And no man shall come up with thee
Before, Aaron and his two sons, and the seventy elders of Israel, went up with Moses, though they did not go so near the Lord as he did; but now having sinned in the matter of the golden calf, though a reconciliation was made, they were not allowed to go with him, nor even Joshua his servant, though he had no concern in the sin; Moses must be alone, that the ministration of the law might be by him only, and in order to receive a peculiar favour in answer to his request:
neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount;
in any part of it, as Joshua was before in some part of it, even all the while that Moses was there; but now not a single person must be seen anywhere, not only because of the giving of the law to Moses, but because of the display of the divine glory, which was to be made particularly to him:
neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount;
or over against it, or rather "near" it F6; which was ordered, not so much on the account of the flocks themselves, who were not capable of any moral guilt; nor that they might not come to any hurt, since they were to be stoned or thrust through with a dart if they touched it, which order it is highly probable was in force as before; but on the account of their keepers, that there might be none of them on the spot, or near, to observe what passed; and chiefly this was said to command fear and reverence in the minds of the people, while this solemn affair was transacting between God and Moses, and to check all curiosity in them.
F6 (awhh rhh lwm la) (plhsion tou orouv) , Sept. "prope montem illum", Noldius, p. 80.