The LORD God passes by. The LORD renews the Covenant. The face of Moses shines.
VERSE 1. The LORD said to Moses, “Chisel two stone tablets like the first. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.
Chisel two stone tablets. Moses made the blank tablets.
I will write on the tablets. The LORD God will write on those blank tablets.
which you broke. The LORD God reminds Moses that Moses broke the previous set.
VERSE 2. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain.
VERSE 3. No one shall come up with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain. Do not let the flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.”
No one shall come up with you. Moses will need to make the ascent alone.
VERSE 4. He chiseled two tablets of stone like the first; then Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two stone tablets.
He chiseled two tablets of stone. We imagine this took a long time.
Moses rose up early in the morning. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus:
Mark 1:35. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there.
The LORD descended in the cloud. We imagine this refers to the Pillar of Cloud.
and proclaimed the LORD’s name. This is phrased in the third-person. Grammatically, the LORD is not speaking. Someone else is saying it.
Is the Holy Spirit speaking about God the Father?
VERSE 6. The LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD! The LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,
Like the previous verse, this too is phrased in the third-person. Grammatically, the LORD is not speaking. Someone else is saying it.
Is the Holy Spirit speaking about God the Father?
VERSE 7. keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children’s children, on the third and on the fourth generation.”
bowed his head. The Hebrew word is וַיִּקֹּ֥ד (“way·yiq·qōḏ”). It means to bow down.
toward the earth. The Hebrew word is אַ֖רְצָה (“’ar·ṣāh”). It means earth, land.
In other words, Moses touched his forehead to the ground.
VERSE 9. He said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, Lord, please let the Lord go among us, even though this is a stiff-necked people; pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”
VERSE 10. He said, “Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been worked in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD; for it is an awesome thing that I do with you.
it is an awesome thing that I do with you. What a promise! What a gift to be allowed to behold these mighty works of God.
VERSE 11. Observe that which I command you today. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
VERSE 12. Be careful, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be for a snare among you;
VERSE 13. but you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and you shall cut down their Asherah poles;
VERSE 14. for you shall worship no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
you shall worship no other god. Our relationship with the One God is exclusive. it is not an “open relationship.”
VERSE 15. “Don’t make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, lest they play the prostitute after their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and one call you and you eat of his sacrifice;
VERSE 16. and you take of their daughters to your sons, and their daughters play the prostitute after their gods, and make your sons play the prostitute after their gods.
VERSE 17. “You shall make no cast idols for yourselves.
VERSE 18. “You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib; for in the month Abib you came out of Egypt.
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Is the eating of bread was mandatory or optional for Jewish people?
This verse says it is mandatory.
What if a Jewish person is gluten-intolerant? Or has celiac disease? Can they still live their Jewish life? Will they be kicked out of Judaism?
VERSE 19. “All that opens the womb is mine; and all your livestock that is male, the firstborn of cow and sheep.
VERSE 20. You shall redeem the firstborn of a donkey with a lamb. If you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. No one shall appear before me empty.
VERSE 21. “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest: in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
VERSE 22. “You shall observe the feast of weeks with the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of harvest at the year’s end.
VERSE 23. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
VERSE 24. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither shall any man desire your land when you go up to appear before the LORD, your God, three times in the year.
VERSE 25. “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread. The sacrifice of the feast of the Passover shall not be left to the morning.
VERSE 26. “You shall bring the first of the first fruits of your ground to the house of the LORD your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
VERSE 27. The LORD said to Moses, “Write these words; for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”
VERSE 28. He was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread, nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread, nor drank water. Some people say it would have been impossible for Moses to have gone 40 days and nights without food or drink.
But in our day, there are many people who have fasted on water for 40 days. Or even longer. Read more »
VERSE 29. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mountain, Moses didn’t know that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.
the skin of his face shone. After Moses met with the LORD God, his face radiated the glory of God. It would luminesce. It would shine!
In our own lives, as we meet with God, may we also radiate the glory of God.
VERSE 30. When Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him.
they were afraid to come near him. When you walk with God, some people are afraid to be near you.
VERSE 31. Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them.
VERSE 32. Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them all the commandments that the LORD had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
VERSE 33. When Moses was done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
VERSE 34. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out, and spoke to the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
VERSE 35. The children of Israel saw Moses’ face, that the skin of Moses’ face shone; so Moses put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.