Israel at Mt Sinai

Livingstone, in Africa, came to the Zambezi, and wanted to cross. The chief had been mistreated by some treacherous trader, and had vowed to kill the next white man who came across. Livingstone, by his fluttering candle, turned to the Bible and read, as always, his evening passag … More


Three months after the Exodus from Egypt the children of Israel entered the Desert of Sinai and  camped near Mount Sinai (v. 1). We do not know the exact location of Mount Sinai but it is thought to be Jebel Musa in the Southern part of what is known today as the Sinai Peninsula. This is also thought to be the same place where God appeared unto Moses in the burning bush.

As the Israelites camped here Moses went up the mountain where God spoke to him about a new covenant that he wanted the people to agree to (vv. 2-3).  If they would accept and obey the covenant stipulations God promised to give them protection and favor (vv. 4-6). When Moses went back down the mountain and informed the people about God’s Covenant the people quickly affirmed they would keep it (vv. 7-8). How easy it is to promise something, but so difficult to carry through. The Lord told Moses that He was going to come in a think cloud and speak to him and to let the people hear what He has to say to him(v. 9).

Moses again went up the mountain to relate to God the people’s acceptance of the proposed Covenant. At this point God ordered the people to separate themselves from impurity and to consecrate themselves to Him through a three day purification ritual prior to the giving of the Covenant (vv. 10-15). The people are warned not to touch any part of the mountain and if they do they will be put to death (v. 12).


It is easy to make a promise to God about something but it is not so easy to follow through with that promise. God always keeps his promises but it is easy for me to fail to keep mine.

Exodus 19:1-13 (English Standard Version)

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