3. Before Sinai (Exodus 19 to 40, and Leviticus)
During the year spent before sinai we have four leading events, as follows:
(1) The Decalogue given
After the patriarchal covenant had been ratified between Jehovah and Israel, the Lord spoke unto the assembly in the mountin the midst of the fire and the cloud and of the thick darkness, with a great voice, setting forth the Ten Words of the Law. Later, Jehovah wrote these words on tables of stone and sent them to the people by the hand of Moses.
(2) The golden calf destroyed
While Moses was in the mount in solemn conclave with Jehovah, the people, impatient of the long delay and desirous of some visible symbol of Jehovah, prevailed upon Aaron to make a golden calf similar to the images they had often seen in Egypt. Returning from the mount, Moses found the people in the act of worshiping before this image. With flaming indignation he burned the image with fire, and strewing the ashes on a neighboring stream, he compelled the people to drink its waters.
(3) The Tabernacle built
While in the holy mount, Moses received from the Lord instructions and directions for the building of a Tabernacle, which should be the center of worship for Israel. All the people were invited to make contributions; the men brought gold and silver and hewed down acacia trees, while the women brought the finest of their spinning and weaving. Thus was produced a portable structure of rare fineness, which for hundreds of years continued to be the worshipping and rallying place for God's people.
(4) The Levitical Laws given
During the remaining months of the year at Sinai there was given through Moses an elaborate system of laws, touching the preisthood, the sacrifices and offerings, the holy seasons, the sacred feasts, together with all manner of moral and civil laws.