The Covenant Ceremony
1Then he said to Moses, “Go up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders, and bow in worship at a distance. 2Moses alone is to approach the Lord, but the others are not to approach, and the people are not to go up with him.”
3Moses came and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. Then all the people responded with a single voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has commanded.” 4And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early the next morning and set up an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel at the base of the mountain. 5Then he sent out young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6Moses took half the blood and set it in basins; the other half of the blood he splattered on the altar. 7He then took the covenant scroll and read it aloud to the people. They responded, “We will do and obey all that the Lord has commanded.”
8Moses took the blood, splattered it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.”
9Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders, 10and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. 11God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw him, and they ate and drank.
12The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay there so that I may give you the stone tablets with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
13So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua and went up the mountain of God. 14He told the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15When Moses went up the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moses from the cloud. 17The appearance of the Lord’s glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop. 18Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.