Exodus 19:10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

20 And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.


MEMORY VERSE: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. —John 1:17


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The law given to Moses on Mount Sinai was accompanied with fearful and awesome signs and visible and audible manifestations of God’s power and majesty, and was written by God upon tables of stone.




It was in the third month since the children of Israel had departed from Egypt. They were camped in the wilderness before the mountain of Sinai. This was the same as mount Horeb where Moses had been visited by God in the burning bush. God was choosing this time to speak to them His Law and Commandments. This was a literal nation of people, and the commandments which God was to give them were to come accompanied with an outward show of power and audible sound. It was so fearful a sight that Hebrews 12:21 states that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake.”

Try to imagine from the language of our lesson just what it would have been like to have been there. Thunders and lightning proceeded from the mountain enveloped in a thick black cloud. A prolonged, loud trumpet blast was heard in the midst of black smoke which ascended as from a furnace. The whole mountain was shaking greatly. Then God’s voice spoke from the midst of all of this terrible sight. It caused the people to want to back off and flee. It did not draw them nigh to God. It filled them with fear and terror.

God called Moses up into the mount and communed with him for forty days and nights. He presented unto Moses, at the end of the forty days, two tablets of stone with the Law written thereon with His own hand. This was the giving of the Law to the people by Moses. It is good for us to have this scene well stamped in our minds and to view its every aspect. Try to put yourself in the place of the people.

It did not take long to show that the people were not of any disposition to keep these laws. At the end of the forty days, Moses found them in the camp worshipping a golden calf. The first two commandments were broken already. No wonder Moses felt like breaking the tablets of stone into pieces. What good were they if the people would not keep them?




  1. What did God do at Mount Sinai?
  2. What kind of things were seen there?
  3. What effect did this administration of the law have upon the people?
  4. Upon what were the commandments written by God?
  5. What was the first commandment given? Read the other nine in chapter 20, verses 4 through 17.




It is good to remember two sayings in the New Testament as we consider this lesson. Paul said in Galatians 3:19, “Wherefore then serveth the law? [For what purpose was it given?] It was added because of transgressions. . . .” Then Paul stated in 1 Timothy 1:9 “that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,” that is, the unrighteous. God knew that all this throng of people were unrighteous. The law would serve as a restraint to the people, but it also was a means of causing them to sense their own personal guilt. This was to help prepare them for the sense of their need for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would come to be their Savior.

The law was given in such a way and manner as to show man’s inability to keep a written, carnal commandment. This was God’s way of showing us in the New Testament age not to preach or teach His Word with a law spirit. Just telling people is not enough. They must sense the Savior’s love and power for themselves.

Those who promote and preach the gospel should possess the same spirit of grace that Jesus had. Yes, it was a frightening experience to see the terrible display of the power and judgment of the wrath of God on Mount Sinai. But for all of this power and display, how far did it get with the people? Did it justify them and give them victory to live spiritual and faithful lives? May God help us today.

How do we administer His Word today? Are we guilty of this same error? Do we beat people with the gospel and merely try to show them their error? If we do, we have nothing less than a law spirit. If we do not point people to the bleeding sacrifice of the Lamb of God, dying on Calvary, our preaching will miss the mark. Our dealing with other souls will be defeated. No matter how hard we try, the soul remains in darkness and prison until he or she beholds the wonderful grace of God. Let us not be guilty of administering the laws of God as was done on Mount Sinai. It will not work. The heart must be touched and softened by the Holy Spirit and won to full salvation. Then the laws can be deposited in their rightful place. Of this we will study later.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee




“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, …But ye are come unto mount Sion …” Hebrews 12:18, 22a (read the entire passage, verses 18-29).

“… A significance has been found in the fact that the law was given from Sinai on the fiftieth day after the deliverance from Egypt.” —Smith’s Bible Dictionary, see Pentecost.

If my calculations are correct, the Passover lambs were killed on a Thursday evening. The Passover was kept during that night while the death angel slew all the firstborn of Egypt. Then Pharaoh “thrust out” the children of Israel early Friday morning. That was the day of their deliverance and the beginning of their exodus. Counting 50 days forward from that day would put the giving of the law (the covenant) at Sinai on Saturday, the Sabbath day. Note also that the establishing of that covenant came in the morning of that day (see Exodus 19:16 -25). This was the 50th day following the beginning of the exodus and the 51st day following the day the Passover lambs were killed.

Now, here is a very interesting aspect of type and antitype: Jesus Christ kept His last Passover observance on Thursday night, knowing that He was the Lamb Who was to fulfill all its type and shadow. Following that last Passover supper, He allowed the mob to arrest Him that night and take Him as a lamb to be slaughtered. He was crucified the next morning, which was Friday morning. He died as the Passover Lamb for the new dispensation on Friday evening, fulfilling all that the Thursday evening Passover lambs were a type of. And guess what! It was exactly 51 days later that the Messenger of the new covenant (the Holy Spirit) came down on mount Zion, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, in the morning (see Acts chapter 2) and established the covenant of the new dispensation. Just as the old covenant was established on Saturday morning, 51 days after the slaying of the Passover lambs in Egypt, so the new covenant was established on Sunday morning, 51 days after the slaying of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb (and exactly 7 weeks from the day of His resurrection). There were exactly 50 days between the slaying of the Old Testament Passover lambs and the establishment of the first covenant at Sinai and exactly 50 days between the slaying of the New Testament Passover Lamb and the establishment of the new covenant at Pentecost.

These parallels are not coincidental. God planned them that way. God has done all things in perfection! He fulfilled every type and shadow of the Old Testament to the most perfect detail when He established the New Testament! Is it any wonder that Sunday came to be called “the Lord’s Day,” and became the great memorial day of the new dispensation? This day was never intended to be kept as the Sabbath of Sinai, but as a memorial of something far better! Not only was it the day Jesus arose from the dead, it was also the day a better covenant replaced the old one (see Hebrews 8:6-13). God wrote the old covenant on two tables of stone; the new one He writes on the fleshly tables of men’s hearts by His Spirit.

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell

A Further Note:

In doing some further research regarding the number of days from the Passover in Egypt, the exodus of the children of Israel, and the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, it appears there may be some error in calculation, or at least a disagreement of sources.  I based my calculations for my Reflection comments on the information I got from Smith’s Bible Dictionary.  But a few days ago I decided to go “online” and do a little more in depth research on it and I came across some very interesting information.  Here is one of the sources I investigated: http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-route-travel-times-distances-days.htm

According to the information given on this site, the law was given on Mt. Sinai on the 56th day following the children of Israel’s departure from Egypt, and that day fell on a “Wednesday” rather than a “Saturday” as I had calculated.  It appears that this information may be accurate and, if so, I regret that I shared what I did in my writing. This is something that would be good to look into a little deeper.

–Bro. Harlan Sorrell