Exodus 19:18

18 Now 1Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and 2the whole mountain trembled greatly.

Exodus 19:18 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 19:18

And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke
Not from nature, as volcanos, but for a reason after given; it seemed to be one large body of smoke, nothing else to be seen but smoke; an emblem of the darkness of the legal dispensation, which was full of obscure types and figures, of dark shadows and smoky sacrifices, to which the clear day, of the Gospel dispensation is opposed, see ( 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 )

because the Lord descended upon it in fire;
in flaming fire, as the Targums, which set the mountain on fire, and caused this prodigious smoke; for if he, who is a consuming fire, but toucheth the hills and mountains, they smoke, ( Psalms 104:32 )

and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace
such an one as that which Abraham in vision saw, ( Genesis 15:17 )

and the whole mount quaked greatly;
to which circumstance Deborah refers in her song, when she speaks of mountains melting and flowing from before the presence of the God of Israel, and particularly of Sinai, ( Judges 5:4 Judges 5:5 ) , and the psalmist, who makes mention of the earth shaking, and the heavens dropping, and of Sinai being moved at his presence, ( Psalms 68:8 ) , it is probable there was an earthquake at this time, which sometimes attends thunders and lightnings, see ( Revelation 16:18 ) .

Exodus 19:18 In-Context

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.
17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.
19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
20 The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Exodus 24:17; Judges 5:5; [Psalms 144:5; Isaiah 6:4; Revelation 15:8]
  • 2. Psalms 68:8; Hebrews 12:26
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.