Shemot (Exodus): Ki Tisa > Ch 34

G-d tells Moses to create two stone tablets like the ones he broke and ascend Mount Sinai

  • G-d told Moses: Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones. And I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be prepared for the morning, and in the morning you shall ascend Mount Sinai and stand before Me there on the top of the mountain. No one shall ascend with you, neither shall anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain, neither shall the sheep and the cattle graze facing that mountain.

Moses proclaims G-d’s greatness and asks Him to forgive the people and go in their midst

  • Moses hewed two stone tablets, like the first ones and ascended Mount Sinai early in the morning.
  • G-d descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and he called out in the name of G-d.
  • When G-d passed before him Moses proclaimed: “Lord, Lord, benevolent G-d, Who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth, preserving loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; yet He does not completely clear [of sin] He visits the iniquity of parents on children and children's children, to the third and fourth generations.”
  • Moses hastened, bowed his head to the ground, prostrated himself and said: "If I have now found favor in Your eyes, O Lord, let the Lord go now in our midst [even] if they are a stiff necked people, and You shall forgive our iniquity and our sin and thus secure us as Your possession."

G-d forms a NEW COVENANT with the people, elevating them among the nations and commanding them to follow no other gods nor marry into idol worshipping families, to celebrate Pesakh, redeem the firstborns, rest on Shabbat, celebrate the festival of Weeks, appear before G-d 3 times a year, keep the sacrifice blood away from leaven, finish the Passover offering before morning, bring the choicest first of the soil to G-d, don’t cook a kid in its mother’s milk

  • G-d told Moses: Behold! I will form a covenant; in the presence of all your people, I will make distinctions such as have not been created upon all the earth and among all the nations, and all the people in whose midst you are shall see the work of the Lord how awe inspiring it is that which I will perform with you.

    Keep carefully what I am commanding you today: Lo! I will drive out from before you the Amorites and the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Perizzites, the Hivvites and the Jebusites.

    Beware lest you form a covenant with the inhabitant[s] of the land into which you are coming, lest it become a snare in your midst. But you shall demolish their altars, shatter their monuments, and cut down their sacred trees. For you shall not prostrate yourself before another god, because the Lord, Whose Name is "Jealous One," is a jealous God. Lest you form a covenant with the inhabitant[s] of the land, and they [the gentiles] go astray after their gods, and they offer sacrifices to their gods, and they invite you, and you eat of their slaughtering, and you take of their daughters for your sons; then their daughters will go astray after their gods and lead your sons astray after their gods.

    You shall not make molten gods for yourself.

    The Festival of Unleavened Cakes you shall keep; seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes which I have commanded you, at the appointed meeting time of the month of spring, for in the month of spring you went out of Egypt.

    All that opens the womb is Mine, and all your livestock [that] bears a male, [by] the emergence of ox or lamb.

    And a firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; if you do not redeem it, you shall decapitate it; every firstborn of your sons you shall redeem, and they shall not appear before Me empty handed.

    Six days you may work, and on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing and in harvest you shall rest.

    And you shall make for yourself a Festival of Weeks, the first of the wheat harvest, and the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year.

    Three times during the year shall all your male[s] appear directly before the Master, the Lord, the God of Israel.

    When I drive out nations from before you and I widen your border, no one will covet your land when you go up, to appear before the Lord, your God, three times each year.

    You shall not slaughter [or sprinkle] the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, and the offering of the Passover feast shall not remain overnight until the morning.

    The choicest of the first of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Lord, your God. You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk.

G-d tells Moses to inscribe the words of the covenant, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS onto the tablets. Moses stays with G-d for 40 days.

  • G-d told Moses: Inscribe these words for yourself, for according to these words I have formed a covenant with you and with Israel
  • Moses was there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights; he ate no bread and drank no water, and He inscribed upon the tablets the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Moses descends with the tablets of the testimony, his face becomes radiant because G-d spoke with him

  • Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony. Moses didn’t know that the skin of his face had become radiant while He had spoken with him.
  • Aaron and all the children of Israel were afraid to come near him, but Moses called to them, spoke to them and commanded them everything that G-d had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. After speaking, Moses placed a covering over his face.
  • When Moses would come before G-d to speak with Him, he would remove the covering until he left; then he would leave and speak to the children of Israel what he would be commanded. Then the children of Israel would see that the skin of Moses' face had become radiant, and Moses would replace the covering over his face until he would again to speak with G-d.

Rashi Commentary

  • the first of the wheat harvest [This is the festival] on which you bring the two breads made from the wheat [as in Lev. 23:17].
  • the first For it is the first meal offering brought to Temple from the new wheat crop, because the meal offering of the omer on Passover is brought from the barley. -[from Men. 84a]
  • and the festival of the ingathering Heb. וְחַג הָאָָסִיף, [which occurs] at the time you gather your grain from the field into the house. This gathering (אִסִיפָה) is a term denoting bringing into the house, like “you shall take it (וַאִסַפְךְתּוֹ) into your house” (Deut. 22:2).
  • at the turn of the year which is at the return of the year, at the beginning of the coming year. [I.e., it is in the month of Tishri, which is the first month of the year, counting from Creation.]