Exodus 19:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, 'Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.

New Living Translation
Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, 'Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death.

English Standard Version
And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.

New American Standard Bible
"You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don't go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain will be put to death.

International Standard Version
You are to set boundaries for the people all around: 'Be very careful that you don't go up on the mountain or touch the side of it. Anyone who touches the mountain is certainly to be put to death.

NET Bible
You must set boundaries for the people all around, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves not to go up on the mountain nor touch its edge. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death!

New Heart English Bible
You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, 'Be careful that you do not go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Mark off a boundary around the mountain for the people, and tell them not to go up the mountain or even touch it. Those who touch the mountain must be put to death.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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;

New American Standard 1977
“And you shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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; whoever touches the mount shall surely die:

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that you go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever touches the mount shall be surely put to death:

American King James Version
And you shall set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that you go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whoever touches the mount shall be surely put to death:

American Standard Version
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:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt appoint certain limits to the people round about, and thou shalt say to them: Take heed you go not up into the mount, and that ye touch not the borders thereof: every one that toucheth the mount dying he shall die.

Darby Bible Translation
And set bounds round about the people, saying, Take heed to yourselves, [not] to go up unto the mountain nor touch the border of it: whatever toucheth the mountain shall certainly be put to death:

English Revised Version
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:

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up upon the mount, or touch the border of it: whoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

World English Bible
You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, 'Be careful that you don't go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death.

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast made a border for the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, going up into the mount, or coming against its extremity; whoever is coming against the mount is certainly put to death;
Study Bible
Israel at Mount Sinai
11and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12"You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13'No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain."…
Cross References
Hebrews 12:18
For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom, and storm;

Hebrews 12:20
For they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned."

Exodus 19:23
Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.'"

Exodus 34:3
"No man is to come up with you, nor let any man be seen anywhere on the mountain; even the flocks and the herds may not graze in front of that mountain."
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that you go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whoever touches the mount shall be surely put to death:

set bounds

Exodus 19:21,23 And the LORD said to Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they …

Joshua 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand …

take

Exodus 10:28 And Pharaoh said to him, Get you from me, take heed to yourself, …

Exodus 34:12 Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants …

Deuteronomy 2:4 And command you the people, saying, You are to pass through the coast …

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you …

or touch

Hebrews 12:20,21 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much …

(12) Thou shalt set bounds.--Here was another formal and mechanical direction, having for its object to deepen and intensify the lesson of God's unapproachable majesty and holiness. Moses was required to "set bounds to the people," i.e., to make a substantial fence between the camp and the base of Sinai, which should prevent both animals and men from coming in contact with the mountain. Modern travellers generally observe how abruptly the rocky precipice of Ras Sufsafeh rises from the plain in front of it, so that in many places it is quite possible to stand on the plain and yet touch the mountain. The idea that a line of natural mounds now to be seen near the base of Sinai represents the "bounds" of Moses (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 43) is unsatisfactory, since the "bounds" of Moses were most certainly artificial ones. It is, however, possible that his "bounds" may have followed the line of the natural barrier.

That ye go not up into the mount.--Unless it had been forbidden, there might have seemed to be no reason why pious Israelites might not have ascended the height, to draw near to God in prayer. It is a praiseworthy feeling which breathes in the words, "Nearer, my God, to thee;" but the nation was not fit for close approach.

Verse 12. - Thou shalt set bounds. The erection of a fence or barrier, between the camp and the mountain - not necessarily all round the mountain - seems to be meant. This barrier may have run along the line of low alluvial mounds at the foot of the cliff of Ras Sufsafeh, mentioned by Dean Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, p. 43), but cannot have been identical with them, since it was an artificial fence. That ye go not up into the mount. Curiosity might have tempted some to ascend the mount, if it had not been positively forbidden under the penalty of death; carelessness might have brought many into contact with it, since the cliff rises abruptly from the plain. Unless the fence had been made, cattle would, naturally, have grazed along its base. To impress the Israelites with a due sense of the awful majesty of God, and the sacredness of everything material that it brought into close relations with him, the mount itself was declared holy - none but Moses and Aaron might go up into it; none might touch it; even the stray beast that approached it must suffer death for its unwitting offence (ver. 13). Whosoever toucheth the mount. The mountain may be "touched" from the plain - it rises so abruptly. Shall be surely put to death. A terrible punishment, and one which, to modern ideas, seems excessive. But it was only by terrible threats, and in some cases by terrible punishments (2 Samuel 6:7), that the Israelites could be taught reverence. A profound reverence lies at the root of all true religious feeling; and for the education of the world, it was requisite, in the early ages, to inculcate the necessity of this frame of mind in some very marked and striking way. And thou shall set bounds to the people round about,.... That is, round about the mountain, by drawing a line, throwing up a foss or ditch, or else by laying up heaps of stones or sand, which might be come at easily, or bushes and branches of trees, which grew thick on the mount, from whence it had its name; but be it what will that were used, these were to signify, that so far the people might go, but no further, which their curiosity might prompt them to:

saying, take heed unto yourselves that ye go not up into the mount; so far were they from being allowed to go up to the top of it, that they were not allowed to ascend it at all, or to go any further than where the ascent or rise began; it was at their peril to ascend, and this was what they were to take heed unto, lest they incurred danger:

or touch the border of it; it being the mountain of God, and relatively holy through his presence on it:

whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death; which severe law was made to deter them from any attempt to go up the mountain, since it was death even to touch it, see Hebrews 12:18. 19:9-15 The solemn manner in which the law was delivered, was to impress the people with a right sense of the Divine majesty. Also to convince them of their own guilt, and to show that they could not stand in judgment before God by their own obedience. In the law, the sinner discovers what he ought to be, what he is, and what he wants. There he learns the nature, necessity, and glory of redemption, and of being made holy. Having been taught to flee to Christ, and to love him, the law is the rule of his obedience and faith.
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