Exodus 19:1-6 Israel left Rephidim and camped before Mt. Sinai, about seven weeks after the exodus. Moses climbed the mountain to speak with God. God told Moses to remind the children of Israel how He safely brought them out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai. If they obeyed His laws and covenant, they shall be treasured above all nations (A conditional promise). They shall be a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation, an example to the rest of the world.
Notes: The children of Israel camped at Mt. Sinai for about 11 months.
Exodus 19:7-15 Moses repeated God’s word to the elders of the people. They all agreed to do what God said, and Moses reported back to God what they promised. God said that He will then come to the camp in a cloud so the children of Israel could hear His voice when He spoke to Moses in order that they may believe Moses spoke with God.
Moses told the people to prepare themselves for God’s visit. They had two days to do so. When the Lord comes on the third day, the people shall not approach the edge of the mountain or they will die, for they were not allowed to approach a Holy God. No physical hand shall touch man or beast that violates this command, but be killed by stone or shot by arrow.
Exodus 19:16-20 God came on third day in a cloud accompanied by thunder and lightning along with a supernatural trumpet blast. The children of Israel trembled with fear. The Lord descended on the mountain in fire and even the mountain trembled. Moses spoke to God and God spoke to Moses through the thunder. The Lord then called Moses to the top of the mountain.
Exodus 19:21-25 The Lord then told Moses to go down to the people and warn them not to cross the edge of the mountain to try and see the Lord or they will die. The Lord allowed Aaron to draw near with Moses.
Notes: The Levitical Priesthood starting with Aaron was not established until later after the law and instructions were given in the coming chapters. These priests must have been the firstborn in each family who served as family priests because they had been dedicated to the Lord.