Exodus 24

1 The Lord told Moses, "You, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the older leaders of Israel must come up to me and worship me from a distance.
2 Then Moses alone must come near me; the others must not come near. The rest of the people must not come up the mountain with Moses."
3 Moses told the people all the Lord's words and laws for living. Then all of the people answered out loud together, "We will do all the things the Lord has said."
4 So Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. And he got up early the next morning and built an altar near the bottom of the mountain. He set up twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
5 Then Moses sent young Israelite men to offer whole burnt offerings and to sacrifice young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord.
6 Moses put half of the blood of these animals in bowls, and he sprinkled the other half of the blood on the altar.
7 Then he took the Book of the Agreement and read it so the people could hear him. And they said, "We will do everything that the Lord has said; we will obey."
8 Then Moses took the blood from the bowls and sprinkled it on the people, saying, "This is the blood that begins the Agreement, the Agreement which the Lord has made with you about all these words."
9 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the older leaders of Israel went up the mountain
10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky!
11 These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.
12 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up the mountain to me. Wait there, and I will give you two stone tablets. On these are the teachings and the commands I have written to instruct the people."
13 So Moses and his helper Joshua set out, and Moses went up to Sinai, the mountain of God.
14 Moses said to the older leaders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone who has a disagreement with others can take it to them."
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it.
16 The glory of the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. 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 fire burning on top of the mountain.
18 Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for 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.

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