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lightnings, and the sound of a trumpet exceeding loud. And the whole of Mount Sinai was on a smoke, and the sound of the trumpet waxed louder and louder. Moses stood on the mount before God, and all the people stood below in clean washed garments, fearing and trembling.
And God spake all these words, saying, "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
"Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt
THE GIVING OF THE LAW.
not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." b
And all the people saw the lightnings, and the mountain smoking; and they heard the thunderings, and the voice of the trumpet; and when they saw it they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear but let not God speak with us, lest we die." c And the Lord said to Moses, "Oh that they had such a heart to fear me and to keep my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children for ever."
And Moses went up in the midst of the cloud to the top of the mount, and remained there forty days and forty nights. And when the Lord had finished speaking with Moses, he gave him the two tables of the covenant, made of stone, and written with the finger of God.
So Moses descended from the mountain, carrying in his hands the two tables of testimony which God had written. But, alas! what had Moses to behold when he came near the camp! The people had made an image of a calf, and were dancing round it with music and with singing. Then Moses was very angry, and threw the tables in wrath out of his hands, and they were broken beneath the mountain. And he said to Aaron, "What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?" And Aaron
b Exod. xx. 1–17.
c Exod. xx. 19.
said, "Let not the anger of my lord wax hot : thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” d
And Moses took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto God, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." And the Lord said unto Moses, "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless, in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them." e And the Lord said unto him,
"Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount." f
So Moses was again forty days and forty nights with the Lord on the mount; and during all that
d Exod. xxxii. 19-24.
e Exod. xxxii. 30-35.
f Exod. xxxiv. 1, 2.
CIVIL AND CEREMONIAL LAWS.
time he ate and drank nothing. And the Lord wrote upon the two tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
25. CIVIL AND CEREMONIAL LAWS.
THE commands which God gave to his people extended to their whole public and domestic life. Unwholesome species of food were forbidden, under the title of "unclean." The regulations concerning marriages and inheritance; the directions respecting the cultivation of the land, and the feeding of the flocks; the laws concerning the punishment of theft, murder, and other offences; the rules of war; the mutual rights of fathers and children, of widows and orphans, of the poor, the blind, the deaf, and of slaves, were all laid down in the minutest manner. Even birds' nests, fruit
trees, and the oxen that threshed out the corn were not forgotten. "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." "Thou shalt not hurt any fruit trees." "When thou findest a bird's nest, thou shalt not take the mother with the young ones; but thou shalt let the mother go, that it may go well with thee as long as thou livest." "When thou seest an ox or an ass lying down under his burden, thou shalt help him up." "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God."
The tribe of Levi, to which Moses belonged, had special privileges given to it. The children of Moses, indeed, received no privilege above the rest of the tribe. But to Aaron his brother, and his descendants, the priesthood was given; and out of the tribe of Levi the teachers and physicians, and more especially the rulers and officers of the people, were taken.
Aaron himself was solemnly anointed as High Priest, and clothed with the priestly garments; and a magnificent tabernacle was constructed for the worship of God. In the golden ark, which stood in the inner chamber of the tabernacle, the most holy place, the tables of stone were preserved on which God himself had written his law. Into the fore chamber of the tabernacle, the sanctuary, the high-priest daily brought incense with prayers before God. A large outer court surrounded the tabernacle, in which stood the altar of burnt offering, where the priests offered the sacrifices of the people.
There appears to have existed among the people some old customary sacrifices, to which they were much attached. These God did not entirely abo