Exodus 24

Confirming the Covenant

1 And to Moses he said, "Go up to Yahweh--you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy from the elders of Israel--and you will worship at a distance.
2 And Moses {alone} will come near to Yahweh, and they will not come near, and the people will not go up with him."
3 And Moses came, and he told the people all the words of Yahweh and all the regulations. And all the people answered with one voice, and they said, "All the words that Yahweh has spoken we will do."
4 And Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh, and he rose early in the morning, and he built an altar at the base of the mountain and [set up] twelve memorial stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.
5 And he sent young men from the {Israelites}, and they offered burnt offerings, and they sacrificed sacrifices [as] fellowship offerings to Yahweh [using] bulls.
6 And Moses took half of the blood, and he put [it] in bowls, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
7 And he took the scroll of the covenant and read [it] in the hearing of the people, and they said, "All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will listen."
8 And Moses took the blood and sprinkled [it] on the people, and he said, "Look, the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words."
9 And Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy from the elders of Israel went up.
10 And they saw the God of Israel, and [what was] under his feet [was] like sapphire tile work and like the very heavens for clearness.
11 And toward the leaders of the {Israelites} he did not stretch out his hand, and they beheld God, and they ate, and they drank.

The Start of Forty Days and Nights on Mount Sinai

12 And Yahweh said to Moses, "Come up to me [on] the mountain, and be there, and I will give you the tablets of stone and the law and the commandments that I have written to instruct them."
13 And Moses got up, and Joshua, his assistant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.
14 And to the elders he said, "Wait for us here until we return to you. And look, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever {has a dispute} will bring [it] to you."
15 And Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.
16 And the glory of Yahweh settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it [for] six days, and he called to Moses on the seventh day from the midst of the cloud.
17 And the appearance of the glory of Yahweh [was] like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain to the eyes of the {Israelites}.
18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and he went up the mountain, and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty 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.

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Or "by himself"; literally "to the solitude of him"
  • [b]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [c]. Or "we will attentively do" or "we will obediently do"
  • [d]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"
  • [e]. Literally "[is] owner of words"
  • [f]. Or "in the sight of"
  • [g]. Literally "sons/children of Israel"

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