Study Guide

Book of Exodus Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

The Holy Zone

  • Three months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites arrive at Sinai.
  • God tells Moses to assemble everyone for a big announcement. But one thing: they can't come up onto the mountain (where Moses chats with God) or they'll die. Noted.
  • Everyone washes up to look nice for the party.
  • God descends upon the mountain in fire, smoke, and eerily loud trumpet blasts. 
  • God tells Moses, "Do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the Lord; otherwise he will break out against them" (19:24). Notice here that access to God is restricted to the few. For a guy who wants to adopt these people as his own, God doesn't seem to want to get too close to them.

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