Reading 25/341, Exodus 33-35

After the disaster of yesterday's reading, the Lord threatens to abandon Israel. Instead they reconcile with him through the intercession of Moses and begin again.

...Exodus...

The Lord spoke to Moses, "Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your seed.' I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey, but I will not go up in the midst of you, lest I consume you in the way, for you are a stiff-necked people." When the people heard this evil news, they mourned, and no one put on their jewelry. The Lord said to Moses, "Tell the children of Israel, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up in your midst for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry, that I may know what to do to you.'" The children of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.

Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it "The tent of meeting." It happened that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. It happened that when Moses went out to the Tent all the people rose up and stood at their tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the Tent. It happened, when Moses entered into the Tent, that the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and spoke with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped at their tent door. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses returned again to the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart out of the Tent.

Moses said to the Lord, "Behold, you tell me, 'Bring up this people', 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 also found favor in my sight.' Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me your ways now, that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight. And consider that this nation as your people." He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." He said to him, "If your presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here. For how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not because you go with us, so that we are separate, I and your people, from all the people who are on the surface of the earth?" The Lord said to Moses, "I will do this thing also that you have said, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."

Moses said, "Please show me your glory." He said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." He said, "You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live. The Lord also said, "Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock. It will happen, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face shall not be seen.

The Lord said to Moses, "Chisel two stone tablets like the first: and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you; nor let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; nor let the flocks nor the herds feed by that mountain." He chiseled two tablets of stone like the first, and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two stone tablets. The Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, "The Lord! The Lord! A merciful and gracious God! Slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth! Keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin, but will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children's children, on the third and on the fourth generation!" Moses hurried and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. He said, "If now I have found favor in your sight, Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us; although this is a stiff-necked people; pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance."

The Lord said, "Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been worked in all the earth, nor in any nation, and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord; for it is an awesome thing that I do with you. Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Be careful, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be for a snare in the midst of you, but you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and you shall cut down their Asherim; for you shall worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, lest they play the prostitute after their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and one call you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters to your sons, and their daughters play the prostitute after their gods, and make your sons play the prostitute after their gods. You shall make no cast idols for yourselves.”

“You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib; for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. All that opens the womb is mine, and all your livestock that is male, the firstborn of cow and sheep. The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. No one shall appear before me emptyhanded. Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest: in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. You shall observe the feast of weeks with the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of harvest at the year's end. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, nor shall any man desire your land when you go up to appear before the Lord, your God, three times in the year. You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; nor shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left to the morning. You shall bring the first of the first fruits of your land to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a kid goat in its mother's milk.”

The Lord said to Moses, "Write these words: for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. It happened, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand as he came down from the mountain, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with him. When Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them all of the commandments that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. When Moses was done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out, and he came out and spoke to the children of Israel what he was commanded. The children of Israel saw Moses' face, that the skin of Moses' face shone, and Moses put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said to them, "These are the words which the Lord has commanded, that you should do them. 'Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord: whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.'" Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, "This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, 'Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, the Lord's offering: gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair, rams' skins dyed red, fine leather, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate. Let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded, the tent, its outer covering, its roof, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; the ark, and its poles, the mercy seat, the veil of the screen; the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the show bread; the lampstand also for the light, with its vessels, its lamps, and the oil for the light, and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the screen for the door, at the door of the tent; the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, it poles, and all its vessels, the basin and its base; the hangings of the court, its pillars, their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; the pins of the tent, the pins of the court, and their cords; the finely worked garments, for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.'"

All the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. They came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and brought the Lord's offering, for the work of the tent of meeting, and for all of its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought brooches, earrings, signet rings, and armlets, all jewels of gold; everyone who could offered an offering of gold to the Lord. Everyone, with whom was found blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair, rams' skins dyed red, and fine leather, brought them. Everyone who could offer an offering of silver and bronze brought the Lord's offering, and everyone, with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. All the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats' hair. The rulers brought the onyx stones, and the stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastplate, and the spice, and the oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the Lord; every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by Moses. Moses said to the children of Israel, "Behold, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to make skillful works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of skillful workmanship. He has put in his heart the ability to teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do any workmanship, and of those who make skillful works.

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