Bible Commentary: Exodus 24

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Exodus 24

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A Married People

It was, no doubt, quite a task to put into writing the words that God spoke to Moses. These writings were written as a part of a book called "The Book of the Covenant," or, in other places, "The Book of the Law." Moses read God's words to the people, who agreed to do all that God had commanded - thus affirming the marriage covenant that God made with the nation of Israel (compare Jeremiah 3:14 Jeremiah 3:14Turn, O backsliding children, said the LORD; for I am married to you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
American King James Version×
; Jeremiah 31:32 Jeremiah 31:32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was an husband to them, said the LORD:
American King James Version×
), which was then sealed with blood. This covenant, continually broken by Israel, was eventually terminated through the very blood of Jesus Christ - which then initiated the New Covenant.

Dining Before God

God's command in verses 1-2 of this chapter, it should be understood, are not acted on until verse 9, when Joshua, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and 70 of the elders of Israel are allowed to go part of the way up the mountain with Moses to worship God apart from the congregation. Yet only Moses is allowed to come close to God - indeed, the implication of verse 11, that God did not touch any of the nobles, i.e. the elders, seems to be that he did touch Moses. Here, the elders apparently saw a manifestation of God in the person of the preincarnate Jesus Christ. It seems that they were also given a vision of the very throne of God. The sapphire is used in other scriptures to describe God's throne (Ezekiel 1:26 Ezekiel 1:26And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above on it.
American King James Version×
; Ezekiel 10:1 Ezekiel 10:1Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
American King James Version×
). Moses then goes with Joshua up into the mountain, leaving Joshua below him at some distance, and he was on the mountain with God for 40 days and 40 nights.