Community Development
 

Shavuot (First Day)

Exodus 19:1 - 20:23 & Numbers 28:26-31

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

Chapter 19
1 On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai. 2 Having journeyed from Rephidim, they entered the wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the wilderness. Israel encamped there in front of the mountain, 3 and Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and declare to the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me. 5 Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, 6 but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel."

7 Moses came and summoned the elders of the people and put before them all that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered as one, saying, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the people's words to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, "I will come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after." Then Moses reported the people's words to the Lord, 10 and the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and warn them to stay pure today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothes. 11 Let them be ready for the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down, in the sight of all the people, on Mount Sinai. 12 You shall set bounds for the people round about, saying, 'Beware of going up the mountain or touching the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death: 13 no hand shall touch him, but he shall be either stoned or shot; beast or man, he shall not live.' When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain."

14 Moses came down from the mountain to the people and warned the people to stay pure, and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day: do not go near a woman."

16 On the third day, as morning dawned, there was thunder, and lightning, and a dense cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the horn; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses led the people out of the camp toward God, and they took their places at the foot of the mountain.

18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke, for the Lord had come down upon it in fire; the smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 The blare of the horn grew louder and louder. As Moses spoke, God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain and Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, "Go down, warn the people not to break through to the Lord to gaze, lest many of them perish. 22 The priests also, who come near the Lord, must stay pure, lest the Lord break out against them." 23 But Moses said to the Lord, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us saying, 'Set bounds about the mountain and sanctify it.'" 24 So the Lord said to him, "Go down, and come back together with Aaron; but let not the priests or the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them." 25 And Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.

Chapter 20
1 God spoke all these words, saying:

2 I the Lord am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: 3 You shall have no other gods besides Me.

4 You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I the Lord your God am an impassioned God, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations of those who reject Me, 6 but showing kindness to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7 You shall not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God; for the Lord will not clear one who swears falsely by His name.

8 Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God: you shall not do any work — you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, or your cattle, or the stranger who is within your settlements. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 Honor your father and your mother, that you may long endure on the land that the Lord your God is assigning to you.

13 You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
14 You shall not covet your neighbor's house: you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female slave, or his ox or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

15 All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blare of the horn and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they fell back and stood at a distance. 16 "You speak to us," they said to Moses, "and we will obey; but let not God speak to us, lest we die." 17 Moses answered the people, "Be not afraid; for God has come only in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may be ever with you, so that you do not go astray." 18 So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

19 The Lord said to Moses:
Thus shall you say to the Israelites: You yourselves saw that I spoke to you from the very heavens: 20 With Me, therefore, you shall not make any gods of silver, nor shall you make for yourselves any gods of gold. 21 Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you. 22 And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones; for by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned them. 23 Do not ascend My altar by steps, that your nakedness may not be exposed upon it.


Numbers 28
26 On the day of the first fruits, your Feast of Weeks, when you bring an offering of new grain to the Lord, you shall observe a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations. 27 You shall present a burnt offering of pleasing odor to the Lord: two bulls of the herd, one ram, seven yearling lambs. 28 The meal offering with them shall be of choice flour with oil mixed in, three-tenths of a measure for a bull, two-tenths for a ram, 29 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 30 And there shall be one goat for expiation in your behalf. 31 You shall present them — see that they are without blemish — with their libations, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its meal offering.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
Please visit the JPS website for more fine books of Jewish literature and tradition.