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The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the February 24 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: February 24
<< Ex 32

For New King James text and comment, click here.

Exodus 33-35    Listen Podcast

 

God takes the original Canaan-entry plan off the table (Exodus 33:1-6)

1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:
2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.
5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.

Well...the repercussions from the Hebrew uprising against God and Moses in Exodus 32 (see notes) continue. Remember back in Exodus 23 (see notes) when God explained how systematically the Hebrews would be able to move through Canaan and conquer it with the Angel of the Lord going before them and God's hand guiding them? That whole scenario of victory rested upon the conditions of Exodus 23:22, "But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak..." So what has happened here? It's obvious that they have not obeyed God. Subsequently, God retracts the offer of Exodus 23. We see in verse 3, "...for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people." Well, nobody is happy about that stipulation; without God's presence before them, who wants to dare make an attempt to move into Canaan. Moses...go do something about this!

NOTE: The wording here is a little difficult to follow. We see the Exodus 23 (see notes) promise recited down through the middle of verse 3. The retraction of that promise begins in the second half of verse 3. We do see, however, that Moses pleads with God in the balance of chapter 33 to reinstate the Exodus 23 plan. The plan is fully reinstated in Moses' meeting with God in Exodus 34:10-11 (see below).

Moses and God meet in the tabernacle that's not "The Tabernacle" (Exodus 33:7-23)

7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Moses has a face-to-face meeting with God - albeit through the veil of the tent Moses had erected for his meetings with God. This tent is not the Tabernacle which will be built later, but verse 7 indicates that this was not an unusual procedure for seeking God's presence...for "every one which sought the LORD," not just Moses. This tent was erected "afar off from the camp" and was the designated meeting place between God and Moses at this point in time while Moses is negotiating with God concerning Israel's rebellion in Exodus 32 (see notes). Israel has gotten off track with that whole golden-calf ordeal, and Moses is looking for some answers on how to get back into God's favor. Moses gets right to the point: "Without God's presence among them, they don't want to go into Canaan." Well...it's a good thing one man (Moses) still has favor with God! Look at God's reply to Moses in Exodus 33:17, "And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name." One man's faithfulness to God bails out some 2 million (or so) people who had sorely disappointed God with their faithlessness. Just one more thing: Moses wants a glimpse of God. After some negotiations on how this might be done without resulting in Moses' death, arrangements are made in verses 18-23. This pre-arranged event takes place in chapter 34 beginning with verse 6 (see below).

Incidentally, verse 11 might seem confusing in light of the remaining verses of this chapter, "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Moses actually talks to the "cloudy pillar" (verse 9). The reference of "face to face" addresses the difference between talking to God in Heaven as opposed to having a conversation with God standing directly before Moses, though in the form of a "cloudy pillar." Actually, another distinction is made regarding Moses' communication with God in Numbers 12:6-8 (see notes) when God says, "And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" As prophets of God go, that definitely sets Moses apart as unique, a point which is also emphasized at Moses' death in Deuteronomy 34:10 (see notes), "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face."

Moses makes new Tablets (Exodus 34:1-9)

1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

God instructs Moses to make the tablets upon which God will write the Law. You will recall that Moses had cast the first set to the ground and broke them upon his early return from the mountain in Exodus 32:19 (see notes). This time Moses provides the blank stone tablets and God will write on them; then he heads up to the mountain...alone. There he has the meeting which had been negotiated in 33:18-23 (see above). In verse 9 we see Moses again asking for God's favor and presence among the Israelites as they go to inhabit Canaan. God's reply to Moses begins in verse 10. Perhaps we should point out here that God had made the first tablets (the ones that Moses broke), but God will write upon these new tablets which will be made by Moses.

Forty days without food or drink (Exodus 34:10-28)

10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.
11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.
17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
18 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
19 All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
20 But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
26 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Moses was there on Mount Sinai receiving the Word from God - no food nor drink for forty days. God gives Moses exhaustive instructions and replaces the words on the stone tablets - the Ten Commandments. God restates to Moses the provisions of the laws which would govern Israel well beyond just the Ten Commandments. God renews his covenant with Israel regarding their promised land.

Let's take a look at those provisions:

Verse 26 ends with an interesting stipulation: "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk." While this food-preparation restriction does not seem to fit with the other provisions found in this section, it is also stipulated in Exodus 23:19 (see notes) and Deuteronomy 14:21 (see notes).

These provisions form the basis of God's covenant with Israel. Notice verse 27, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel."

A bonus: the shining face of Moses (Exodus 34:29-35)

29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Whoa...a glowing face! That's right, Moses' face glowed after being in the presence of God and receiving the Law. Remember what Paul says in I Corinthians 1:22 (see notes), "For the Jews require a sign..." Well, if you're looking for a sign, this ought to do it. Paul would later use this "face shine" of Moses to make a very important point about the Law in II Corinthians 3:7-11 (see notes). He would point out that despite the unmistakable glory of the Law (with the face shine to prove it), it would "be done away" upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So, how noticeable was this glow on the face of Moses? Well...it was so unsettling to Aaron and the rest of the people that Moses had to put a veil on his face - must have been pretty bright.

Again, here are your Sabbath regulations (Exodus 35:1-3)

1 And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.
2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

Moses, just down from the mountain with a shiny face, had their attention as he spoke to Israel on this occasion. Here's the restatement of the Sabbath regulations again...and in really strong words. It's a death sentence to work on the Sabbath with a particular notation to kindling a fire: DON'T DO IT! I just can't stop myself from saying it again. Don't try to convince me that you keep the Ten Commandments while you completely ignore the provisions of Commandment #4, sabbath keeping. Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17-18, see notes); it has been done away (II Corinthians 3:7-11, see notes); it has been nailed to the cross according to Colossians 2:14 (see notes), "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" How can something so clearly stated in the scripture get so mixed up by Believers today? Believers are neither made righteous by obeying the Law of Moses, nor are they kept righteous after salvation by doing so. The scripture is very clear on this, but if you're still a little confused on the relationship between Christians and the Ten Commandments, click here for more information.

Incidentally, notice the fire-on-the-sabbath prohibition in verse 3. Observant Jews today still adhere closely to this provision. While one may let a fire burn on the sabbath that was previously lit, nothing can be done to maintain the fire throughout the entire sabbath. This is an integral part of the Law of Moses...just as binding as any other provision of the Law.

Contributions and construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:4-35)

4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,
5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
6 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
7 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
8 And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,
9 And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
10 And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
11 The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
12 The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering,
13 The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread,
14 The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,
15 And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,
16 The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot,
17 The hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court,
18 The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords,
19 The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office.
20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them.
24 Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD’S offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.
25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair.
27 And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate;
28 And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense.
29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
30 And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;
31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.
34 And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

Moses concludes his presentation with a call for contributions to build the tabernacle. Notice Exodus 35:21-22, "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD." Note the emphasis here in the contribution for the building of the Tabernacle that these contributions be from a willing heart. Let the work begin! And Hur's grandson, Bezaleel (aka Bezalel), is the man who will head up the building project with a special unction seen in verse 31, "...he hath filled him with the spirit of God." He will be assisted by another man named Aholiab.

Incidentally, a very small tax (1/5th of an ounce of silver) had been placed on every male Hebrew back in Exodus 30:11-16 (see notes). Whether they chose to bring a contribution here or not, every Hebrew male had at least a small stake in the tabernacle.


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner