The LORD also spoke to Moses:
"Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
I have filled him with God's Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft
to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze,
to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft.
I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have placed wisdom within every skilled craftsman in order to make all that I have commanded you:
the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on top of it, and all the [other] furnishings of the tent--
the table with its utensils, the pure [gold] lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense,
the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin with its stand--
the specially woven garments, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests,
the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense for the sanctuary. They must make [them] according to all that I have commanded you."
The LORD said to Moses:
"Tell the Israelites: You must observe My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the LORD who sets you apart.
Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people.
For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
It is a sign forever between Me and the Israelites, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."
When He finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.
When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt-- we don't know what has happened to him!"
Then Aaron replied to them, "Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring [them] to me."
So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought [them] to Aaron.
He took [the gold] from their hands, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf. Then they said, "Israel, this is your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!"
When Aaron saw [this], he built an altar before it; then he made an announcement: "There will be a festival to the LORD tomorrow."
Early the next morning they arose, offered burnt offerings, and presented fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, then got up to revel.
The LORD spoke to Moses: "Go down at once! For your people you brought up from the land of Egypt have acted corruptly.
They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them; they have made for themselves an image of a calf. They have bowed down to it, sacrificed to it, and said, 'Israel, this is your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.'"
The LORD also said to Moses: "I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people.
Now leave Me alone, so that My anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."
But Moses interceded with the LORD his God: "LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand?
Why should the Egyptians say, 'He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from Your great anger and change Your mind about this disaster [planned] for Your people.
Remember that You swore to Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel by Yourself and declared to them, 'I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit [it] forever.'"
So the LORD changed His mind about the disaster He said He would bring on His people.
Then Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides-- inscribed front and back.
The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was God's writing, engraved on the tablets.
When Joshua heard the sound of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a sound of war in the camp."
But Moses replied: It's not the sound of a victory cry and not the sound of a cry of defeat; I hear the sound of singing!
As he approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses became enraged and threw the tablets out of his hands, smashing them at the base of the mountain.
Then he took the calf they had made, burned [it] up, and ground [it] to powder. He scattered [the powder] over the surface of the water and forced the Israelites to drink [the water].
Then Moses asked Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have led them into [such] a grave sin?"
"Don't be enraged, my lord," Aaron replied. "You yourself know that the people are [intent] on evil.
They said to me, 'Make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt-- we don't know what has happened to him!'
So I said to them, 'Whoever has gold, take it off,' and they gave [it] to me. When I threw it into the fire, out came this calf!"
Moses saw that the people were out of control, for Aaron had let them get out of control, so that they would be vulnerable to their enemies.
And Moses stood at the camp's entrance and said, "Whoever is for the LORD, [come] to me." And all the Levites gathered around him.
He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'Every man fasten his sword to his side; go back and forth through the camp from entrance to entrance, and each of you kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.'"
The Levites did as Moses commanded, and about 3,000 men fell dead that day among the people.
Afterwards Moses said, "Today you have been dedicated to the LORD, since each man went against his son and his brother. Therefore you have brought a blessing on yourselves today."
The following day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. Now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I will be able to pay for your sin."
So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, this people has committed a great sin; they have made for themselves a god of gold.
Now if You would only forgive their sin. But if not, please erase me from the book You have written."
The LORD replied to Moses: "Whoever has sinned against Me I will erase from My book.
Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about; see, My angel will go before you. But on the day I settle accounts, I will hold them accountable for their sin."
And the LORD inflicted a plague on the people for what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
The LORD spoke to Moses: "Go, leave here, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your offspring.
I will send an angel ahead of you and will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
[Go up] to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way."
When the people heard this bad news, they mourned and didn't put on their jewelry.
For the LORD said to Moses: "Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. If I went with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you."
So the Israelites stripped of their jewelry from Mount Horeb [onward].
Now Moses took a tent and set it up outside the camp, far away from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult the LORD would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand up, each one at the door of his tent, and they would watch Moses until he entered the tent.
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance to the tent, and [the LORD] would speak with Moses.
As all the people saw the pillar of cloud remaining at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up, then bow in worship, each one at the door of his tent.
The LORD spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his assistant, the young man Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the inside of the tent.
Moses said to the LORD, "Look, You have told me, 'Lead this people up,' but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. You said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.'
Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You and find favor in Your sight. Now consider that this nation is Your people."
Then He replied, "My presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest."
"If Your presence does not go," Moses responded to Him, "don't make us go up from here.
How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished [by this] from all the other people on the face of the earth."
The LORD answered Moses, "I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name."
Then Moses said, "Please, let me see Your glory."
He said, "I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
But He answered, "You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live."
The LORD said, "Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock,
and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen."