Exodus 24

1 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up the mountain to me, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the leaders of Israel; and while you are still some distance away, bow down in worship.
2 You alone, and none of the others, are to come near me. The people are not even to come up the mountain."
3 Moses went and told the people all the Lord's commands and all the ordinances, and all the people answered together, "We will do everything that the Lord has said."
4 Moses wrote down all the Lord's commands. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
5 Then he sent young men, and they burned sacrifices to the Lord and sacrificed some cattle as fellowship offerings.
6 Moses took half of the blood of the animals and put it in bowls; and the other half he threw against the altar.
7 Then he took the book of the covenant, in which the Lord's commands were written, and read it aloud to the people. They said, "We will obey the Lord and do everything that he has commanded."
8 Then Moses took the blood in the bowls and threw it on the people. He said, "This is the blood that seals the covenant which the Lord made with you when he gave all these commands." 1
9 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the leaders of Israel went up the mountain
10 and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath his feet was what looked like a pavement of sapphire, as blue as the sky.
11 God did not harm these leading men of Israel; they saw God, and then they ate and drank together.
12 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up the mountain to me, and while you are here, I will give you two stone tablets which contain all the laws that I have written for the instruction of the people."
13 Moses and his helper Joshua got ready, and Moses began to go up the holy mountain.
14 Moses said to the leaders, "Wait here in the camp for us until we come back. Aaron and Hur are here with you; and so whoever has a dispute to settle can go to them."
15 Moses went up Mount Sinai, and a cloud covered it.
16 The dazzling light of the Lord's presence came down on the mountain. To the Israelites the light looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. The cloud covered the mountain for six days, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from the cloud.
18 Moses went on up the mountain into the cloud. There he stayed for forty days and nights. 2

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.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 24.8 aMatthew 26.28;Mark 14.24;Luke 22.20;1 Corinthians 11.25;Hebrews 10.29; bHebrews 9.19, 20.
  • 2. 24.18Deuteronomy 9.9.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Moses began; [one ancient translation] they began.

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