Exodus 24

Covenant at Sinai

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of Israel's elders, and worship from a distance.
2 Only Moses may come near to the LORD. The others shouldn't come near, while the people shouldn't come up with him at all."
3 Moses came and told the people all the LORD's words and all the case laws. All the people answered in unison, "Everything that the LORD has said we will do."
4 Moses then wrote down all the LORD's words. He got up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up twelve sacred stone pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
5 He appointed certain young Israelite men to offer entirely burned offerings and slaughter oxen as well-being sacrifices to the LORD.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls. The other half of the blood he threw against the altar.
7 Then he took the covenant scroll and read it out loud for the people to hear. They responded, "Everything that the LORD has said we will do, and we will obey."
8 Moses then took the blood and threw it over the people. Moses said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD now makes with you on the basis of all these words."

Covenant meal with God

9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel went up,
10 and they saw Israel's God. Under God's feet there was what looked like a floor of lapis-lazuli tiles, dazzlingly pure like the sky.
11 God didn't harm the Israelite leaders, though they looked at God, and they ate and drank.
12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there. I'll give you the stone tablets with the instructions and the commandments that I've written in order to teach them."
13 So Moses and his assistant Joshua got up, and Moses went up God's mountain.
14 Moses had said to the elders, "Wait for us here until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur will be here with you. Whoever has a legal dispute may go to them."
15 Then Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.
16 The LORD's glorious presence settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from the cloud.
17 To the Israelites, the LORD's glorious presence looked like a blazing fire on top of the mountain.
18 Moses entered the cloud and went up the mountain. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Moses is called up into the mountain, The people promise obedience. (1-8) The glory of the Lord appears. (9-11) Moses goes up into the mountain. (12-18)

Verses 1-8 A solemn covenant was made between God and Israel. Very solemn it was, typifying the covenant of grace between God and believers, through Christ. As soon as God separated to himself a peculiar people, he governed them by a written word, as he has done ever since. God's covenants and commands are so just in themselves, and so much for our good, that the more we think of them, and the more plainly and fully they are set before us, the more reason we may see to comply with them. The blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the altar, on the book, and on the people. Neither their persons, their moral obedience, nor religious services, would meet with acceptance from a holy God, except through the shedding and sprinkling' of blood. Also the blessings granted unto them were all of mercy; and the Lord would deal with them in kindness. Thus the sinner, by faith in the blood of Christ, renders willing and acceptable obedience.

Verses 9-11 The elders saw the God of Israel; they had some glimpse of his glory, though whatever they saw, it was something of which no image or picture could be made, yet enough to satisfy them that God was with them of a truth. Nothing is described but what was under his feet. The sapphires are the pavement under his feet; let us put all the wealth of this world under our feet, and not in our hearts. Thus the believer sees in the face of Jesus Christ, far clearer discoveries of the glorious justice and holiness of God, than ever he saw under terrifying convictions; and through the Saviour, holds communion with a holy God.

Verses 12-18 A cloud covered the mount six days; a token of God's special presence there. Moses was sure that he who called him up would protect him. Even those glorious attributes of God which are most terrible to the wicked, the saints with humble reverence rejoice in. And through faith in the atoning Sacrifice, we hope for greater honour than Moses ever enjoyed on earth. Now we see through a glass darkly, but when he shall appear, then face to face. This vision of God will continue with equal, if not increasing brightness of joy; not for a few days only, but through eternity.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 24

In this chapter we have an account that Moses was ordered to come up to the Lord alone, Ex 24:1,2, but that before he did go up, he related to the people all the above laws delivered to him, which they promised obedience to, and so a covenant was made between God and the people by sacrifice, and by the sprinkling of blood, Ex 24:3-8, upon which he and Aaron, and his two sons and seventy elders of Israel, went up part of the mountain, and had a vision of God, Ex 24:9-11, when Moses with Joshua was called, and went up higher, until at length he entered into the cloud where the Lord was, and continued forty days and forty nights, Ex 24:12-18.

Exodus 24 Commentaries