Exodus 24

1 He said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from a distance. 2 Moses alone shall come near to the LORD, but they shall not come near. The people shall not go up with him.” 3 Moses came and told the people all the LORD’s words, and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which the LORD has spoken will we do.” 4 Moses wrote all the LORD’s words, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of cattle to the LORD. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 He took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken will we do, and be obedient.” 8 Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Look, this is the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.” 9 Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. 11 He didn’t lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw God, and ate and drank. 12 The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and stay here, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commands that I have written, that you may teach them.” 13 Moses rose up with Joshua, his servant, and Moses went up onto God’s Mountain. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us, until we come again to you. Behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever is involved in a dispute can go to them.” 15 Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 the LORD’s glory settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. The seventh day he called to Moses out of the middle of the cloud. 17 The appearance of the LORD’s glory was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 Moses entered into the middle of the cloud, and went up on the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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. (Ex 24:9-11)

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.

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