Exodus 34:29-35

The Radiant Face of Moses

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them.
32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.
34 But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,
35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

Exodus 34:29-35 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 34

In this chapter Moses has orders to hew two tables of stone, that God might write on them the ten commands, and bring them up with him to the mount, Ex 34:1-4 where the Lord proclaimed his name, and caused his glory and his goodness to pass before him, Ex 34:5-7 when Moses took this favourable opportunity that offered to pray for the people, that God would forgive their sin, and go along with them, Ex 34:8,9 upon which he made a covenant with them, which on his part was to do wonders for them, and drive out the inhabitants of Canaan before them; and on their part, that they should have no confederacy and communion with these nations, and shun their idolatry, and everything that might lead unto it, Ex 34:10-17 and he repeated several laws before given, and urged the observance of them, which Moses was to acquaint the people with, Ex 34:18-27 and after a stay of forty days and forty nights on the mount, he came down with the two tables of the law; and the skin of his face shone so bright, that the people of Israel were afraid to come nigh him, and therefore he put a vail over his face while he conversed with them, Ex 34:28-35.

Exodus 34:29-35 In-Context

27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”
28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them.
32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.
34 But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,
35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

Cross References 7

  • 1. S Exodus 19:11
  • 2. S Exodus 32:15
  • 3. ver 35; Psalms 34:5; Isaiah 60:5; Matthew 17:2; 2 Corinthians 3:7,13
  • 4. Exodus 16:22
  • 5. S Exodus 21:1; Exodus 35:1,4; Exodus 24:3
  • 6. 2 Corinthians 3:13
  • 7. S ver 29
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