Exodus 34:30

30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him.

Exodus 34:30 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 34:30

And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses,
&c.] Who very probably met him at the bottom of the mount; these Israelites with Aaron were the princes, as Aben Ezra seems rightly to interpret it, and as appears from the following verse; for Moses could not well be seen by the whole body of the people at once, upon his descent from the mount:

behold, the skin of his face shone;
darted out rays of light and glory all around it, much perhaps in the same manner as the glory about our Lord, and others, is painted by the Romanists:

and they were afraid to come nigh him;
there was something so majestic and striking in it; and perhaps they could not tell whether it foreboded good or evil to them; and this may signify, that as by the light of the law sin is discovered, it fills with a sense of wrath and fear of damnation; and being the ministration of condemnation and death, it is terrifying and killing, though it has a glory in it.

Exodus 34:30 In-Context

28 He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.
30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him.
31 But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them.
32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.