About Jesus      Steve Sweetman

Home Page

This Chapter 24

Previous Section - Chapter 23

Next Section - Chapter 25

The Covenant Confirmed (ch. 24:1 - 18)                        


In verses 1 and 2 we see God calling Moses back to the mountain.  Moses visited with God at least four times on this mountain.  This time will last through to Exodus 31.  Along with Moses would come Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, along with the seventy elders of Israel .  Nadab and Abihu were sons of Aaron and were later killed for their disobedience as you can see in Numbers 3:4. 


Verse 2 says that Moses would be the only man to actually come directly into the presence of God.  This reminds me of the apostle.  In Galatians 1 you see that Paul learned the gospel directly from Jesus through revelation.  I believe Paul is the Moses of the New Testament.  


In verse 3 and 4 we see that Moses wrote down all that the Lord had told him and the people agreed to obey the Lord.  Now I am uncertain what laws Moses wrote down and spoke to the Lord about.  They might well have been the laws in the last few chapters. 


Verse 4 says that Moses got up early in the morning and built and altar with twelve pillars, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  Thee pillars were simply piles of rocks.


Verse 5 we see that Moses had some young men offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord.  Another word for "fellowship" would be "peace" as in "peace offerings".  We need to understand that Israel was not the only culture at this time offering sacrifices.  Other cultures offered sacrifices to their gods as well.  I'm not convinced that Moses even knew what sacrifices they were to offer at this point, at least according to the Law of Moses.  That being said, Israel has had a history now of offering sacrifices to God, but as yet, they weren't codified in the Law of Moses.  The first mention of sacrifices is way back in Genesis with Cain and Abel.  From that point on, all cultures had their form of sacrifices.


In verse 6 and 7 Moses took half the blood from the animals that were just killed, poured half in a bowl and half on the altar.  He read from the "Book of the Covenant".  Most scholars believe that to the laws that are from Exodus 20:22 to 23:19 is this "book of the covenant".  Moses read from the book and all the people agreed to obey them, at least for the moment.


Verse 8 tells us that Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people.  The question is, "what people did he sprinkle the blood on?"  He could not have sprinkled the blood on a couple million Jews.  Most scholars feel that he sprinkled it on the seventy elders who represented the people.


The last half of verse 8 is interesting.  It reads, "This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words."   The words "all these words" refer to the Book of the Covenant which again is what is written from Exodus 20:22 to 23:19.  It might also include the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:1 through 20. 


"This is the blood of the covenant…"   These are the same words used by Jesus at the last supper, and what Paul repeats in 1 Corinthians 11.  Because Jesus said these words, we know that He was linking the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.  All the Covenants that God was involved in was ratified with blood.  Something or someone had to die in order for the Covenant to be ratified.  Death came into the world due to Adam and Eve's sin, and the only way out of this death was through death. The first death was the death of an animal to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness.  That was in fact the first animal sacrifice.  From that point on, animals were sacrificed for sin, until Jesus Himself was sacrifice.  He was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. 


In verses 9 through 11 we note that Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders saw God.  We need to ask, '"what does this mean, especially in light of Exodus 33:20 saying that no one can see God and live?"  

I think these men saw God from somewhat of a distance. They were not in His immediate presence because in verse 12 God calls Moses into His immediate presence.  That being said, verse 11 says that God did not raise His hand against them.  Even if these men saw something of God, God made it such that they would live and not die.  We do know that God told Israel not to touch the mountain of God.  These men would have touched the mountain because they had climbed part of it.  This might be why God said that He would not kill these men.


Under God's feet was a pavement of sapphire – blue green – as clear as the sky.  Much has been said about this.  It is comparable to the sea of glass in the book of Revelation.


In verse 12 God calls Moses up to the mountain into His immediate presence where He would give him the law and the tablets.  The tablets had the Ten Commandments on them.


In verses 13 and 14 we see Moses taking Joshua up the mountain, leaving the other men and the elders at the bottom of the mountain. 


We see in verse 15 the cloud covering the mountain.  This is called the "cloud of God's glory".  The cloud exudes who God is without seeing Him as He really is.  God is spirit and really can't be seen by human eyes, but we can see the affects of God as He approaches the created world. 


Verse 16 tells us that the cloud covered the mountain for six days.  Moses was up there for six days before God spoke to him.  It was not until the seventh day that God began to speak to Moses.  That was probably a very long six days for Moses. 


In verse 17 the text views God as a fire on top of the mountain.  The Bible often speaks of God as being a fire, or a consuming fire.  Fire seems to always suggest cleansing from sin, or burning away the sin of man.  Fire is used also in judgment, as in the Lake of Fire.  This is one reason why humanity can't get to close to God.  Man will burn up.


Verse 18 states that Moses was on this mountain in the presence of God for forty days. The number forty is one of those well known and important numbers in the Bible.  It rained for forty days and forty nights in Noah's day.  Jesus was tempted for forty days.  The number forty is often in reference to testing. 

Next Section - Chapter 25

Previous Section - Chapter 23

Home Page