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Exodus 19:12-13

Context
19:12 You must set boundaries 1  for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed 2  to yourselves not to go up on the mountain nor touch its edge. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death! 19:13 No hand will touch him 3  – but he will surely be stoned or shot through, whether a beast or a human being; 4  he must not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast they may 5  go up on the mountain.”

1 tn The verb is a Hiphil perfect (“make borders”) with vav (ו) consecutive, following the sequence of instructions.

2 tn The Niphal imperative (“guard yourselves, take heed to yourselves”) is followed by two infinitives construct that provide the description of what is to be avoided – going up or touching the mountain.

3 sn There is some ambiguity here. The clause either means that no man will touch the mountain, so that if there is someone who is to be put to death he must be stoned or shot since they could not go into the mountain region to get him, or, it may mean no one is to touch the culprit who went in to the region of the mountain.

4 tn Heb “a man.”

5 tn The nuance here is permissive imperfect, “they may go up.” The ram’s horn would sound the blast to announce that the revelation period was over and it was permitted then to ascend the mountain.



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