All the people saw the sounds, the flames, the blast of the ram's horn, and the mountain smoking. The people trembled when they saw it, keeping their distance.
Vechol-ha'am ro'im et-hakolot ve'et-halapidim ve'et kol hashofar ve'et-hahar ashen vayar ha'am vayanu'u vaya'amdu merachok.
||They said to Moses, 'You speak to us, and we will listen. But let God not speak with us any more, for we will die if He does.'
Vayomru el-Moshe daber-atah imanu venishma'ah ve'al-yedaber imanu Elohim pen-namut.
Some say that it was an experience of synesthesia, where they actually saw sounds (Mekhilta; Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Moreh Nevukhim 1:46).
|the sounds, the flames|
(Rashi). Or, 'the thunder and lightning' (Maaseh HaShem, Maaseh Torah 7; cf. Ramban).
|They said to Moses...|
According to many, this is in chronological order, and they asked Moses after the giving of the Ten Commandments (Mekhilta; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra, Abarbanel, on Exodus 20:15). Others say that this was before the Ten Commandments (Ramban). According to others, the people said this to Moses after the Second Commandment, and the rest were given through Moses (Chizzkuni; see note on Exodus 20:7).