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Commentary » Exodus 24:1-Exodus 24:11 » Family-Times.net
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The People Agree to Obey God

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We can live only in relationships. We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. He decided to isolat … More


This chapter is one of the most fascinating passages in the Old Testament as it records one of the most significant and solemn events. It is at Mt. Sinai, in the 24th chapter of Exodus, that the Mosaic Covenant is ratified. This ratification is the key to understanding the remainder of the book.

  1. The players (vv. 1-2) - The Lord speaking to Moses, instructs he, Aaron, Nadir, Abihu and the 70 elders to come up the mountain to him. All of these are told to worship “at a distance” except Moses who is told to proceed further up the mountain and “come near.”
  2. Distant from the Lord (vv. 3-8) - The people relate to the Lord, but their relationship is somewhat distant. The Lord does not speak directly to the people; he speaks to Moses who in turn “recounts” God’s words to the people (vv. 3,4,7). When the people answer the Lord, they don’t speak to him directly but to Moses.
  3. Closer to the Lord (vv. 9-11) - Although the people must stay below, the leaders are called to come closer to the Lord. They don’t see God Himself, for God is spirit and no one can see him (John 1:18). What they do see is a vision of God. They were able to see the pavement of sapphire under God’ feet,
  4. Near to the Lord (vv. 12-18) - The Lord, then asks Moses to come up to the next level. This is a personal, intimate relationship. The Lord plans to share His heart with Moses and then give him stone tablets upon which he has written the Ten Commandments.


At the time of this writing you had to be a priest or elder to come one step up the mountain. Jesus death on the cross makes it possible for me to take that step in a personal relationship with the Lord.

Exodus 24:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Then 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 afar. Moses alone shall come near to the LORD, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him." Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do." And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then 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 we will do, and we will be obedient." And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words." Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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