Chronology at Mount Sinai

Chronology at Mount Sinai

 The table below shows the dates and events while the children of Israel are at Mount Sinai.




Ex. 19:1


Israel comes to the wilderness of Sinai and encamps before the mount.

Ex. 19:3


Moses’ first ascension into the mount. Receives God’s promise to take Israel as his people.

Ex. 19:7

Moses descends and tells the people the words of the Lord.

Ex. 19:8


Moses’ second ascension. Returns the words of the people to the Lord. Instructions to prepare people for meeting God on the mount.

Ex. 19:14

Moses descends and prepares the people for the third day (cp. v. 10-11)

Ex. 19:16


In the morning, the people come before the mount to meet with God

Ex. 19:20

Moses’ third ascension. God instructs to make sure people do not come up.

Ex. 19:25

Moses descends, speaks to the people, God speaks the 10 commandments (20:1-17). People respond in fear.

Ex. 20:21

Moses’ fourth ascension. Receives various commandments (20:22-24:2)

Ex. 24:3

Moses descends and recounts all the commandments God gave him

Ex. 24:4


Early in the morning Moses builds an altar and sanctifies the people. People vow obedience.

Ex. 24:9

Moses’ fifth ascension with Aaron and others. The nobles see God. Moses ascends higher to be with Yahweh (v. 12-13,15,18).

Ex. 24:16


Cloud covers the mount for six days

Ex. 24:16-18


On the seventh day God calls to Moses out of the cloud and Moses goes into the midst of the cloud. Moses in the mount 40 days and nights receiving instructions for the Tabernacle.

Ex. 32:15


Moses descends after 40 days, breaks the tablets upon seeing the people worshipping the golden calf.

Ex. 32:30-31


Moses’ sixth ascension to seek forgiveness for the people.

Ex. 33:4

Moses returns the Lord’s words to the people. Moves tabernacle outside the camp. Pleads with God to go with him and to see his glory.

Ex. 34:4


Moses’ seventh ascension with new tablets. Given revelation of Yahweh’s name. In the mount for another 40 days and night (34:28)

Ex. 34:29


Moses comes down after 40 days and his face shines. Instructs people to build tabernacle.

Ex. 40:17


Tabernacle is reared up. Aaron and his sons consecrated for 7 days (Lev. 8:33-35)

Lev. 9:1


Sin and burnt offering for Aaron and the people. Nadab and Abihu offer strange fire (10:1,19)

Nu. 10:11


Israel departs from Mt. Sinai



[1] We have adopted the view that “the same day” (Ex. 19:1) is the first day of the month.

[2] The second and third day are not designated in Scripture but are from a common Jewish interpretation used to put the 50th day of Pentecost on Sivan 6th.

[3] I have calculated the 40 days as excluding the 6 days the cloud covers the mount.