diadem to the turban. 7 Then take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head.
8 Present his sons as well and clothe them with tunics. 9 Wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons and tie headbands on them. The priesthood shall be theirs by a permanent statute. In this way you are to ordain Aaron and his sons.
The Order of the Sacrifices
10 You are to present the bull at the front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on its head. 11 And you shall slaughter the bull before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 12 Take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 13 Take all the fat that covers the entrails and the lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But burn the flesh of the bull and its hide and dung outside the camp; it is a sin offering. a
15 Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 16 You are to slaughter the ram, take its blood, and sprinkle it on all sides of the altar. 17 Cut the ram into pieces, wash the entrails and legs, and place them with its head and other pieces. 18 Then burn the entire ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
19 Take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on its head. 20 Slaughter the ram, take some of its blood, and put it on the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Sprinkle the remaining blood on all sides of the altar. 21 And take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, as well as on his sons and their garments. Then he and his garments will be consecrated, as well as his sons and their garments.
22 Take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat covering the entrails, the lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh (since this is a ram for ordination), 23 along with one loaf of bread, one cake of bread made with oil, and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread that is before the LORD. 24 Put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and wave them before the LORD as a wave offering. 25 Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar atop the burnt offering as a pleasing aroma before the LORD; it is an offering made by fire to the LORD.
26 Take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s ordination and wave it before the LORD as a wave offering, and it will be your portion. 27 Consecrate for Aaron and his sons the breast of the wave offering that is waved and the thigh of the heave offering that is lifted up from the ram of ordination. 28 This will belong to Aaron and his sons as a regular portion from the Israelites, for it is the heave offering the Israelites will make to the LORD from their peace offerings.
29 The holy garments that belong to Aaron will belong to his sons after him, so they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30 The son who succeeds him as priest and enters the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place must wear them for seven days.
Food for the Priests
31 You are to take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. 32 At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. 33 They must eat those things by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no outsider may eat them, because these things are sacred. 34 And if any of the meat of ordination or any bread is left until the morning, you are to burn up the remainder. It must not be eaten, because it is sacred.
35 This is what you are to do for Aaron and his sons based on all that I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them. 36 Sacrifice a bull as a sin offering each day for atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it. 37 For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will become most holy; whatever touches the altar will be holy.
The Daily Offerings
38 This is what you are to offer regularly on the altar, each day: two lambs that are a year old. 39 Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight. b 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour, c mixed with a quarter hin of oil from pressed olives, d and a drink offering of a quarter hin of wine. 41 And offer the second lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and drink offering as in the morning, as a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
42 For the generations to come, this burnt offering shall be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD, where I will meet you to speak with you. 43 I will also meet with the Israelites there, and that place will be consecrated by My glory. 44 So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests.
God Will Dwell among the People
I am the LORD their God.
14 a Or purification offering ; also in verse 36
39 b Hebrew between the two evenings ; also in verse 41
40 c A tenth of an ephah is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters (probably about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms of flour).
40 d Hebrew a quarter hin of pressed oil ; that is, approximately 0.97 quarts or 0.92 liters
The Altar of Incense
1 “You are also to make an altar of acacia wood for the burning of incense. 2 It is to be square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high. a Its horns must be of one piece. 3 Overlay with pure gold the top and all the sides and horns, and make a molding of gold around it. 4 And make two gold rings below the molding on opposite sides to hold the poles used to carry it. 5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
6 Place the altar in front of the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony b—before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you. 7 And Aaron is to burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he tends the lamps. 8 When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, c he must burn the incense perpetually before the LORD for the generations to come. 9 On this altar you must not offer unauthorized d incense or a burnt offering or grain offering; nor are you to pour a drink offering on it.
10 Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on the horns of the altar. Throughout your generations he shall make atonement on it annually with the blood of the sin offering e of atonement. The altar is most holy to the LORD.”
The Census Offering
(2 Samuel 24:1–9; 1 Chronicles 21:1–6)
11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to number them, each man must pay the LORD a ransom for his life when he is counted. Then no plague will come upon them when they are numbered. 13 Everyone who crosses over to those counted must pay a half shekel, f according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. g This half shekel is an offering to the LORD.
14 Everyone twenty years of age or older who crosses over must give this offering to the LORD. 15 In making the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives, the rich shall not give more than a half shekel, nor shall the poor give less. 16 Take the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will serve as a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD to make atonement for your lives.”
The Bronze Basin
17 And the LORD said to Moses, 18 “You are to make a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. Set it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it, 19 with which Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet. 20 Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made by fire to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21 Thus they are to wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this shall be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”
The Anointing Oil
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 “Take the finest spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, h half that amount (250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, i 250 shekels of fragrant cane, j 24 500 shekels of cassia k —all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. l 25 Prepare from these a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be a sacred anointing oil.
26 Use this oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You are to consecrate them so that they will be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve Me as priests.
31 And you are to tell the Israelites, ‘This will be My sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 It must not be used to anoint an ordinary man, and you must not make anything like it with the same formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33 Anyone who mixes perfume like it or puts it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.’ ”
34 The LORD also said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense—in equal measures, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Grind some of it into fine powder and place it in front of the Testimony m in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37 You are never to use this formula to make incense for yourselves; you shall regard it as holy to the LORD. 38 Anyone who makes something like it to enjoy its fragrance shall be cut off from his people.”
2 a The altar was approximately 1.5 feet in length and width, and 3 feet high (45.7 centimeters in length and width, and 91.4 centimeters high).
6 b That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verse 26
8 c Hebrew between the two evenings
9 d Or strange
10 e Or purification offering
13 f A half shekel is approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams; also in verse 15.
13 g 20 gerahs is equivalent to one shekel (approximately 0.4 ounces or 11.4 grams).
23 h 500 shekels is approximately 12.6 pounds or 5.7 kilograms of myrrh.
23 i 250 shekels is approximately 6.3 pounds or 2.9 kilograms of cinnamon.
23 j 250 shekels is approximately 6.3 pounds or 2.9 kilograms of cane.
24 k 500 shekels is approximately 12.6 pounds or 5.7 kilograms of cassia.
24 l A hin is approximately 0.97 gallons or 3.67 liters of olive oil.
36 m The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Bezalel and Oholiab
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 to cut gemstones for settings, and to carve wood, so that he may be a master of every craft.
6 Moreover, I have selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, as his assistant.
I have also given skill to all the craftsmen, that they may fashion all that I have commanded you: 7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony a and the mercy seat upon it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8 the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand— 10 as well as the woven garments, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, 11 in addition to the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them according to all that I have commanded you.”
The Sign of the Sabbath
12 And the LORD said to Moses, 13 “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep My Sabbaths, for this will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 Keep the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Anyone who profanes it must surely be put to death. Whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death.
16 The Israelites must keep the Sabbath, celebrating it as a permanent covenant for the generations to come. 17 It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”
Moses Receives the Tablets
18 When the LORD had finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
7 a That is, the ark of the covenant
The Golden Calf
(Deuteronomy 9:7–29;Acts 7:39–43)
1 Now when the people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!” a
2 So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold earrings that are on your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 Then all the people took off their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from their hands, and with an engraving tool he fashioned it into a molten calf. And they said, “These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before the calf and proclaimed: “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.”
7 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them! They have made for themselves a molten calf and have bowed down to it. They have sacrificed to it and said, ‘These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
9 The LORD also said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave Me alone, so that My anger may burn against them and consume them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God, saying, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people, whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians declare, ‘He brought them out with evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce anger and relent from doing harm to Your people. 13 Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom You swore by Your very self when You declared, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all this land that I have promised, and it shall be their inheritance forever.’ ”
14 So the LORD relented from the calamity He had threatened to bring on His people.
15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the sound of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “The sound of war is in the camp.”
18 But Moses replied:
“It is neither the cry of victory nor the cry of defeat;
I hear the sound of singing!”
19 As Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he burned with anger and threw the tablets out of his hands, shattering them at the base of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf they had made, burned it in the fire, ground it to powder, and scattered the powder over the face of the water. Then he forced the Israelites to drink it.
21 “What did this people do to you,” Moses asked Aaron, “that you have led them into so great a sin?”
22 “Do not be enraged, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know that the people are intent on evil. 23 They told me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!’
24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, let him take it off,’ and they gave it to me. And when I threw it into the fire, out came this calf!”
25 Moses saw that the people were out of control, for Aaron had let them run wild and become a laughingstock c to their enemies. 26 So Moses stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.”
And all the Levites gathered around him.
27 He told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each of you men is to fasten his sword to his side, go back and forth through the camp from gate to gate, and slay his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’ ”
28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people fell dead.
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. Now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made gods of gold for themselves. 32 Yet now, if You would only forgive their sin.... But if not, please blot me out of the book that You have written.”
33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I described. Behold, My angel shall go before you. But on the day I settle accounts, I will punish them for their sin.”
35 And the LORD sent a plague on the people because of what they had done with the calf that Aaron had made.
The Command to Leave Sinai
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard these bad tidings, they went into mourning, and no one put on any of his jewelry. 5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I should go with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you.’ ”
The Tent of Meeting
7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it at a distance outside the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting, and anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. 8 Then, whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand at the entrances to their own tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance, and the LORD would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up and worship, each one at the entrance to his own tent.
11 Thus the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun would not leave the tent.
The Promise of God’s Presence
12 Then Moses said to the LORD, “Look, You have been telling me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now if indeed I have found favor in Your sight, please let me know Your ways, that I may know You and find favor in Your sight. Remember that this nation is Your people.”
14 And the LORD answered, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 “If Your Presence does not go with us,” Moses replied, “do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight, unless You go with us? How else will we be distinguished from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 So the LORD said to Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Please show me Your glory.”
19 “I will cause all My goodness to pass before you,” the LORD replied, “and I will proclaim My name—the LORD—in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” b
20 But He added, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.”
21 The LORD continued, “There is a place near Me where you are to stand upon a rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.”
New Stone Tablets
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the originals, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and come up on Mount Sinai to present yourself before Me on the mountaintop. 3 No one may go up with you; in fact, no one may be seen anywhere on the mountain—not even the flocks or herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the originals. He rose early in the morning, and taking the two stone tablets in his hands, he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him.
“The LORD, the LORD God,
is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger,
abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness,
forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.
Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished;
He will visit the iniquity of the fathers
on their children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generations.”
8 Moses immediately bowed down to the ground and worshiped. 9 “O Lord,” he said, “if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, my Lord, please go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our iniquity and sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
The LORD Renews the Covenant
(2 Corinthians 3:7–18)
10 And the LORD said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will perform wonders that have never been done in any nation in all the world. All the people among whom you live will see the LORD’s work, for it is an awesome thing that I am doing with you.
11 Observe what I command you this day. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty b with the inhabitants of the land you are entering, lest they become a snare in your midst. 13 Rather, you must tear down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and chop down their Asherah poles. 14 For you must not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
15 Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you, and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you take some of their daughters as brides for your sons, their daughters will prostitute themselves to their gods and cause your sons to do the same.
17 You shall make no molten gods for yourselves.
18 You are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. c For seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, d you are to eat unleavened bread as I commanded you. For in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
19 The first offspring of every womb belongs to Me, including all the firstborn males among your livestock, whether cattle or sheep. 20 You must redeem the firstborn of a donkey with a lamb; but if you do not redeem it, you are to break its neck. You must redeem all the firstborn of your sons. No one shall appear before Me empty-handed.
21 Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in the seasons of plowing and harvesting, you must rest.
22 And you are to celebrate the Feast of Weeks e with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering f at the turn of the year. 23 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24 For I will drive out the nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.
25 Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to Me along with anything leavened, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.
26 Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 The LORD also said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”
29 And when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was unaware that his face had become radiant from speaking with the LORD. 30 Aaron and all the Israelites looked at Moses, and behold, his face was radiant. And they were afraid to approach him.
31 But Moses called out to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 And after this all the Israelites came near, and Moses commanded them to do everything that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would remove the veil until he came out. And when he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 and the Israelites would see that the face of Moses was radiant. So Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
7 a Hebrew to thousands
12 b Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
18 c That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
18 d Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April; twice in this verse.
22 e That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Harvest (see Exodus 23:16) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
22 f That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is later called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters ).
28 g Hebrew the Ten Words
1 Then Moses assembled the whole congregation of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: 2 For six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on that day must be put to death. 3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”
Offerings for the Tabernacle
4 Moses also told the whole congregation of Israel, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Let everyone whose heart is willing bring an offering to the LORD:
gold, silver, and bronze;
6 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn;
fine linen and goat hair;
8 olive oil for the light;
spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
9 and onyx stones and gemstones to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
The Skilled Craftsmen
10 Let every skilled craftsman among you come and make everything that the LORD has commanded:
11 the tabernacle with its tent and covering, its clasps and frames, its crossbars, posts, and bases;
12 the ark with its poles and mercy seat, and the veil to shield it;
13 the table with its poles, all its utensils, and the Bread of the Presence;
14 the lampstand for light with its accessories and lamps and oil for the light;
15 the altar of incense with its poles;
the anointing oil and fragrant incense;
the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle;
16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grate, its poles, and all its utensils;
the basin with its stand;
17 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the gate of the courtyard;
18 the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, along with their ropes;
19 and the woven garments for ministering in the holy place—both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests.”
The People Offer Gifts
20 Then the whole congregation of Israel withdrew from the presence of Moses. 21 And everyone whose heart stirred him and whose spirit prompted him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its services, and for the holy garments.
22 So all who had willing hearts, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings, rings and necklaces, and all kinds of gold jewelry. And they all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD.
23 Everyone who had blue, purple, or scarlet yarn, or fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red, or articles of fine leather, brought them. 24 And all who could present an offering of silver or bronze brought it as a contribution to the LORD. Also, everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the service brought it.
29 So all the men and women of the Israelites whose hearts prompted them brought a freewill offering to the LORD for all the work that the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do.
Bezalel and Oholiab
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship, 32 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 33 to cut gemstones for settings, and to carve wood, so that he may be a master of every artistic craft.
34 And the LORD has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and as weavers—as artistic designers of every kind of craft.
7 a Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals; also in verse 23
The People Bring More than Enough
1 “So Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person are to carry out everything commanded by the LORD, who has given them skill and ability to know how to perform all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person whom the LORD had gifted—everyone whose heart stirred him to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the contributions that the Israelites had brought to carry out the service of constructing the sanctuary.
Meanwhile, the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning, 4 so that all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD has commanded us to do.”
6 After Moses had given an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 since what they already had was more than enough to perform all the work.
The Ten Curtains for the Tabernacle
8 All the skilled craftsmen among the workmen made the ten curtains for the tabernacle. They were made of finely spun linen, as well as blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, with cherubim skillfully worked into them. 9 Each curtain was twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide; a all the curtains were the same size. 10 And he joined five of the curtains together, and the other five he joined as well.
11 He made loops of blue material on the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and also on the end curtain in the second set. 12 He made fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the second set, so that the loops lined up opposite one another. 13 He also made fifty gold clasps to join the curtains together, so that the tabernacle was a unit.
The Eleven Curtains of Goat Hair
14 He then made curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven curtains in all. 15 Each of the eleven curtains was the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. b 16 He joined five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another. 17 He made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and fifty loops along the edge of the corresponding curtain in the second set. 18 He also made fifty bronze clasps to join the tent together as a unit.
The Frames and Bases
20 Next, he constructed upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 21 Each frame was ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. d 22 Two tenons e were connected to each other for each frame. He made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
27 He made six frames for the rear of the tabernacle, the west side, 28 and two frames for the two back corners of the tabernacle, 29 coupled together from bottom to top and fitted into a single ring. He made both corners in this way. 30 So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.
33 He made the central crossbar to run through the center of the frames, from one end to the other. 34 And he overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. He also overlaid the crossbars with gold.
35 Next, he made the veil of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it.
36 He also made four posts of acacia wood for it and overlaid them with gold, along with gold hooks; and he cast four silver bases for the posts.
The Curtain for the Entrance
He overlaid the tops of the posts and their bands with gold, and their five bases were bronze.
9 a Each of the ten curtains was approximately 42 feet long and 6 feet wide (12.8 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
15 b Each of the eleven curtains was approximately 45 feet long and 6 feet wide (13.7 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
19 c Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
21 d Each frame was approximately 15 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (4.6 meters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
22 e That is, projecting pieces of wood made for insertion into another piece; similarly in verse 24.
Constructing the Ark
1 Bezalel went on to construct the ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. a 2 He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it. 3 And he cast four gold rings for its four feet, two rings on one side and two on the other. 4 Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. 5 He inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark in order to carry it.
The Mercy Seat
6 He constructed a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. b 7 He made two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat, 8 one cherub on one end and one on the other, all made from one piece of gold. 9 And the cherubim had wings that spread upward, overshadowing the mercy seat. The cherubim faced each other, looking toward the mercy seat.
The Table of Showbread
(Exodus 25:23–30; Leviticus 24:5–9)
10 He also made the table of acacia wood two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. c 11 He overlaid it with pure gold and made a gold molding around it. 12 And he made a rim around it a handbreadth wide d and put a gold molding on the rim.
13 He cast four gold rings for the table and fastened them to the four corners at its four legs. 14 The rings were placed close to the rim, to serve as holders for the poles used to carry the table. 15 He made the poles of acacia wood for carrying the table and overlaid them with gold.
16 He also made the utensils for the table out of pure gold: its plates and dishes, as well as its bowls and pitchers for pouring drink offerings.
(Exodus 25:31–40; Numbers 8:1–4)
17 Then he made the lampstand out of pure hammered gold, all of one piece: its base and shaft, its cups, and its buds and petals. 18 Six branches extended from the sides, three on one side and three on the other. 19 There were three cups shaped like almond blossoms on the first branch, each with buds and petals, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches that extended from the lampstand.
20 And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 21 A bud was under the first pair of branches that extended from the lampstand, a bud under the second pair, and a bud under the third pair. 22 The buds and branches were all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
The Altar of Incense
25 He made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high. f Its horns were of one piece. 26 And he overlaid with pure gold the top and all the sides and horns. Then he made a molding of gold around it.
29 He also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense, the work of a perfumer.
1 a The ark was approximately 3.75 feet long, 2.25 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (114.3 centimeters long, 68.6 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
6 b The mercy seat was approximately 3.75 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (114.3 centimeters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
10 c The table was approximately 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (91.4 centimeters long, 45.7 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
12 d A handbreadth is approximately 2.9 inches or 7.4 centimeters.
24 e A talent is approximately 75.4 pounds or 34.2 kilograms of gold.
25 f The altar was approximately 1.5 feet in length and width, and 3 feet high (45.7 centimeters in length and width, and 91.4 centimeters high).
The Bronze Altar
1 Bezalel constructed a the altar of burnt offering from acacia wood. It was square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high. b 2 He made a horn at each of its four corners, so that the horns and altar were of one piece, and he overlaid the altar with bronze.
5 At the four corners of the bronze grate he cast four rings as holders for the poles. 6 And he made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. 7 Then he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar for carrying it. He made the altar with boards so that it was hollow.
The Bronze Basin
8 Next he made the bronze basin and its stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
9 Then he constructed the courtyard. The south side of the courtyard was a hundred cubits long c and had curtains of finely spun linen, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 11 The north side was also a hundred cubits long, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases. The hooks and bands of the posts were silver. 12 The west side was fifty cubits long d and had curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. The hooks and bands of the posts were silver. 13 And the east side, toward the sunrise, was also fifty cubits long.
14 The curtains on one side of the entrance were fifteen cubits long, e with three posts and three bases. 15 And the curtains on the other side were also fifteen cubits long, with three posts and three bases as well. 16 All the curtains around the courtyard were made of finely spun linen. 17 The bases for the posts were bronze, the hooks and bands were silver, and the plating for the tops of the posts was silver. So all the posts of the courtyard were banded with silver.
18 The curtain for the entrance to the courtyard was embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen. It was twenty cubits long f and, like the curtains of the courtyard, five cubits high, g 19 with four posts and four bronze bases. Their hooks were silver, as well as the bands and the plating of their tops. 20 All the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the surrounding courtyard were bronze.
An Inventory of Materials
(Ezra 2:68–70;Nehemiah 7:70–73)
21 This is the inventory for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the Testimony, as recorded at Moses’ command by the Levites under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. 22 Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything that the LORD had commanded Moses. 23 With him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, designer, and embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen.
25 The silver from those numbered among the congregation totaled 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, i according to the sanctuary shekel— 26 a beka per person, that is, half a shekel, j according to the sanctuary shekel, from everyone twenty years of age or older who had crossed over to be numbered, a total of 603,550 men.
29 The bronze from the wave offering totaled 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. m 30 He used it to make the bases for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar and its bronze grating, all the utensils for the altar, 31 the bases for the surrounding courtyard and its gate, and all the tent pegs for the tabernacle and its surrounding courtyard.
1 a Literally He constructed
1 b The altar was approximately 7.5 feet in length and width, and 4.5 feet high (2.3 meters in length and width, and 1.4 meters high).
9 c 100 cubits is approximately 150 feet or 45.7 meters.
12 d 50 cubits is approximately 75 feet or 22.9 meters.
14 e 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters.
18 f 20 cubits is approximately 30 feet or 9.1 meters.
18 g 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters.
24 h The total weight of the gold was approximately 1.1 tons or 1 metric ton.
25 i The total weight of the silver was approximately 3.79 tons or 3.44 metric tons.
26 j A beka is half a shekel, or approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams.
27 k 100 talents is approximately 3.77 tons or 3.42 metric tons of silver.
28 l 1,775 shekels is approximately 44.6 pounds or 20.2 kilograms of silver.
29 m The total weight of the bronze was approximately 2.67 tons or 2.42 metric tons.
1 From the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn they made specially woven garments for ministry in the sanctuary, as well as the holy garments for Aaron, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
2 Bezalel made a the ephod of finely spun linen embroidered with gold, and with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. 3 They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut threads from them to interweave with the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen—the work of a skilled craftsman. 4 They made shoulder pieces for the ephod, which were attached at two of its corners, so it could be fastened. 5 And the skillfully woven waistband of the ephod was of one piece with the ephod, of the same workmanship—with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
6 They mounted the onyx stones in gold filigree settings, engraved like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel. 7 Then they fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
8 He made the breastpiece with the same workmanship as the ephod, with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen. 9 It was square when folded over double, a span long and a span wide. b
The first row had a ruby, a topaz, and an emerald;
11 the second row had a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
12 the third row had a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
13 and the fourth row had a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
These stones were mounted in gold filigree settings.
14 The twelve stones corresponded to the names of the sons of Israel. Each stone was engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
15 For the breastpiece they made braided chains like cords of pure gold. 16 They also made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and fastened the two rings to the two corners of the breastpiece. 17 Then they fastened the two gold chains to the two gold rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 18 and they fastened the other ends of the two chains to the two filigree settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front.
19 They made two more gold rings and attached them to the other two corners of the breastpiece, on the inside edge next to the ephod.
20 They made two additional gold rings and attached them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on its front, near the seam just above its woven waistband. 21 Then they tied the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece was above the waistband of the ephod and would not swing out from the ephod, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Additional Priestly Garments
22 They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, the work of a weaver, 23 with an opening in the center of the robe like that of a garment, d with a collar around the opening so that it would not tear.
24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and finely spun linen on the lower hem of the robe. 25 They also made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates, 26 alternating the bells and pomegranates around the lower hem of the robe to be worn for ministry, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
27 For Aaron and his sons they made tunics of fine linen, the work of a weaver, 28 as well as the turban of fine linen, the ornate headbands and undergarments of finely spun linen, 29 and the sash of finely spun linen, embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
30 They also made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and they engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal:
HOLY TO THE LORD. e
31 Then they fastened to it a blue cord to mount it on the turban, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Moses Approves the Work
32 So all the work for the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses:
the tent with all its furnishings, its clasps, its frames, its crossbars, and its posts and bases;
36 the table with all its utensils and the Bread of the Presence;
37 the pure gold lampstand with its row of lamps and all its utensils, as well as the oil for the light;
38 the gold altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, and the curtain for the entrance to the tent;
39 the bronze altar with its bronze grating, its poles, and all its utensils;
the basin with its stand;
40 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases;
the curtain for the gate of the courtyard, its ropes and tent pegs, and all the equipment for the service of the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting;
41 and the woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests.
42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 43 And Moses inspected all the work and saw that they had accomplished it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them.
2 a Literally He made
9 b The breastpiece, when folded over, was approximately 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters in both length and width.
10 c The precise identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain.
23 d The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; possibly a coat of mail .
30 e That is, the LORD
34 f Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
35 g That is, the ark of the covenant
Setting Up the Tabernacle
(Acts 7:44–47; Hebrews 9:1–10)
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “On the first day of the first month you are to set up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting. 3 Put the ark of the Testimony a in it and screen off the ark with the veil. 4 Then bring in the table and set out its arrangement; bring in the lampstand as well, and set up its lamps.
5 Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the Testimony, and hang the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 6 Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting. 7 And place the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it.
8 Set up the surrounding courtyard and hang the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard.
9 Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it along with all its furnishings, and it shall be holy. 10 Anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it shall be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.
12 Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 13 And you are to clothe Aaron with the holy garments, anoint him, and consecrate him, so that he may serve Me as a priest. 14 Bring his sons forward and clothe them with tunics. 15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may also serve Me as priests. Their anointing will qualify them for a permanent priesthood throughout their generations.”
18 When Moses set up the tabernacle, he laid its bases, positioned its frames, inserted its crossbars, and set up its posts. 19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering over the tent, just as the LORD had commanded him.
20 Moses took the Testimony and placed it in the ark, attaching the poles to the ark;and he set the mercy seat atop the ark. 21 Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle, put up the veil for the screen, and shielded off the ark of the Testimony, just as the LORD had commanded him.
26 Moses placed the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting, in front of the veil, 27 and he burned fragrant incense on it, just as the LORD had commanded him. 28 Then he put up the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 29 He placed the altar of burnt offering near the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, just as the LORD had commanded him.
30 He placed the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing; 31 and from it Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and feet. 32 They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
33 And Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and the altar, and he hung the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard. So Moses finished the work.
The Cloud and the Glory
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was unable to enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36 Whenever the cloud was lifted from above the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out through all the stages of their journey. 37 If the cloud was not lifted, they would not set out until the day it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel through all their journeys.
3 a That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verses 5 and 21