G-d Proclaims the Jewish People!

From the Torah portion of the week

The Second Book of Moses (The Hebrew Bible), Shemos (Exodus)

Parsha (Chapter) Yisro (The Midianite, The Father-in-law of Moses)


G-d Proclaims the Jewish People!

19.3   Moshe ascended to God (on the second day of the month, early in the morning). God called to him from the mountain, saying, “You should say the following to the house of Yaacov (i.e. the women) and tell the same thing in a more explicit manner, stressing the punishment and fine details) to the sons of Israel (i.e. the men):

4   ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I gathered you together in a short period of time, and I protected you through the angel of God, as if you were carried on eagles’ wings, and brought you to My service.

5  Now, if you listen to Me and keep My covenant (through observing Torah), you will be a precious treasure to me among all the peoples, for the whole earth is mine and  the other nations are like nothing to Me.

6  You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation

“These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel, (no more and no less).” |

7  Moshe returned and summoned the elders of Israel and placed before them all these words that God had commanded him.

8  All the people replied in unison and said, “Everything that God has said we shall do!

(On the third day) Moshe (ascended the mountain once again and) conveyed the words of the people back to God

9  God said to Moshe, “Look!  I  am going to come (down) to you in a fog (within its deepest part) order that the people hear when I speak to you, and they will also believe in you (and the prophets will follow you) forever.”

Moshe returned to relay God’s words and, on the fourth day, he ascended to relay the people’s reply to God (that they did not wish merely to overhear God speaking to Moshe, but they wanted to hear God directly).


God spoke all the Ten Commandments in one single utterance. He then went back and spoke each one individually.

The Jewish people responded  “Yes” to the positive commands and “No” to the prohibitions

2  “I am God, the God of everyone of you. Who took you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage”

3  “You shall not possess an idol of other deities (so long as I exist).

4  “You shall not make to yourself a sculptured image or any picture of that which is in the heavens above, which is on earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.”

5  “You shall not bow down nor worship them, for I, God, your God, am a God Who is zealous to enact punishment visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who continue in their fathers’ ways to hate Me.”

6  “But I act kindly to those who love those who keep My commandments for two thousand generations.”

7  “You shall not take the name of God, your God, in vain, for God will not absolve anyone who takes His name in vain.”

8  “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.”

9   “Six days may you work and perform all”

10  “But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. You shall perform no labor, nor your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your convert who is within your gates.”

11  For in six days God made the heaven, the earth and the sea and all that is within them — and he rested on the seventh day and sanctified it by not bringing the manna to fall on Friday.

12. “Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days will be lengthened on the land that God, your God, is giving you.

 13   “You shall not murder.”

“You shaft not commit adultery.”

“You shall not steal people  ( i.e. kidnap).”

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

14  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,  his manservant,  his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor.”

15  All the people could see the sounds (which God spoke), the torches, the sound of the shofar and  the smoking mountain. The people saw and they trembled.

16  They said to Moshe, “You speak to us, and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us lest we die!”

17  Moshe said to the people, “Fear not for God has come in order to promote your reputation throughout the world and in order that having seen His awe, you will know there is no other than Him, so you will not sin.”

18  The people remained a long way off. Moshe drew near first through  the darkness then through  the clouds and deeper still to the fog where God was.


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