בָּעֵ֨ת הַהִ֜וא אָמַ֧ר יְהוָ֣ה אֵלַ֗י פְּסָל־לְךָ֞ שְׁנֵֽי־לֻוחֹ֤ת אֲבָנִים֙ כָּרִ֣אשֹׁנִ֔ים וַעֲלֵ֥ה אֵלַ֖י הָהָ֑רָה וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ לְּךָ֖ אֲר֥וֹן עֵֽץ׃
At that time, YHWH said to me, “Chisel to yourself two tables of stones as the first two, and ascend to Me to the mount and make for yourself an ark of wood
Paraphrase: It was at this time, that YHWH spoke to me. “Get some stone and chisel out two new tables just like the ones that I originally gave you on the mountain.” (Ex 31:18)
Verbs that start with a sheva (or a very short vowel) are almost always imperative as in פְּסָל and וַעֲלֵה.
וְאֶכְתֹּב֙ עַל־הַלֻּחֹ֔ת אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָי֛וּ עַל־הַלֻּחֹ֥ת הָרִאשֹׁנִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּ֑רְתָּ וְשַׂמְתָּ֖ם בָּאָרֽוֹן׃
and I will write on the tables the words which were on the first tables which you shattered. Then place them in the ark.
Paraphrase: “On these tables,” He said, “I will write the ten words which I had written on the previous tables. Recall that you had thrown these original tables on the ground and shattered them into pieces when you first saw the idolatry of the Israelites. (Ex 32:19) Once I have finished with this, you will take both tables and place them in the ark.
This is also the first place in the narrative where the number of the tablets of stone—two—is specified. The reason for the two tablets has nothing to do with the length of the commandments as opposed to the size of the tablets (as if it were necessary to employ two tablets to fit all the commandments onto them, half on one and half on the other). The full text of the Ten Words/Commandments was written on each tablet, one copy being God’s and one copy being Israel’s. This reflects the standard ancient Near Eastern treaty covenant practice of providing a copy of the covenant both to the vassal and to the sovereign. The fact that the two tablets were eventually placed together in the ark (Deut 10:5; 1 Kgs 8:9; Heb 9:4) further symbolized the ark’s role as a point of contact for God and his people, the place where his covenant relationship with them was symbolized by, among other things, the law, obedience to which linked Israel to Yahweh and Yahweh to Israel. See Stuart’s commentary on Exodus 31:18. See also part 1, chapter 1 in Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority, (2nd ed.).
וָאַ֤עַשׂ אֲרוֹן֙ עֲצֵ֣י שִׁטִּ֔ים וָאֶפְסֹ֛ל שְׁנֵי־לֻחֹ֥ת אֲבָנִ֖ים כָּרִאשֹׁנִ֑ים וָאַ֣עַל הָהָ֔רָה וּשְׁנֵ֥י הַלֻּחֹ֖ת בְּיָדִֽי׃
and I made an ark of Shittim wood and I chiseled two stone tables like the first and I went up to the mountain and the two tables in my hand.
Paraphrase: In obedience to His perfect will, I constructed an ark from Shittim wood. I chose this wood for its resistance to decay and insect damage. Then, I chiseled out the two stone pieces on which YHWH would write out the covenant terms. Then, I began my ascent up the mountain to meet the Great King.
For Shittim wood see here.
וַיִּכְתֹּ֨ב עַֽל־הַלֻּחֹ֜ת כַּמִּכְתָּ֣ב הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן אֵ֚ת עֲשֶׂ֣רֶת הַדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֲלֵיכֶ֥ם בָּהָ֛ר מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֵ֖שׁ בְּי֣וֹם הַקָּהָ֑ל וַיִּתְּנֵ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה אֵלָֽי׃
and He wrote on the tables, as the first writing, the ten words which YHWH spoke to you on the mountain from the middle of the fire in the day of the assembly and YHWH gave them to me.
Paraphrase: When I reached the summit, YHWH, the Great King met me and wrote out again for us the terms of the covenant which He had established with us. Who can forget that day when we gathered together as one people in the presence of YHWH, and He spoke to us out of the blazing fire! When He had finished the writing, He handed me the tables…
וָאֵ֗פֶן וָֽאֵרֵד֙ מִן־הָהָ֔ר וָֽאָשִׂם֙ אֶת־הַלֻּחֹ֔ת בָּאָר֖וֹן אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֑יתִי וַיִּ֣הְיוּ שָׁ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוַּ֖נִי יְהוָֽה׃
and I turned and descended from the mountain, and I placed the tables in the ark which I made and they were there just as YHWH commanded me.
Paraphrase: …and I turned to go back down the mountain. When I reached the camp, I placed both tables in the ark which I had finished previously. I was careful to do everything exactly as YHWH had commanded me.
A vav-conversive will shorten a verb any chance it gets. The third ה on וָאֵפֶן was looking for an excuse to leave, and it found one.
Note the first of the missing letter rules and then see וָאֵרֵד.
וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל נָֽסְע֛וּ מִבְּאֵרֹ֥ת בְּנֵי־יַעֲקָ֖ן מוֹסֵרָ֑ה שָׁ֣ם מֵ֤ת אַהֲרֹן֙ וַיִּקָּבֵ֣ר שָׁ֔ם וַיְכַהֵ֛ן אֶלְעָזָ֥ר בְּנ֖וֹ תַּחְתָּֽיו׃
מִשָּׁ֥ם נָסְע֖וּ הַגֻּדְגֹּ֑דָה וּמִן־הַגֻּדְגֹּ֣דָה יָטְבָ֔תָה אֶ֖רֶץ נַ֥חֲלֵי מָֽיִם׃
בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֗וא הִבְדִּ֤יל יְהוָה֙ אֶת־שֵׁ֣בֶט הַלֵּוִ֔י לָשֵׂ֖את אֶת־אֲר֣וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֑ה לַעֲמֹד֩ לִפְנֵ֨י יְהוָ֤ה לְשָֽׁרְתוֹ֙ וּלְבָרֵ֣ךְ בִּשְׁמ֔וֹ עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃
עַל־כֵּ֞ן לֹֽא־הָיָ֧ה לְלֵוִ֛י חֵ֥לֶק וְנַחֲלָ֖ה עִם־אֶחָ֑יו יְהוָה֙ ה֣וּא נַחֲלָת֔וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֛ר יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ לֽוֹ׃
וְאָנֹכִ֞י עָמַ֣דְתִּי בָהָ֗ר כַּיָּמִים֙ הָרִ֣אשֹׁנִ֔ים אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְאַרְבָּעִ֖ים לָ֑יְלָה וַיִּשְׁמַ֨ע יְהוָ֜ה אֵלַ֗י גַּ֚ם בַּפַּ֣עַם הַהִ֔וא לֹא־אָבָ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה הַשְׁחִיתֶֽךָ׃
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֵלַ֔י ק֛וּם לֵ֥ךְ לְמַסַּ֖ע לִפְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וְיָבֹ֙אוּ֙ וְיִֽרְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי לַאֲבֹתָ֖ם לָתֵ֥ת לָהֶֽם׃פ
וְעַתָּה֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מָ֚ה יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ שֹׁאֵ֖ל מֵעִמָּ֑ךְ כִּ֣י אִם־לְ֠יִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ לָלֶ֤כֶת בְּכָל־דְּרָכָיו֙ וּלְאַהֲבָ֣ה אֹת֔וֹ וְלַֽעֲבֹד֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃
and now, Israel, what is YHWH, your God, asking from you? that if to fear YHWH, your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him and to serve YHWH, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.
Paraphrase: “Now people of Israel, think and ponder this as you make your way to the promised land. What are the terms of the covenant YWHH has made with you? What is it that He is expecting from us? Have the terms of the covenant changed since He first called us out of Egypt as His people? I am telling you that they have not changed at all. He has the same reasonable expectations as always. You are to show respect to YHWH as your Great King. (Ps 25:14) Walk in the path that He sets before you; love Him and give yourselves up to Him to be servants. (Dt 15:17; Ps 116:16) Do all this, not just because I am commanding you to do it, but because you know that I am the greatest good that ever a person can possess. (Ps 16:2) Do it because your very heart and soul are beating with love for Me and a desire to be near to Me. (Ps 18:1-3)
The preposition מֵעִמָּךְ is a merger of two Hebrew prepositions.
I do not know what the feminine suffix is on וּלְאַהֲבָה.
What is the relation between the covenant God made with Abraham and the covenant He made with Israel at Mount Sinai? Hengstenberg compares it to baptism of an infant and then confirmation. He writes:
The covenant now in question [Sinai covt] must not be regarded as something altogether new. God had already concluded a covenant with Abraham, and that this had reference to all his descendants appears from the circumstance that by divine command all bore the sign and seal of the covenant. The blessing of the covenant already encircled the Israelites during their whole residence in the wilderness, and promoted their great increase ; and under the cross they still maintained the covenant blessing. In every threat to Pharaoh God calls Israel His people. The covenant on Sinai was therefore a solemn renewal of that which already existed. It is related to the earlier, as confirmation is related to baptism. The nation which had been born into the covenant now with free consciousness makes a vow to observe it, and receives a renewal of the divine promise. source
Compare Hengstenberg’s remarks here with what Paul teaches in Gal 3:15-19.
לִשְׁמֹ֞ר אֶת־מִצְוֺ֤ת יְהוָה֙ וְאֶת־חֻקֹּתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם לְט֖וֹב לָֽךְ׃
to keep the commands of YHWH and His mandates which I am commanding you this day for good to you.
Paraphrase: From such a love and commitment to God will flow a hearty and happy obedience to His laws. Furthermore, you will be quick to perform any distinct mandate that He might lay on any of you. I am relaying all of this to you because I know that what God wills is the highest good for us as His people.
I took the article on הַיּוֹם to be a demonstrative. source
הֵ֚ן לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וּשְׁמֵ֣י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם הָאָ֖רֶץ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּֽהּ׃
Behold, the heavens belong to YHWH your God as do the heaven of heavens, the earth and all what is in it.
Paraphrase: Think of who God is and how He rightly deserves all our devotion. The entire creation belongs to Him. Over the entire earth and heaven and everything in between, He cries out, “Mine!”
Recall the famous line from Kuyper “…and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: “Mine!”
רַ֧ק בַּאֲבֹתֶ֛יךָ חָשַׁ֥ק יְהוָ֖ה לְאַהֲבָ֣ה אוֹתָ֑ם וַיִּבְחַ֞ר בְּזַרְעָ֣ם אַחֲרֵיהֶ֗ם בָּכֶ֛ם מִכָּל־הָעַמִּ֖ים כַּיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּה׃
Nevertheless, on your fathers, did YHWH set His affection to love them, and He chose in their seed after them in you from all the peoples as this day.
Paraphrase: Now in spite of all this, God saw your fathers, and He set His love on them. (Rom 8:29) There was nothing in them that led God to do this. (Deut 7:7) Of all the different nations and ethnic groups of people on this earth, YHWH the Great King chose you and your children to be His people. That is why He has made this covenant with you.
The word רַק is an adverb which limits or excludes something or someone. Here, the peoples of the earth are excluded from God’s covenant people whom He has chosen. Van der Merwe, A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, 317.
וּמַלְתֶּ֕ם אֵ֖ת עָרְלַ֣ת לְבַבְכֶ֑ם וְעָ֨רְפְּכֶ֔ם לֹ֥א תַקְשׁ֖וּ עֽוֹד׃
and you will circumcise the foreskin of your heart and do not let your necks be hard again.
Paraphrase: What is the appropriate response to YHWH’s love and choice of us to be His people? Well let’s start by remembering what is done to infant boys on the eighth day after their birth. The physical act of circumcision is a sign and picture to us of a higher and deeper spiritual operation. (Jer 4:4) Just as a piece of flesh is cut off when one is circumcised, so we need to cut away the wickedness and sin which cleaves to our hearts. It is this sin and wickedness which makes us so stubborn and obstinate and brings us to refuse to walk in the way that God has set before us. It further causes us to be halfhearted and sluggish in the things of God. “How tiresome this is!” you say when you are worshipping God. (Mal 1:13) Should we not rather respond to God’s sovereign favor with a full surrender of ourselves to Him (Rom 12:1) and a firm resolve to run enthusiastically in the way of His commands? (Ps 119:32) When our heart is circumcised, then our ears will be as well (Jer 6:10) and our speech too. (Ex 6:12)
A plain proof from God Himself that this precept pointed out spiritual things, and that it was not the cutting away a part of the flesh that was the object of the Divine commandment, but the purification of the soul, without which all forms and ceremonies are of no avail. Loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, the heart being circumcised to enable them to do it, was, from the beginning, the end, design, and fulfilment of the whole law. source
כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם ה֚וּא אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים וַאֲדֹנֵ֖י הָאֲדֹנִ֑ים הָאֵ֨ל הַגָּדֹ֤ל הַגִּבֹּר֙ וְהַנּוֹרָ֔א אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹא־יִשָּׂ֣א פָנִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א יִקַּ֖ח שֹֽׁחַד׃
עֹשֶׂ֛ה מִשְׁפַּ֥ט יָת֖וֹם וְאַלְמָנָ֑ה וְאֹהֵ֣ב גֵּ֔ר לָ֥תֶת ל֖וֹ לֶ֥חֶם וְשִׂמְלָֽה׃
וַאֲהַבְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־הַגֵּ֑ר כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃
אֶת־יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ תִּירָ֖א אֹת֣וֹ תַעֲבֹ֑ד וּב֣וֹ תִדְבָּ֔ק וּבִשְׁמ֖וֹ תִּשָּׁבֵֽעַ׃
ה֥וּא תְהִלָּתְךָ֖ וְה֣וּא אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֣ה אִתְּךָ֗ אֶת־הַגְּדֹלֹ֤ת וְאֶת־הַנּֽוֹרָאֹת֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֥ר רָא֖וּ עֵינֶֽיךָ׃
בְּשִׁבְעִ֣ים נֶ֔פֶשׁ יָרְד֥וּ אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ מִצְרָ֑יְמָהּ וְעַתָּ֗ה שָֽׂמְךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָרֹֽב׃