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When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, Moses went up into the mountain for 40 days. God revealed Himself and they were terrified.
Exodus 19:16-18 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
Out of this momentous encounter came the covenant between the Lord and Israel, including the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). When Moses delayed in coming down from Mount Sinai, the faithless people became restless. They persuaded Aaron to take their golden earrings and other articles of jewelry and to fashion a golden calf for worship. When he came down from the mountain, Moses was horrified at the idolatry and rebellion of his people. The sons of Levi were loyal to Moses, however; and he ordered them to punish the rebels (Ex. 32:28).Because of his anger at the golden calf, Moses cast down the two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments and broke them at the foot of the mountain (Ex. 32:19). After the rebellion had been put down, Moses went up into Mount Sinai again and there received the Ten Commandments a second time (Ex. 34:1,29). There was given hundreds of laws for the people, these laws were divided into in three phases:
Moral Laws (10 Commandments written by the finger of God),Civil Laws (Dietary and Judicial also), and
Ceremonial Laws (Sacrifices, Feast Days, etc.).
In giving the Law to the Hebrew people, Moses taught the Israelites what the Lord expected of them-- that they were to be a holy people separated from the pagan immorality and idolatry of their surroundings. Here the foundation of Judaism was laid., A God given religious system all centering around the Tabernacle (the place where the blood was sprinkled on the ark), the Sacrifices, and the Priesthood. The Levites were the priestly tribe, and Aaron (Moses' brother) was the first High Priest. The Tabernacle of MosesIsrael was numbered and organized for war. The 12 Tribes were established (Sons of Jacob) and leaders were appointed for each tribe.
The Story of the Bible - The Old Testament, Quick Summary, About, Divisions, Timeline, Charts, Maps, Creation, Adam and Eve, The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Abraham the First Hebrew, Isaac, Son of Promise, Jacob and the 12 Tribes, Joseph and Egypt, Moses and the Exodus, The Giving of the Law, The Tabernacle, The Wilderness Wanderings, Joshua and the Promised Land, The Judges, Samuel the Prophet, Saul, Israel's First King, King David, King Solomon, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom of Judah, The Assyrian Captivity, The Babylonian Captivity, The Return From Babylon, The Prophets, The Messiah, Conclusion, Bibliography and Credits
Summary of the Old Testament Books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Bibliography Resources on the Old Testament
A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Revised and Expanded by Archer, 508 Pages, Pub. 2007