Sh'mot (Exodus) Chapter 19

Sh'mot 19:1-2 In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain.

Moshe completed the task G-d gave him to do when He spoke to him from the burning bush.

Sh'mot 3:12 And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship G-d at this mountain."

The nation of Israel will camp here before the mountain of G-d for approximately one year.

B'midbar (Numbers) 10:11-12 Now it came about in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, that the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony; and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran.

Sh'mot 19:3 And Moshe went up to G-d, and the L-RD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Ya'akov (Jacob) and tell the sons of Israel:

The house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel - You will remember that Ya'akov's (Jacob's) name was changed to Israel, so why the redundancy? HaShem could have simply referred to them as one or the other. Why both? When reading through the life of Ya'akov, the careful reader will note that HaShem refers to him as Ya'akov when he is in not being obedient to the L-rd and as Israel when he is being obedient to the L-rd. So it is possible that HaShem was referring to those who were not serving the L-rd and those that were serving the L-rd.

Sh'mot 19:4 'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself.

Eagles' wings - nesher

D'varim (Deuteronomy) 32:11-12 "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. "The L-RD alone guided him, and there was no foreign god.

In the Torah, Ha Shem is described as a protective mother eagle that carries her babies on her wings and protects them from harm. In Brit Hadashah Yeshua describes Himself as a mother hen.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 23:37 "O Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), Yerushalayim, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

Sh'mot 19:5-6 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."

If ...then ... - Whenever we have a statement that uses an "if...then..." it is a conditional statement. What this means is the following: if (this condition is true) then (this will happen). If the condition is not true the "then" part of the statement will not happen.

It is important to make sure we understand this point. There were other covenants between G-d and man that were not conditional but this one would be conditional based on the following:

If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant - The details of the covenant are described in the following chapters. At this point all we need to know is that HaShem expected Israel to keep His covenant. In return He would do the following three things:


  1. you shall be My own possession (a special treasure) among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;
  2. and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests
  3. and a holy nation.

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Koph - holiness; cycles of growth; summary and judgment at the end of the cycle of life.

Here we see that G-d originally called the entire nation of Israel to be a nation of priests. You will recall that after the death of the first born of the Egyptians, that the first born of Israel were set apart. These first born males from every household were to be Israel's priests.

Sh'mot (Exodus) 13:1-2 Then the L-RD spoke to Moshe, saying, "Sanctify to Me every first-born, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me."

(See also: Sh'mot (Exodus) 13:11-13; 22:29; 34:19; B'midbar (Numbers) 18:15)