Exodus 17; Exodus 18; Exodus 19

Water from the Rock

17 wAll the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. xTherefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, Give us water to drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you ytest the Lord? But the people thirsted there for water, and zthe people grumbled against Moses and said, Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst? So Moses cried to the Lord, What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready ato stone me. And the Lord said to Moses, Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with bwhich you struck the Nile, and go. cBehold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink. And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place dMassah1 and eMeribah,2 because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, Is the Lord among us or not?

Israel Defeats Amalek

fThen Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to gJoshua, Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with hthe staff of God in my hand. 10 So gJoshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and iHur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses jheld up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and iHur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And gJoshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of gJoshua, that kI will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses lbuilt an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner, 16 saying, A hand upon the throne3 of the Lord! kThe Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.


Jethro’s Advice

18 mJethro, nthe priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, along with her otwo sons. The name of the one was Gershom (pfor he said, qI have been a sojourner1 in a foreign land), and the name of the other, Eliezer2 (for he said, The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the rmountain of God. And when he sent word to Moses, I,3 your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her, Moses swent out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and tkissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law uall that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

10 Jethro said, vBlessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that wthe Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they xdealt arrogantly with the people.4 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law ybefore God.

13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening? 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, Because zthe people come to me to inquire of God; 16 awhen they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I bmake them know the statutes of God and his laws. 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. cYou are not able to do it alone. 19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall drepresent the people before God and ebring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know fthe way in which they must walk and gwhat they must do. 21 Moreover, look for hable men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And ilet them judge the people at all times. jEvery great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will kbear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be lable to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.

24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 mMoses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And nthey judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and ohe went away to his own country.


Israel at Mount Sinai

19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they pcame into the wilderness of Sinai. They set out from qRephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before rthe mountain, while sMoses went up to God. tThe Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: uYou yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how vI bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be wmy treasured possession among all peoples, for xall the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a ykingdom of priests and za holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.

So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. aAll the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do. And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I am coming to you bin a thick cloud, that cthe people may hear when I speak with you, and may also dbelieve you forever.

When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, Go to the people and econsecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them fwash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day gthe Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. hWhoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot;1 whether beast or man, he shall not live. When ithe trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain. 14 So Moses jwent down from the mountain to the people and econsecrated the people; fand they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, Be ready for the kthird day; ldo not go near a woman.

16 On the morning of the kthird day there were mthunders and lightnings and na thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud otrumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp ptrembled. 17 Then qMoses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now rMount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and sthe whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the osound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and tGod answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord uto look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord vconsecrate themselves, lest the Lord wbreak out against them. 23 And Moses said to the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, xSet limits around the mountain and consecrate it. 24 And the Lord said to him, Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people ybreak through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them. 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.