Exodus 20:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."

New Living Translation
"Don't be afraid," Moses answered them, "for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!"

English Standard Version
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”

Berean Study Bible
“Do not be afraid,” Moses replied. “For God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you, to keep you from sinning.”

New American Standard Bible
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin."

King James Bible
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Christian Standard Bible
Moses responded to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear him and will not sin."

Contemporary English Version
"Don't be afraid!" Moses replied. "God has come only to test you, so that by obeying him you won't sin."

Good News Translation
Moses replied, "Don't be afraid; God has only come to test you and make you keep on obeying him, so that you will not sin."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Moses responded to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin."

International Standard Version
Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you may fear him in order that you don't sin."

NET Bible
Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you so that you do not sin."

New Heart English Bible
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses answered the people, "Don't be afraid! God has come only to test you, so that you will be in awe of him and won't sin."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Moses said unto the people: 'Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before you, that ye sin not.'

New American Standard 1977
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Moses said unto the people, Fear not, for God is come to prove you and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

King James 2000 Bible
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God has come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that you sin not.

American King James Version
And Moses said to the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that you sin not.

American Standard Version
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Moses said to the people: Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that the dread of him might be in you, and you should not sin.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses said to the people, Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.

English Revised Version
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said to the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

World English Bible
Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin."

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses saith unto the people, 'Fear not, for to try you hath God come, and in order that His fear may be before your faces -- that ye sin not.'
Study Bible
Moses Comforts the People
19“Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20“Do not be afraid,” Moses replied -. “For God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you, to keep you from sinning.” 21And the people stood at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.…
Cross References
Exodus 14:13
But Moses told the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD's salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.

Exodus 15:25
And Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log. And when he cast it into the waters, they were sweetened. There the LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He tested them,

Deuteronomy 4:10
The day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, "Gather the people before Me to hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach them to their children."

Deuteronomy 6:2
so that you and your children and grandchildren may fear the LORD your God all the days of your lives by keeping all His statutes and commandments that I give you, and so that your days may be prolonged.

Deuteronomy 6:24
And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes and to fear the LORD our God, that we might always prosper and be preserved, as we are this day.

Deuteronomy 8:2
Remember that these forty years the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments.

Deuteronomy 13:3
you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. For the LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 16:6
By loving devotion and truth, wickedness is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD a man turns aside from evil.

Isaiah 8:13
The LORD of Hosts is the One to regard as holy. Only He should be feared; only He should be dreaded,

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you: "Do not fear, I will help you."

Treasury of Scripture

And Moses said to the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that you sin not.

fear not

1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said to the people, Fear not: you have done all this wickedness: …

Isaiah 41:10 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: …

prove

Exodus 15:25,26 And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when …

Genesis 22:1,12 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, …

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you …

Deuteronomy 13:3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer …

his fear

Genesis 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not …

Deuteronomy 6:2 That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all his statutes and …

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but …

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth…

Nehemiah 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable …

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; …

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise …

Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and …







(20) Moses said unto the people, Fear not.--God approved the people's proposal, and directed that they should withdraw to their tents (Deuteronomy 5:28-30). Moses then "drew near" to Him, and entered into "the thick darkness where God was" (Exodus 20:21). It is worthy of notice that the same manifestation which repelled the people attracted Moses.

Verse 20. - And Moses said unto the people. Not immediately - Moses first held colloquy with God. God declared that the people had "spoken well" (Deuteronomy 5:28); and authorised Moses to allow of their withdrawal (ib, 30). Fear not. Here Exodus is more full in its details than Deuteronomy. Moses, finding the people in a state of extreme alarm, pacified them - assured them that there was no cause for immediate fear - God had not now come in vengeance - the object of the terrors of Sinai was to "prove" them - i.e., to test them, whether they were inclined to submit themselves to God, or not - and to impress upon their minds permanently an awful fear of God, that they might he kept back from sin by dread of his almighty power. The motive of fear is, no doubt, a low one; but where we can appeal to nothing else, we must appeal to it. Israel was still a child, only fit for childish discipline; and had to be directed by the harsh voice of fear, until it had learnt to he guided by the tender accents of love. And Moses said unto the people,.... By representatives and messengers, the heads of the tribes and elders:

fear not; be not afraid of God with a slavish fear; be not afraid of the thunders and lightnings, as if they were like one of the plagues of Egypt, which terrified Pharaoh and his people; be not afraid of being consumed by them, they will do you no hurt; be not afraid of dying by the hand of God, at his presence, and through the voice of his words spoken to you; be of good courage, for the design of God is not to destroy you, but to instruct you, and do you good:

for God is come to prove you; whether, being now freed by him from Egyptian bondage, they would take and own him for their King, and be subject to his laws and government; whether they would abide by what they had said, all that the Lord hath spoken will we do, Exodus 19:8, whether they thought they had purity and righteousness enough to answer to the divine law, and whether they imagined they had strength enough to fulfil it, and whether they needed a mediator between God and them or not: some Jewish writers (q) give a different sense of this clause, as if the coming of God to them in this grand and majestic manner was to exalt them, and make them great and honourable among the nations of the world; taking the word used to be derived from a root, which signifies to lift up, as a banner or ensign is lifted up on high: but the former sense is best:

and that his fear may be before your faces; not a slavish fear of death, of wrath, and damnation, before dehorted from; but a reverence of the divine Majesty, an awe of his greatness and glory, a serious regard to his commands, delivered in so grand a manner, and a carefulness to offend him by disobeying them:

that ye sin not: by breaking the law, and transgressing the precepts of it, which they might be deterred from, as it might be reasonably thought, when they reflected with what solemnity, and in what an awful manner it was delivered to them.

(q) Jarchi in loc. Medrash apud Kimchi in Sepher Shorash. rad. & Ben Melech in loc. 20:18-21 This law, which is so extensive that we cannot measure it, so spiritual that we cannot evade it, and so reasonable that we cannot find fault with it, will be the rule of the future judgment of God, as it is for the present conduct of man. If tried by this rule, we shall find our lives have been passed in transgressions. And with this holy law and an awful judgment before us, who can despise the gospel of Christ? And the knowledge of the law shows our need of repentance. In every believer's heart sin is dethroned and crucified, the law of God is written, and the image of God renewed. The Holy Spirit enables him to hate sin and flee from it, to love and keep this law in sincerity and truth; nor will he cease to repent.
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