Exodus 19

Call to keep the covenant 1
The Lord plans an awesome experience and calls for readiness 9
The Lord descends with fire, smoke, and a loud trumpet call 16
The Lord told Moses to warn the people to be reverent 20
1 ¶ In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
 2  For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
 3  And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
.4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
  1 - In the third month The month of "Sivan." It would have been around the end of May.
  1 - Came into At the foot of Sinai, they would become a nation under the leadership of God. Paul may have come here before taking up his ministry ga0117.
  3 - Moses went up He would have known the area from his time herding sheep. He went up into the Shekinah glory of God. ex3320, jn0118.
  3 - House of Jacob Whose name was changed to Israel. The people were to realize the promises to Jacob ge2813.
  4 - On eagle's wings We get the picture of being drawn up and out of the reach of their slave masters. Their being brought to God implies that this was a special place of His presence. See de3211.
.5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
.6  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
 7  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
.8  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
  5 - Peculiar The word has a different meaning, today. "then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people. . . ." (NKJV)
  8 - We will do This covenant based on obedience by the will of the people was faulty. They had not learned their lesson that the Lord was the one with the strength. He had opened the sea and they walked through. Obedience is necessary but it is in God's strength. This covenant would soon be broken je3131,2, ex3219.
.9 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
.10  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
.11  And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
 12  And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
  9 - Thick cloud Humans cannot see God and live ex3320, jn0118, 1jo0412. When Christ came He was covered by human flesh. At the burning bush the fire covered Him. The cloud was the "pillar of cloud" that had led the children of Israel ex1321,22, nu1125, nu1215.
  9 - Believe thee for ever The people were to accept the leadership of Moses. The term, "for ever" obviously did not mean for all eternity because these people are all dead.
  12 - Set bounds Why? The Lord was there v24. An important concept was being illustrated. The commandments themselves are like boundaries or fences which keep us from being destroyed along with the sin they defend us against.
.13  There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
 14  And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
.15  And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
  13 - Not an hand touch it Or better, "no hand shall touch him." (RSV). Touching the offender would have been a violation of the boundary.
  Although always present everywhere, God covers Himself v9. ps13901-12, jb2308. In His presence all tremble ge2816, jb4205, hab0316.
  13 - Trumpet ... they shall come up The people had been warned not to come near the mountain. The statement means either that the people should assemble before the boundary or the Moses and selected others were to climb the mountain ex2401.
.16 ¶ And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
.17  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
.18  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
.19  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
  17 - Moses brought forth the people See his perspective forty years later de0411.
  19 - Moses spake and God answered An awesome relationship perhaps expressed in Heb. 12:21. Notice that God spoke "by a voice"! very personal. Because of sin, this direct communication had been suspended (to be restored in heaven, 1co1312) ge0308, ge0324.
.20  And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
 21  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
.22  And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
 23  And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
.24  And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.
 25  So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
  20 - Lord came down ... Moses up This is not an expression of compromise but of how we encounter God. As we open our hearts in sincere prayer, He lifts us up spiritually into His holy presence.
  21 - Charge the people lest Some may have been ready to enter the holy presence. See nu0420, 1sa0619, 2sa0606.
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