|Moshe conducts a census by counting each silver half-shekel donated by all men, age twenty and over. Moshe is commanded to make a copper laver for the Mishkan _ the women donate the necessary metal. The formula of the anointing oil is specified, and HaShem instructs Moshe to use this oil only for dedicating the Mishkan, its vessels, and Aharon and his sons. HaShem selects Betsalel and Oholi’av to be the master craftsmen for the Mishkan and its vessels.|
The Jewish People are commanded to keep the Sabbath as an eternal sign that HaShem made the world. Moshe receives the two Tablets of Testimony on which are written the Ten Commandments. The mixed multitude that left Egypt with the Jewish People panic when Moshe's descent seems delayed and force Aharon to make a golden calf for them to worship.
Aharon stalls and tries to delay them. HaShem tells Moshe to return to the people immediately, threatening to destroy everyone and build a new nation from Moshe. When Moshe sees the orgy of idol-worship he smashes the Tablets and destroys the golden calf. The Sons of Levi volunteer to punish the transgressors, executing 3,000 men. Moshe ascends the mountain to pray for forgiveness for the people, and HaShem accepts his prayer.
Moshe sets up the Mishkan, and HaShem's cloud of glory returns. Moshe asks HaShem to show him the rules by which He conducts the world, but is granted only a small portion of this request. HaShem tells Moshe to hew new Tablets and reveals to him the text of the prayer that will invoke His mercy. Idol worship, intermarriage, and the combination of milk and meat are prohibited. The laws of Pesach, the First-born, the First-fruits, Shabat, Shavuot and Sukot are taught. When Moshe descends with the second set of Tablets, his face is luminous as a result of contact with the Divine.