The Meaning of Exodus 19:18 Explained

Exodus 19:18

KJV: And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

YLT: and mount Sinai is wholly a smoke from the presence of Jehovah, who hath come down on it in fire, and its smoke goeth up as smoke of the furnace, and the whole mount trembleth exceedingly;

Darby: And the whole of mount Sinai smoked, because Jehovah descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace; and the whole mountain shook greatly.

ASV: And mount Sinai, the whole of it, smoked, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

What does Exodus 19:18 Mean?

Context Summary

Exodus 19:16-25 - The People Warned Not To Approach The Mount
The holiness of God was taught in object lessons. The people must wash their garments, the mount must be fenced in, not a beast might graze upon the slopes, not a hand might touch the holy soil. Moses must twice descend to warn the people, Exodus 19:14; Exodus 19:21; Exodus 19:25. Only he and Aaron might ascend. All was done to convince the people of the vast distance that intervened between themselves and God. It was the awe engendered by such provisions, and which pervaded the ancient dispensation, that led Peter to cry, when the divine glory of Jesus smote upon him: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
Dare to believe that beneath every cloud of soul-anguish, bereavement, and trial, you will find the burning love of God. Clouds and darkness may be round about Him, but faithfulness and truth, judgment and mercy are at the foundation of His throne. Listen to the voice that bids you enter the pavilion, and remember Hebrews 12:18, etc. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 19

1  The people arrive at Sinai
3  God's message by Moses unto the people out of the mount
8  The people are prepared against the third day, for the giving of the law
12  The mountain must not be touched
16  The fearful presence of God upon the mount

What do the individual words in Exodus 19:18 mean?

And Mount Sinai in smoke [was] completely - because descended upon it Yahweh in fire and ascended Its smoke like the smoke of a furnace and quaked whole the mountain greatly
וְהַ֤ר סִינַי֙ עָשַׁ֣ן כֻּלּ֔וֹ מִ֠פְּנֵי אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָרַ֥ד עָלָ֛יו יְהוָ֖ה בָּאֵ֑שׁ וַיַּ֤עַל עֲשָׁנוֹ֙ כְּעֶ֣שֶׁן הַכִּבְשָׁ֔ן וַיֶּחֱרַ֥ד כָּל־ הָהָ֖ר מְאֹֽד

וְהַ֤ר  And  Mount 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: הַר  
Sense: hill, mountain, hill country, mount.
סִינַי֙  Sinai 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: סִינַי  
Sense: the mountain where Moses received the Law from Jehovah; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown.
עָשַׁ֣ן  in  smoke 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשַׁן  
Sense: to smoke, be angry, be wroth.
כֻּלּ֔וֹ  [was]  completely 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
מִ֠פְּנֵי    - 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, common plural construct
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
אֲשֶׁ֨ר  because 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
יָרַ֥ד  descended 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָרַד  
Sense: to go down, descend, decline, march down, sink down.
עָלָ֛יו  upon  it 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
יְהוָ֖ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
בָּאֵ֑שׁ  in  fire 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
וַיַּ֤עַל  and  ascended 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: סָלַק 
Sense: to go up, ascend, climb.
עֲשָׁנוֹ֙  Its  smoke 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׁן  
Sense: smoke.
כְּעֶ֣שֶׁן  like  the  smoke 
Parse: Preposition-k, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: עָשָׁן  
Sense: smoke.
הַכִּבְשָׁ֔ן  of  a  furnace 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: כִּבְשָׁן  
Sense: kiln (pottery or lime), smelting forge, furnace.
וַיֶּחֱרַ֥ד  and  quaked 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: חָרַד  
Sense: to tremble, quake, move about, be afraid, be startled, be terrified.
כָּל־  whole 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
הָהָ֖ר  the  mountain 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: הַר  
Sense: hill, mountain, hill country, mount.
מְאֹֽד  greatly 
Parse: Adverb
Root: מְאֹד  
Sense: exceedingly, much subst.