Thus, the Tabernacle story was made to straddle the account of the golden calf—the instructions and the first testimony being given before the calf was made, and the second testimony, followed by the prompt execution of the task, after forgiveness was granted. Yet this is Moses’ eighth descent from the mountain, following his eighth meeting with God. And when Moses ascends to have the second set of tables inscribed, why is he given yet another covenant and another small collection of laws (Exodus 34:10–26), almost all of which duplicate the laws given earlier? In what has been preserved of the first part of this story, Moses climbs the mountain four times: (1) to report the people’s words (whatever they may have been) to the Lord. Moses enters the cloud, and God gives him, at great length, the instructions for building and furnishing the Tabernacle, preparing the vestments and performing the investiture of the priesthood, and consecrating the altar (Exodus 24:18, 25:8–31:17). The first mention is in Exodus 3:1 when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush in order to send him to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. (2) But only Moses shall come near the LORD; the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him at all.” (3) Moses came down and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the statutes, and the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the LORD has said we will do!” (4) Next Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD, arose early the next morning, and set up an altar at the foot of the mountain and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. At the beginning of the second year, as the fire cloud descends from Sinai, God takes up residence in the Tabernacle, filling the tent and finally shrinking into the divine throne room (Exodus 40:34–35).  Many scholars suggest that they were combined into one around the time of the return from the Babylonian Exile (fifth century B.C.E. Of course, he also comes down six times. There the account of these events (as everything else in Israel’s history) is contained in Moses’ farewell speech to the Israelites. 2 They pulled away from Rephidim and came to the wilderness of Siʹnai and camped in the wilderness. About two months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai and set up camp. (32) Afterwards all the Israelites came near, and Moses commanded them everything that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai. 2 They had set out from Rephidim and arrived at the desert of Sinai where they camped in the desert. Here's the Biblical account upon which it's based. The result of this, of course, was that in the combined account, Moses first receives the Tabernacle instructions when he climbs the mountain to get the first set of tablets, but he only conveys them to the people when he returns with the second set. [until 23:33]”. The covenant at Horeb included the Decalogue only; the only covenant made over a larger corpus of laws is made in the steppes of Moab, just before Moses dies (Deuteronomy 28:68). (16) The Majesty of the LORD abode on Mount Sinai, and the cloud hid it for six days. The process of reconstituting the original narratives is remarkably easy: Follow each story line according to its narrative flow, and when it is disrupted, search for where it seems to resume; learn to recognize its presuppositions, its stylistic features and vocabulary; pay attention to each story’s uniqueness, and avoid imposing on one story the events told in another; assume, unless the evidence is clearly otherwise, that the four stories have been preserved virtually in their entirety. 103–134. It was on Mount Sinai that God gave all of his commandments, first audibly to the people, and then to Moses. Like other J narratives in the Torah, the J passages here are characterized by bold anthropomorphism, with YHWH’s descent on the mountain (Exodus 19:20), the great danger of his bursting forth (Exodus 19:22), the explicit prohibition of gazing on him (Exodus 19:21), and the open references to his face, posterior and feet (Exodus 24:10, 33:23). The Lord comes down in the sight of all the people, but the different groups of participants, arranged in tiers, experience it in varying ways. He writes and lectures on the J, E, P and D documents, the uniqueness of each, and how they were compiled to create the five-book Torah. (8) All the people answered as one, saying, “Whatever the LORD says, we will do!” Moses brought back the people’s words to the LORD. (36) (Thenceforth, whenever the cloud would lift from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their various journeys; (37) but if the cloud did not lift, they would not set out until such time as it did lift.  The Ten Words are not the laws themselves, but rather a sampling of divine pronouncements, offered so that the people may hear the divine voice speak to a prophet (Exodus 19:9–20:14).. The second half of the verse says that Moses next conveyed the people’s response to God. One of the first things he is told is that the Tabernacle will serve as a place where God will meet him to impart his laws, so that he can transmit them to the Israelites (Exodus 25:22). To answer quite simply, the Jewish people—every man, woman and child—had an encounter with God. (10) The LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and have them remain pure today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothes. In P’s account the giving of the law depends on the prior establishment of the Tabernacle cult. Moses commits them … (6) Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and the other half he dashed against the altar. The LORD spoke to him from within the Tent of Meeting, saying: (2) “Speak to the Israelites and say to them, ‘When any you presents an offering….’”. When the Tabernacle is ready, all further revelation takes place there. Something went wrong while submitting the form. (5) He delegated some young men of the Israelites and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed bulls to the LORD as sacrifices of well-being. Moses descends and relays the laws to the people, again orally, and the people reaffirm their willingness to comply—this time knowing full well what they are agreeing to. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, (6) but I shall have you as My kingdom of priests and holy nation.’ These are the words you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (7) Moses came down and summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all the words that the LORD had commanded him. During that exchange, God promised, "I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people … 10.) The biblical version, however, is much less familiar, even to many devoted readers of the Hebrew Bible—perhaps because it is much more difficult to follow. The people are charged to stand back and watch; they witness fire, smoke and the trembling of the mountain, but they are not to attempt to gaze at YHWH. Beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.” (14) Moses came down from the mountain to the people and warned the people to stay pure, and they washed their clothes. One after another, the laws are conveyed to Moses in a long speech (Exodus 20:19–23:19), ending with words of promise and exhortation (Exodus 23:20–33). All subsequent scholarship uses Wellhausen as the starting point, accepting or rejecting various aspects of his construction; see Victor Hurowitz, “P—Understanding the Priestly Source,” BR12:03; Moshe Weinfeld, “Deuteronomy’s Theological Revolution,” BR 12:01; and the works cited in note 4 and their bibliographies. (22) There I will meet with you, and I will tell you, from above the cover, from between the two cherubim that are on top of the ark of the testimony, all that I have to command you for the Israelites.”…. God called Moses up Mount Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments. In E, Moses climbs up the mountain six times: (2) to convey the people’s acceptance and receive instructions for the verbal revelation. 185–198, and Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978; reprint, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1985), pp. (20) You shall make no other gods with Me….. (1) And these are the statues you shall set before them…. E, or the Elohistic source, is so named because it insists that God was known as Elohim until the tetragrammaton was revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:15). The laws and statutes, orally presented to them, are written down by Moses in a document called the “Book of the Covenant” (Exodus 24:4, 7). (19) The blare of the horn grew louder and louder. (33) When he finished telling them, he put a veil over his face. For all its detail, this lengthy narrative abounds in incongruities and other difficulties. Thus, when the meeting ends and Moses receives the tablets and is ready to descend, God must first give him the bad news that the Israelites have strayed from the path of faithfulness and that he has resolved to destroy them. Thus the impression was created that it amounted to a repetition of the law, though this too is never stated in the text. The thick clouds created darkness and there was loud thunder and lightning with a long blast of a trumpet. Moses assembles the people and reports to them, ordering them to supply the needed materials and build the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:1–19). (14) To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. (34) (Thenceforth, whenever Moses would go in to the presence of the LORD to speak with Him, he would leave the veil off until he came out; when he had come out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, (35) the Israelites would see how radiant the skin of Moses’ face was. The Priestly version seems to have served as the framework. It is no less significant for this. They said, “Everything that the LORD has said we will do and obey!” (8) Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has hereby made with you over all these words.” (9) So Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel ascended, (10) and they saw the God of Israel. Yahweh revealed Himself to Moses here and communicated the Ten Commandments and other laws … All this seems to occur in one day. Extensive measures are necessary to prevent them from storming the mountain, since this would have fatal consequences. (2) But only Moses shall come near the LORD; the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him at all.”, (3) Moses came down and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the statutes, and the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the LORD has said we will do!” (4) Next Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD, arose early the next morning, and set up an altar at the foot of the mountain and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses descends Sinai not once but eight times, and more and more laws keep coming all the time. 25–37. Rather, it is a similar but competing account, contradicting E not only in its view of how Israel received the laws but also, and primarily, in the laws themselves, which differ in scope, in underlying viewpoint and in substance from the laws given in E. The same is true of the other accounts.  The translation is based on that found in: Tanakh—The Holy Scriptures, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1985; I have deviated from it when necessary. He explains the source of his fearsome radiance to Aaron and the tribal chiefs, who coax the people to return and face Moses. Schwartz’s subsequent work and scholarly publications show that on a few points in the analysis his opinion has evolved over the years. 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