This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 3 (of 5) in Section 3: "The life and leadership of Moses".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
Psalm 66 (NLT)
1 For the choir director: A psalm. A song.
Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
2 Sing about the glory of his name!
Tell the world how glorious he is.
3 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
4 Everything on earth will worship you;
they will sing your praises,
shouting your name in glorious songs."
5 Come and see what our God has done,
what awesome miracles he does for his people!
6 He made a dry path through the Red Sea,
and his people went across on foot.
Come, let us rejoice in who he is.
7 For by his great power he rules forever.
He watches every movement of the nations;
let no rebel rise in defiance.
8 Let the whole world bless our God
and sing aloud his praises.
Exodus chapter 15 (TEV)
22 Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea into the desert of Shur. For three days they walked through the desert, but found no water. 23 Then they came to a place called Marah, but the water there was so bitter that they could not drink it. That is why it was named Marah. 24 The people complained to Moses and asked, "What are we going to drink?" 25 Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood, which he threw into the water; and the water became fit to drink.
There the Lord gave them laws to live by, and there he also tested them. 26 He said, "If you will obey me completely by doing what I consider right and by keeping my commands, I will not punish you with any of the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians. I am the Lord, the one who heals you."
27 Next they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees; there they camped by the water.
Exodus chapter 16 (NLT)
1 Then they left Elim and journeyed into the Sin Desert, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there a month after leaving Egypt. 2 There, too, the whole community of Israel spoke bitterly against Moses and Aaron. 3 "Oh, that we were back in Egypt," they moaned. "It would have been better if the LORD had killed us there! At least there we had plenty to eat. But now you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death." 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 Tell them to pick up twice as much as usual on the sixth day of each week."
6 Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them,
"In the evening you will realize that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
7 In the morning you will see the glorious presence of the LORD.
He has heard your complaints, which are against the LORD and not against us.
8 The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him.
Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us."
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say this to the entire community of Israel: 'Come into the LORD's presence, and hear his reply to your complaints.'" 10 And as Aaron spoke to the people, they looked out toward the desert. Within the guiding cloud, they could see the awesome glory of the LORD.
Exodus chapter 16 (TEV)
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the complaints of the Israelites. Tell them that at twilight they will have meat to eat, and in the morning they will have all the bread they want. Then they will know that I, the Lord, am their God."
13 In the evening a large flock of quails flew in, enough to cover the camp, and in the morning there was dew all around the camp. 14 When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they didn't know what it was and asked each other, "What is it?"
Moses said to them, "This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two quarts for each member of his household."
17 The Israelites did this, some gathering more, others less. 18 When they measured it, those who gathered much did not have too much, and those who gathered less did not have too little. Each had gathered just what he needed. 19 Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it for tomorrow." 20 But some of them did not listen to Moses and saved part of it. The next morning it was full of worms and smelled rotten, and Moses was angry with them. 21 Every morning each one gathered as much as he needed; and when the sun grew hot, what was left on the ground melted.
22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts for each person. All the leaders of the community came and told Moses about it, 23 and he said to them, "The Lord has commanded that tomorrow is a holy day of rest, dedicated to him. Bake today what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Whatever is left should be put aside and kept for tomorrow." 24 As Moses had commanded, they kept what was left until the next day; it did not spoil or get worms in it. 25 Moses said, "Eat this today, because today is the Sabbath, a day of rest dedicated to the Lord, and you will not find any food outside the camp. 26 You must gather food for six days, but on the seventh day, the day of rest, there will be none." 27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather food, but they did not find any. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, "How much longer will you people refuse to obey my commands? 29 Remember that I, the Lord, have given you a day of rest, and that is why on the sixth day I will always give you enough food for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day and not leave his home." 30 So the people did no work on the seventh day.
31 The people of Israel called the food manna. It was like a small white seed, and tasted like thin cakes made with honey.
32 Moses said, "The Lord has commanded us to save some manna, to be kept for our descendants, so that they can see the food which he gave us to eat in the desert when he brought us out of Egypt." 33 Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar, put two quarts of manna in it, and place it in the Lord's presence to be kept for our descendants." 34 As the Lord had commanded Moses, Aaron put it in front of the Covenant Box, so that it could be kept. 35 The Israelites ate manna for the next forty years, until they reached the land of Canaan, where they settled.
Exodus chapter 17 (TEV)
1 The whole Israelite community left the desert of Sin, moving from one place to another at the command of the Lord. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there to drink. 2 They complained to Moses and said, "Give us water to drink."
Moses answered, "Why are you complaining? Why are you putting the Lord to the test?" 3 But the people were very thirsty and continued to complain to Moses. They said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt? To kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"
4 Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord and said, "What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me." 5 The Lord said to Moses, "Take some of the leaders of Israel with you, and go on ahead of the people. Take along the stick with which you struck the Nile. 6 I will stand before you on a rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." Moses did so in the presence of the leaders of Israel.
7 The place was named Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites complained and put the Lord to the test when they asked, "Is the Lord with us or not?"
Exodus chapter 17 (GWT)
8 The Amalekites fought Israel at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men. Then fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill. I will hold in my hand the staff God told me to take along."
10 Joshua did as Moses told him and fought the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel would win, but as soon as he put his hands down, the Amalekites would start to win. 12 Eventually, Moses' hands felt heavy. So Aaron and Hur took a rock, put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron held up one hand, and Hur held up the other. His hands remained steady until sunset. 13 So Joshua defeated the Amalekite army in battle.
14 The LORD said to Moses, "Write this reminder on a scroll, and make sure that Joshua hears it, too: I will completely erase any memory of the Amalekites from the earth." 15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD Is My Banner. 16 He said, "Because a hand was lifted against the LORD's throne, he will be at war against the Amalekites from one generation to the next."
Exodus chapter 18 (TEV)
1 Moses' father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard about everything that God had done for Moses and the people of Israel when he led them out of Egypt. 2 So he came to Moses, bringing with him Moses' wife Zipporah, who had been left behind, 3 and Gershom and Eliezer, her two sons. (Moses had said, "I have been a foreigner in a strange land"; so he had named one son Gershom. 4 He had also said, "The God of my father helped me and saved me from being killed by the king of Egypt"; so he had named the other son Eliezer.) 5 Jethro came with Moses' wife and her two sons into the desert where Moses was camped at the holy mountain. 6 He had sent word to Moses that they were coming, 7 so Moses went out to meet him, bowed before him, and kissed him. They asked about each other's health and then went into Moses' tent. 8 Moses told Jethro everything that the Lord had done to the king and the people of Egypt in order to rescue the Israelites. He also told him about the hardships the people had faced on the way and how the Lord had saved them.
9 When Jethro heard all this, he was happy 10 and said, "Praise the Lord, who saved you from the king and the people of Egypt! Praise the Lord, who saved his people from slavery! 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods, because he did this when the Egyptians treated the Israelites with such contempt."
12 Then Jethro brought an offering to be burned whole and other sacrifices to be offered to God; and Aaron and all the leaders of Israel went with him to eat the sacred meal as an act of worship.
Exodus chapter 18 (GWT)
13 The next day Moses was settling disagreements among the people. The people stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses' father-in-law saw everything Moses was doing for the people, he asked, "Why are you doing this for the people? Why do you sit here alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?"
15 Moses answered his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to find out God's will. 16 Whenever they have a disagreement and bring it to me, I decide which person is right, and I tell them God's laws and instructions." 17 Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you're doing is not good. 18 You and your people will wear yourselves out. This is too much work for you. You can't do it alone! 19 Now listen to me, and I'll give you some advice. May God be with you! You must be the people's representative to God and bring their disagreements to him. 20 You must instruct them in the laws and the teachings, show them how to live, and tell them what to do.
21 "But choose capable men from all the people, men who fear God, men you can trust, men who hate corruption. Put them in charge of groups of 1,000, or 100, or 50, or 10 people. 22 Let them be the ones who usually settle disagreements among the people. They should bring all important cases to you, but they should settle all minor cases themselves. Make it easier for yourself by letting them help you. 23 If God commands you, and you do this, you will be able to continue your work, and all these people will have their disagreements settled so that they can go home."
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 Moses chose capable men from all the Israelites and put them in charge of groups of 1,000, or 100, or 50, or 10 people. 26 These men were the ones who usually settled disagreements among the people. They would bring difficult cases to Moses, but they settled all minor ones themselves.
27 Moses sent his father-in-law on his way. So Jethro went back to his own country.
Exodus chapter 19 (TEV)
1 The people of Israel left Rephidim, and on the first day of the third month after they had left Egypt they came to the desert of Sinai. There they set up camp at the foot of Mount Sinai, 3 and Moses went up the mountain to meet with God.
The Lord called to him from the mountain and told him to say to the Israelites, Jacob's descendants:
4 "You saw what I, the Lord, did to the Egyptians and how I carried you as an eagle carries her young on her wings, and brought you here to me. 5 Now, if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own people. The whole earth is mine, but you will be my chosen people, 6 a people dedicated to me alone, and you will serve me as priests."
7 So Moses went down and called the leaders of the people together and told them everything that the Lord had commanded him. 8 Then all the people answered together, "We will do everything that the Lord has said," and Moses reported this to the Lord. 9 The Lord said to Moses, "I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will believe you from now on."
Moses told the Lord what the people had answered, 10 and the Lord said to him, "Go to the people and tell them to spend today and tomorrow purifying themselves for worship. They must wash their clothes 11 and be ready the day after tomorrow. On that day I will come down on Mount Sinai, where all the people can see me.
Exodus chapter 19 (NIV)
12 "Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, 'Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.' Only when the ram's horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain."
14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, "Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations."
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.
17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the LORD , must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them."
23 Moses said to the LORD , "The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, 'Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.' " 24 The LORD replied, "Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the LORD , or he will break out against them." 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
Exodus chapter 20 (NLT)
1 Then God instructed the people as follows:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
18 All the people heard the thunder and saw the lightning. They heard the blast of the ram's horn and saw the mountain covered with smoke. So they shook with fear and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we'll listen. But don't let God speak to us, or we'll die!" 20 Moses answered the people, "Don't be afraid! God has come only to test you, so that you will be in awe of him and won't sin." 21 The people kept their distance while Moses went closer to the dark cloud where God was.
Exodus Chapter 25 (TEV)
1 The Lord said to Moses,
8 The people must make a sacred Tent for me, so that I may live among them. 9 Make it and all its furnishings according to the plan that I will show you.
10 "Make a Box out of acacia wood, 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. 11 Cover it with pure gold inside and out and put a gold border all around it. 16 Then put in the Box the two stone tablets that I will give you, on which the commandments are written.
17 "Make a lid of pure gold, 45 inches long and 27 inches wide.
Exodus chapter 30 (TEV)
1 "Make an altar out of acacia wood, for burning incense. 6 Put this altar outside the curtain which hangs in front of the Covenant Box. That is the place where I will meet you.
Hebrews chapter 11 (NLT)
23 It was by faith that Moses' parents hid him for three months. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid of what the king might do.
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him.
27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
Hebrews chapter 12 (NLT)
18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai when God gave them his laws. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice with a message so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God's command: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death." 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, "I am terrified and trembling." 22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to thousands of angels in joyful assembly. 23 You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge of all people. And you have come to the spirits of the redeemed in heaven who have now been made perfect.
24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did.
25 See to it that you obey God, the one who is speaking to you. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, how terrible our danger if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: "Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also." 27 This means that the things on earth will be shaken, so that only eternal things will be left. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
The next file in this section (Part 4), is entitled "God's Judgment On The Israelites For Disobedience In The Desert".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
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