ABOUT two months after they leave Egypt, the Israelites come to Mount Siʹnai, which is also called Hoʹreb. This is the same place where Jehovah spoke to Moses from the burning bush. The people camp here and stay for a while.
As the people wait below, Moses climbs the mountain. Up there on top of the mountain, Jehovah tells Moses that He wants the Israelites to obey Him and to become His special people. When Moses comes down, he tells the Israelites what Jehovah has said. And the people say that they will obey Jehovah, because they want to be his people.
Jehovah now does a strange thing. He makes the top of the mountain smoke, and causes loud thunder. He also speaks to the people: ‘I am Jehovah your God who brought you out of Egypt.’ Then he commands: ‘You must not worship any other gods except me.’
God gives the Israelites nine more commandments, or laws. The people are very afraid. They tell Moses: ‘You speak to us, because we are afraid that if God speaks to us we may die.’
Later Jehovah tells Moses: ‘Come up to me in the mountain. I will give you two flat stones on which I have written the laws that I want the people to keep.’ So Moses again goes up into the mountain. For 40 days and nights he stays there.
God has many, many laws for his people. Moses writes these laws down. God also gives Moses the two flat stones. On these, God himself has written the 10 laws that he spoke to all the people. They are called the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments are important laws. But so are the many other laws that God gives the Israelites. One of these laws is: ‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul and your whole strength.’ And another is: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ God’s Son, Jesus Christ, said that these are the two greatest laws that Jehovah gave to his people Israel. Later we will learn many things about God’s Son and his teachings.
Exodus 19:1-25; 20:1-21; 24:12-18; 31:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:36-40.