Exodus 3:1-22 . DIVINE APPEARANCE AND COMMISSION TO MOSES.
5. put off thy shoes--The direction was in conformity with a usage which was well known to Moses, for the Egyptian priests observed it in their temples, and it is observed in all Eastern countries where the people take off their shoes or sandals, as we do our hats. But the Eastern idea is not precisely the same as the Western. With us, the removal of the hat is an expression of reverence for the place we enter, or rather of Him who is worshipped there. With them the removal of the shoes is a confession of personal defilement and conscious unworthiness to stand in the presence of unspotted holiness.
6-8. I am the God . . . come down to deliver--The reverential awe of Moses must have been relieved by the divine Speaker (see Matthew 22:32 ), announcing Himself in His covenant character, and by the welcome intelligence communicated. Moreover, the time, as well as all the circumstances of this miraculous appearance, were such as to give him an illustrious display of God's faithfulness to His promises. The period of Israel's journey and affliction in Egypt had been predicted ( Genesis 15:13 ), and it was during the last year of the term which had still to run that the Lord appeared in the burning bush.
10-22. Come now therefore, and I will send thee--Considering the patriotic views that had formerly animated the breast of Moses, we might have anticipated that no mission could have been more welcome to his heart than to be employed in the national emancipation of Israel. But he evinced great reluctance to it and stated a variety of objections [ Exodus 3:11 Exodus 3:13 , Exodus 4:1 Exodus 4:10 ] all of which were successfully met and removed--and the happy issue of his labors was minutely described.