First Reading First Reading God spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, telling him to Vayedaber Adonay el-Moshe behar Sinay lemor.
speak to the Israelites and say to them:
When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land must be given a rest period, a sabbath to God.
Daber el-beney Yisra'el ve'amarta alehem ki tavo'u el-ha'arets asher ani noten lachem veshavetah ha'arets Shabat l'Adonay.
at Mount Sinai At this time, the Israelites were still at the foot of Mount Sinai (cf. Numbers 10:11,12; see Josephus, Antiquities 3:12:3; Baaley Tosafoth). Or, 'on Mount Sinai' (Sifra; Rashi). According to this, the section from here until the end of the book (see Leviticus 27:34) was given before the tabernacle was erected (Rashbam). Some say that it was given during Moses' first 40 days on the mountain, and was the 'book of covenant' ( Exodus 24:7) that Moses read to the Israelites (Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni). According to others, it was given during the last 40 day period, while Moses was obtaining the second Tablets, and thus, it constituted a new covenant (Ramban; Abarbanel). Some say that Moses declared it to the Israelites at that time (Ibid.).
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