Exodus 24

1 The LORD said to Moses, "You and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel's leaders come up the mountain to me and worship at a distance.
2 Moses may come near the LORD, but the others may not. The people must not come along with Moses."
3 Moses went and told the people all the LORD's words and legal decisions. Then all the people answered with one voice, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do."
4 So Moses wrote down all the LORD's words. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain and [set up] 12 sacred stones for the 12 tribes of Israel.
5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they sacrificed bulls as burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it into bowls, and he threw the other half against the altar.
7 Then he took the Book of the LORD's Promise and read it while the people listened. They said, "We will obey and do everything the LORD has said."
8 Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said, "Here is the blood which seals the promise that the LORD has made to you based on everything you have just heard."
9 Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel's leaders.
10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made out of sapphire as clear and blue as the sky itself.
11 God didn't harm these leaders of the Israelites. So they saw God, and then they ate and drank.
12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the teachings and the commandments I have written for the people's instruction."
13 Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.
14 He said to the leaders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Take all your disagreements to them."
15 So Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered it.
16 The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from inside the cloud.
17 To the Israelites, the glory of the LORD looked like a raging fire on top of the mountain.
18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.

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.

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