Forty Days and Nights
With Questions and Proposed Answers
Background and printed text: Exodus 24
Exodus 24:1 And He said unto Moshe, “Ascend unto Yehovah—thou and Aharon, Nadav and Avihu and seventy from elders of Israel. And ye shall worship from a distance. 2And Moshe to his alone shall come-close unto Yehovah. And they, they shall not come-close. And the people—they shall not ascend with him!”
3And Moshe came. And he scrolled to the people all the speeches of Yehovah and all the justices. And all the people answered, one voice. And they said, “We will do all the speeches that Yehovah spoke!”
4And Moshe wrote all the speeches of Yehovah. And he early-rose in the morning. And he built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars to twelve of the tribes of Israel. 5And he sent youths of the children of Israel. And they ‘ascended’ ascensions. And they sacrificed ‘peaces’ sacrifices to Yehovah: bulls. 6And Moshe took half the blood. And he put into basins. And he sprinkled half the blood upon the altar.
7And he took the scroll of the Covenant. And he called into ears of the people. And they said, “We will do all that Yehovah spoke! And we have hearkened!” 8And Moshe took the blood. And he sprinkled upon the people. And he said, “Behold blood of the Covenant that Yehovah cut with you concerning all these speeches!”
9And Moshe ascended, and Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, and seventy from elders of Israel. 10And they saw Gods of Israel! And under His feet is as the work of a brick of the sapphire and as a bone of the heavens to cleanness! 11And He didn’t send His hand unto the ‘proximitous’-[ones] of the children of Israel. And they envisioned the Elohim! And they ate, and they drank!
12And Yehovah said unto Moshe, “Ascend mountainward unto me. And be there! And I will give her to thee—blackboards of the stone—and the Teaching and the Commandment that I wrote to teach them.”
13And Moshe arose, and Yehoshua [Joshua] his minister. And Moshe ascended unto Mount The-Elohim. 14And he said unto the elders, “Sit-ye to us in this until-that we will return unto you. And behold, Aharon and Hur are with you. Who is a master of speeches will come-close unto them!”
15And Moshe ascended unto the mountain. And the cloud blanket-covered the mountain. 16And Glory Yehovah abode upon Mount Sinai. And the cloud blanket-covered him six of the days. And He called unto Moshe in day the seventh from the midst of the cloud. 17And the appearance of Glory Yehovah is as a fire eating in the head of the mountain to the eyes of the children of Israel. 18And Moshe came into the midst of the cloud. And he ascended unto the mountain. And Moshe was in the mountain forty day and forty night.
I. Ascending, Worshipping, Coming Close (verses 1-2)
Yehovah told Moshe, “Ascend unto Yehovah—thou and Aharon, Nadav and Avihu and seventy from elders of Israel.” He then told them what to do: “And ye shall worship from a distance.”
Yehovah continued to specify: “And Moshe to his alone shall come-close unto Yehovah. And they, they shall not come-close.”
He then stated regarding the Israelis: “And the people—they shall not ascend with him!”
1. Why did “He” say unto Moshe to ascend unto Yehovah if He is Yehovah? This occurs quite a few times in the Bible: Yehovah refers to Himself as if He is referring to someone else. This is one of the ways that Yehovah gives readers a clue that He will show Himself as more than one being throughout the texts!
2. Why did Yehovah desire 74 persons to ascend to Him (even if most of them had to keep a distance)? This was very important for the Israelis to experience. When Yehovah comes at the end of the Tribulation, those who await His coming must understand how that coming will be and how they will be affected. The Israelis in Moshe’s day also needed to hear from these 74 folks that they truly saw Yehovah since the rest of the Israelis will not be able to see Yehovah in this way.
3. What does worship mean? It means to lie flat before another, and it either indicates surrender or the willingness to serve. It can also indicate that the person lying flat has an urgent request.
4. Why did Yehovah tell them to worship? What was the purpose of their worshipping? This was vital for all Israel to know; they prostrated before Yehovah showing their willingness to serve Him.
5. Who are Nadav and Avihu? They are two sons of Aharon who will function as leaders of the priests of Israel.
6. What does “Moshe to his alone” mean? This is what the Hebrew expression literally means. We would say, “Moshe alone,” but the expression indicates something even stronger. A person could be ‘alone’ in a crowd. This expression indicates that absolutely no one else can accompany him.
7. Why did Yehovah desire Moshe to come close to Him, while desiring the others to stay back? Yehovah knew the characters of each of these men. He knew that Moshe feared Him and was willing to do as He commanded. He also knew that the other men did not need to physically come close to Him. Yehovah had things to say and to give to Moshe; the other men just needed to witness Moshe’s going and coming, and Yehovah’s appearance.
8. Why was a command against the people ascending given? The Israelis were pagan idolaters. Had they ascended, Yehovah would have had cause to harm them. Instead, He made sure that they remained a short distance from the mountain.
9. Since Yehovah is everywhere, why wouldn’t there be just as much danger being anywhere and not being right before Yehovah? There is just as much danger; only, Yehovah has determined to give time to individuals to come to fear Him. He has made sure that they don’t feel the great danger, though He has warned them that the danger is real. Turning to Yehovah in fear of the great danger is fine, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to faith in Him. Faith comes by hearkening, and hearkening comes by the speech of God, not by fear of His danger.
II. Speeches and Justices (verse 3)
Moshe came. He then detailed in order to all the people of Israel all the speeches of Yehovah and all the justices of Yehovah.
The people of Israel answered with one voice! They said, ““We will do all the speeches that Yehovah spoke!”
1. Verse 3 states, “And Moshe came.” Where did he come? He came to the Israelis. He didn’t yet ascend to Yehovah. He first had to inform the Israelis about what was going to occur and where he was going. He had to give all the speeches and all the justices of Yehovah to the Israelis.
2. What does “he scrolled to the people” mean? This means that he spoke to the people the details of the record he had written on the scroll in order. Think of a scroll and how it is constructed. Think of keeping a written record on the scroll. As the scroll is turned, the next sentences can be read; they come before the reader in order.
3. How many speeches did Yehovah give? The text doesn’t give this information. It instead gives all the speeches that Yehovah said since Moshe recorded them, and the Bible is the record. There are quite a few speeches.
Do not assume that the texts are written in the order that events occurred. They will sometimes be in order, but they will sometimes not be in order. Instead, they are written by topics. This particular topic is about Moshe’s going to Yehovah to obtain things directly from Him.
4. What are the justices of Yehovah? If justice is rendering (deciding) a right decision based on all facts, the justices of Yehovah must be the renderings of right decisions based on all facts. As we come to the justices, I will point out some of them.
5. What does “And all the people answered, one voice” mean? The Israelis answered what Moshe said with total unanimity—that is, unanimously, meaning that they were all in perfect agreement! Thus, they all said the very same thing as if they together had just one voice and view.
6. The people of Israel agreed to do all the speeches that Yehovah spoke. Will they follow through and do all? No.
7. Why did they promise to do all the speeches of Yehovah, then? All these things sounded exciting to them! They felt that they would greatly enjoy living under this arrangement. They didn’t know that the speeches of Yehovah included doing some things that were frightening at first—things that would increase their boldness and fighting skills, and that would test them so that they would become strong.
III. Writing Speeches and Sacrificing ‘Peaces’ (verses 4-6)
Moshe wrote down all the speeches of Yehovah.
He rose up early in the morning. He built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and he built twelve pillars corresponding to twelve of the tribes of Israel.
He then sent youths of the children of Israel to cause ascension sacrifices to ascend (on the altar). They sacrificed ‘peaces’ sacrifices to Yehovah; those sacrifices were bulls.
Moshe then took half the blood and put it into basins. He then sprinkled half the blood upon the altar.
1. Where did Moshe write all the speeches of Yehovah? He wrote them in scrolls that are called the Torah (the Teaching), and consist of the first books of the Bible. (Moshe wrote up to Deuteronomy; Joshua continued through the book of Joshua. Moshe probably wrote other books of the Bible. He certainly wrote some of the Psalms.)
2. Why did Moshe wait for a day when Yehovah told him to ascend to Yehovah? Moshe knew that he had to prepare the Israelis so that they didn’t try to follow him; he didn’t want them to be killed. Moshe was a prophet; he knew that the command to ascend didn’t imply ‘right now!’
Whenever Yehovah gives a command, there are always two parts: the details of the command, and when the command must be carried out. Assuming that the timing is ‘right now’ is just wrong. Think of the military to understand this. If orders come for a soldier to ship out to a location (like Iraq, say), that soldier must wait for the next orders, and just make sure that he has packed. The next orders will tell the soldier where to go to be taken to Iraq. If the soldier were to obtain a ticket to fly to Iraq on his own, he would be considered in violation of military conduct!
3. Why did Moshe rise early in the morning? He had many things to do that day! He desired to get started early!
4. The text states, “he built an altar under the mountain.” What does that mean? It means that he built it at the foot of the mountain—at its base. He didn’t build it on the mountain. (He didn’t build it in a cave; the smoke would have made a mess!)
5. Why did he build an altar? He will be doing animal sacrifices on the altar. Those animal sacrifices are types—show-and-tell-styled pictures of what others will heroically do!
6. Why did he build twelve pillars, and how did these pillars appear? He built them to each represent one of twelve of the tribes of Israel.
Yehovah divided up Israel so that there were 13 tribes by splitting Joseph’s tribe into two parts. This way, the Levitical tribe could be reserved for Spiritual service to Yehovah, and 12 tribes were still present for war and for other responsibilities.
I am thinking that these pillars were made of stacked stones, but I don’t know.
7. What was the purpose of these twelve pillars? A pillar is a structure that is positioned in order to support something else. Pillars are normally set to work together to support a structure (like a ceiling).
These twelve pillars are “to twelve of the tribes of Israel,” as if they represent twelve supports of the tribes of Israel. Those supports together, I propose, represent the Covenant. The following text gives me a little evidence of this:
Deuteronomy 29:8 And ye shall guard the words of this Covenant. And ye shall do them so that ye shall-be-prudent with all that ye shall do. 9Ye are positioned today, all of you, to the faces of Yehovah your Gods, your heads, your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, 10your little-one, your women and thy sojourner who is in the midst of thy camp, from a hewer of thy trees unto a drawer of thy waters 11to pass thee into the Covenant of Yehovah thy Gods and into His oath that Yehovah thy Gods cut with thee today 12in order that He will make-thee-stand today to Him for a people. And He will be to thee for Gods just as He spoke to thee and just as He swore to thy fathers, to Avraham, to Yitzkhak and to Yaakov.
I underscored the words “are positioned” because those words are the verb from which the noun pillar comes.
8. Why did Moshe send youths? They had ascensions of bulls! Rounding up the bulls, slaughtering them, draining them of blood, skinning them, piecing them into pieces, and placing them on the altar was a lot of work! Youths had the strength and vigour to do these things without difficulty.
9. What does “they ‘ascended’ ascensions” mean? I am using the verb to ascend in a way that doesn’t work in English. It isn’t normally transitive—that is, it normally doesn’t take a direct object. One doesn’t ‘ascend’ something (that is, send it upward) in English. This is what the Hebrew says, however; the youths ‘ascended’ ascensions—that is, sacrifices of bulls. They did this by placing the pieced bulls on the altar, and cooking them. This is a normal animal sacrifice. The smell of the burning fat that drips into the fire smells so good!
10. What does “they sacrificed ‘peaces’ sacrifices to Yehovah: bulls” mean? Each separate sacrifice was a peace sacrifice typifying one or more forms of peace with Yehovah and with others. (I have not yet discovered the various forms of peace, but I suspect that you can.) These sacrifices were bulls that were slaughtered as described above.
The bulls normally typify larger groups. These larger groups of heroes and heroines will give their lives in order for various forms of peace to finally come to Israel. The text doesn’t tell how many bulls were sacrificed; that would indicate how many groups of heroes and heroines will give their lives during and just before the Tribulation.
11. Why did Moshe take just half of the blood to put into basins? He used half to sprinkle upon the altar; he used the other half to sprinkle upon the people of Israel!
12. How much blood was there? There were at least two bulls; a bull has a lot of blood! It would be measured in gallons!
13. What is the purpose of sprinkling blood upon the altar?
Exodus 29:21 And thou shalt take from the blood that is upon the altar and from the oil of the anointing. And thou shalt sprinkle upon Aharon and upon his garments and upon his sons and upon garments of his sons with him. And he: he shall be holy, and his garments and his sons and garments of his sons with him!
Blood, then, causes something to be holy—that is, to be owned. Who, then, is the owner?
If a person risks his or her life to do something for another, the person for whom the action is done drinks the blood of the person who does the action. This is because the life of the flesh is in the blood; risking one’s life for another (for any reason) is offering one’s own blood (and life) to that person. If the person receives the action, that person has drunk the blood of the one who did the action. The same is true of a group; if a group risks its life for another or for others, and if the person or persons receives whatever was obtained by the risk, he/they drink(s) the blood of those who took that risk.
The one who risked or who gave his/her life for another/for others therefore owns the recipient(s) of the heroic action.
An example is what the heroic Yeshua did:
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock over which the Spirit of the Holy-[One] has made you overseers to feed the congregation of God that He purchased with His own blood.
In the case of our text, the bulls typify groups of heroes and heroines who voluntarily gave their lives—that is, volunteered their blood to death (at some point far into the future), and the altar typifies the place where they died as a sacrifice. Thus, they own that altar.
IV. Blood of the Covenant (verses 7-8)
Moshe took the scroll of the Covenant. He then called its contents into the ears of the people of Israel.
They responded, ““We will do all that Yehovah spoke! And we have hearkened!”
Moshe took the blood; he then sprinkled that blood upon the people. And he said, “Behold blood of the Covenant that Yehovah cut with you concerning all these speeches!”
1. What is this scroll of the Covenant? It is what is known as the Torah, and it is what you are presently considering! However, it wasn’t yet finished. When it will be finished, it will encompass the Biblical books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua.
2. What does “he called into ears of the people” mean? That means that he read the words of the Covenant out loud (calling them) and into the ears of the people of Israel (so that they could hear them well).
3. The Israelis responded, “We will do all that Yehovah spoke!” Is that true? They thought that they would, but they won’t! It won’t be because doing what Yehovah spoke is hard, because it isn’t; it will be because the Israelis just won’t want to do what Yehovah spoke. They will want to be pagans like their neighbours!
4. The Israelis also said, “And we have hearkened!” Had they hearkened? They worded it this way because this is the way the Hebrew language works. What they said was this: “We will do all that Yehovah spoke! And we have hearkened!” The first sentence is in the future tense, because that is their intention. The second is in the past tense because that will be the result if they do what they promised in the first sentence. Hebrew often places things that are results in the past tense.
5. What does hearken mean? It means all of the three following things: to hear, to listen, to do or to believe.
6. Why did Moshe sprinkle the blood of the bulls upon the people? Wouldn’t that stain their clothing? He sprinkled the blood upon the people for the very same reason that he sprinkled the blood upon the altar. This showed that the people of Israel are owned by what the bulls typify: groups that will heroically give their lives to save the lives of the Israelis (during the Tribulation)!
The blood did stain their clothing! It also served as a reminder (if they understood what the blood typified, which I doubt they did). It also showed that the groups that the bulls typify will shed their blood for others.
7. Moshe then stated, “Behold blood of the Covenant that Yehovah cut with you concerning all these speeches!” Is a covenant cut? It is, because it normally involves an animal sacrifice, and the animal’s throat is cut! The animal typifies persons (or Yeshua) whose innocent lives are given to guard the covenant.
Hebrews 13:20 And the God of peace Who again brought our lord Yeshua, the great Shepherd of the sheep, from among the dead perfect you in blood of the everlasting covenant in every good work in order to do His will doing in you what is well pleasing before Him through Messiah Yeshua to Whom glory is to the ages of the ages.
8. When did Yehovah cut this Covenant with the Israelis? He is cutting it right then by type—that is, using bulls whose throats are being cut. The contents of the Covenant are the speeches that Yehovah is giving. Yet, this Covenant was made with Avraham, confirmed and made also with Isaac, and confirmed and made also with Jacob. Still, there is another whose blood was shed for this Covenant: Yeshua Himself. Therefore, the blood of many will end up being shed in order for this Covenant to stand. (There will be many heroes and heroines who give their lives or risk their lives to guard this Covenant!)
9. What does “Behold blood of the Covenant that Yehovah cut with you concerning all these speeches” mean? All these speeches of Yehovah are part of this Covenant’s vow! They teach, direct, explain and warn.
V. Seeing and Envisioning the Gods of Israel (verses 9-11)
Moshe now ascended along with Aharon, Nadav, Avihu, and seventy from the elders of Israel. And they saw Gods of Israel! Under His feet is as the work of a brick of the sapphire, and as a ‘bone’ of the heavens for its cleanness! During this time, Yehovah didn’t send His hand unto those who had come close to Him from the children of Israel! Thus, they envisioned the Gods (the Elohim)! Yet, they still ate and drank!
1. What did Moshe, Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, and seventy from elders of Israel ascend? They ascended the base of Mount Sinai. They went up a little distance, but they didn’t get close to the Gods of Israel.
2. Why did Yehovah desire seventy from the elders of Israel? I can observe these things: The number 70 is quite large, and they will be quite a few witnesses of what they saw. A smaller number might give the Israelis the impression that they made up what they saw, but a larger number is much harder to dispute.
I propose that the number 70 is a type. If 7 typifies completion, as in the number of days to a complete week, and if 10 typifies a test (which is what I propose that it represents, since the Israelis tested Yehovah ten times in a later text), and if numerical (number) types include numbers that are multiplied (in other words, this is 7 X 10 = 70), 70 typifies a complete test. If all this is true, Yehovah is testing Israel using these 70 men.
3. Did these men directly see Gods of Israel? Yes, they did!
4. Why would Yehovah desire these men to see Him if He desires that they will live by faith, and not by sight? Yehovah is giving a preview of how He will appear when He comes to earth to reign over all kings and lords! This preview is very important so that others who will try to feign (fake) His coming won’t be able to match these descriptions.
5. What is a brick of the sapphire? A sapphire is a blue stone (since the Greek word means blue stone), and it looks like this:
Logan Sapphire, National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC by Thomas Ruedas
Imagine one beautiful and shining brick made of material that looks like this.
6. What is a bone of the heavens? I am guessing on this; I don’t know. So, I will guess. In a very clear sky at night when there is no moon, one can see the Milky Way Galaxy (the galaxy of stars in which we are located). It is like a rib across the sky. The following is a picture of it:
by European Southern Observatory, S. Brunier
7. What does “as a bone of the heavens to cleanness” mean? The word clean (versus unclean, and not versus dirty) normally refers to anything or anyone that isn’t contaminated by an impurity that is totally contrary to or different from its normally pure state. (Imagine finding a dead mouse in a glass of milk; that is a picture of unclean milk.)
This bone of the heavens, then, is without any contaminant that ruins, alters or diminishes its beauty.
8. Was what was under His feet pretty? It was very pretty!
9. What is a “proximitous” one (seeing that the word proximitous is made up)? This is a person who is nearby—that is, in proximity to something or someone; it doesn’t necessarily mean very close. (I could have just used the word nearby, but the Hebrew word was very specific. Another Hebrew word means nearby, and indicates very close.)
10. Who are these ‘proximitous’ ones? They are Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, and seventy from elders of Israel.
11. Why does the text specify that He didn’t send His hand unto them, and what does this mean? Sending the hand implies destruction! Had Yehovah sent His hand in a case like this, it would have been to do harm or kill.
Noting that Yehovah didn’t send His hand is important for several reasons. One of the reasons has to do with other texts that tell readers that certain folks who see God will not live! Look at the following text to see an example:
Exodus 33:20 And He said, “Thou wilt not be able to see my faces! For the adam will not see me and live!”
Our Exodus 24:11 text states that Yehovah didn’t send His hand. Yehovah knew that the two texts will appear to be in total conflict. (Can you figure out the differences so that you can see that the texts don’t conflict? See if you can.)
12. What does “they envisioned the Elohim” mean? The word vision in the Bible has a slightly different meaning from the meaning in English. When one has a vision, that person can see and is able to fully participate in what is being seen using all the senses (touch, taste, smell, feel, hear, see, converse). Thus, the person could hug another who is in the vision. Now, a vision in the Bible isn’t some sort of foggy event; it is extremely clear to the participants!
Thus, they very clearly saw and heard the Elohim! They were a distance from Him (so that they couldn’t hug Him), but they saw Him with the greatest clarity.
13. Why does the text add, “And they ate, and they drank”? This is the Biblical way to indicate that they didn’t freeze with terror or die. They were able to continue with normal life after envisioning the Elohim!
VI. The Teaching and the Commandment on Stone Blackboards (verse 12)
Yehovah now had more instructions for Moshe: “Ascend mountainward unto me. And be there! And I will give her to thee—blackboards of the stone—and the Teaching and the Commandment that I wrote to teach them.”
1. Yehovah said unto Moshe, “Ascend mountainward unto me.” Wasn’t Moshe already ‘mountainward’—that is, hadn’t he already gone toward and up the mountain?
2. What is her in, “And I will give her to thee—blackboards of the stone—and the Teaching and the Commandment that I wrote to teach them”? Her refers to the Teaching (the Torah), which is feminine in gender.
3. What are blackboards of the stone? They are slates—thin and flat rock structures upon which one can write. (Yehovah’s method of writing will be somewhat unusual.) Humans used such structures as chalkboards for several centuries. These blackboards were not large; Moshe will easily carry two of them.
4. Why did Yehovah specify that these blackboards will be made of stone (instead of wood, for example)? The answer to this will come later in texts. Had they been made of wood, they would have shown that the Teaching is corruptible—that is, that it is capable of rotting and disappearing, since wood is a type of corruptibility. Being made of stone instead shows a hard surface on which the Teaching and the Commandment will be written. Later, Yehovah speaks about writing these things on the hearts of the Israelis—on hearts of flesh—so that they will do all these speeches. In the meantime, stone pictures the heart of Israel: hard and impervious (that is, water, including the waters of lives, cannot soak in). Thus, He matched the slates with the Israelis.
5. Both words Teaching and Commandment are singular. Yet, there appears to be quite a few teachings and quite a few commandments. Why did Yehovah make those singular? There is actually just one Teaching. All of its parts still work together for just one Teaching, and not for many. Thus, the reader cannot view them as many separate teachings (without being wrong and without bad results). Whenever folks start taking apart the Torah (Teaching) to treat its parts as separate, they run the risk of viewing some parts as more important than other parts. Many who claim to believe the Bible today have the very wrong view that parts of the Teaching have been abolished—that is, that those parts are no longer active! This is a great error!
The same is true regarding Commandment. All of the Torah is one commandment! Taking the Torah apart runs the risk of viewing certain of the Torah’s commands as more important than the other commands, and many hold the view that some of the commands have been abolished! This is a great error!
Matthew 5:17 Don’t think that I am come to destroy the Torah or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill! 18For I say faith unto you, until heavens and earth pass, one ‘yod’ or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Torah until all be fulfilled! 19Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of the heavens! And whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of the heavens!
6. When did Yehovah write the blackboards to teach ‘them,’ and who are ‘them’? He is about to do this! Them refer to the Israelis! (The Israelis are then responsible to live out the commands as a show-and-tell for the various races of the world.)
VII. Moshe, Joshua, Aharon and Hur (verses 13-14)
Moshe arose to do as he was told. Yehoshua his minister also arose.
Moshe ascended unto Mount The-Elohim.
Moshe commanded the elders, “Sit-ye to us in this until-that we will return unto you.”
Moshe then told them how to handle things: “And behold, Aharon and Hur are with you. Who is a master of speeches will come-close unto them!”
1. Why does the text record that Yehoshua also rose with Moshe? It is introducing Yehoshua as one who tails Moshe everywhere that he can. This will later be one reason for Yehoshua’s being placed in Moshe’s position when Moshe is gone. Yehoshua loved the things of Yehovah, and desired to be with Moshe whenever he could. I haven’t seen a text where Moshe said anything about this, and where Yehovah commented on its goodness or badness; I only know that a comment without any disapproval shows that it was fine. (Indeed, it is very good!)
2. What is a minister as it is used in this text, and as it is used in modern Christianity? A minister as it is used in this text is one who serves another by doing needed tasks, by giving aid, by taking notes, and by just being helpful.
In modern Christianity, it is one who has been ordained by a church, by a denomination or by a school in order to function as a member of the clergy (religious leadership) and to conduct religious worship. (The Bible doesn’t use it that way.)
A minister who isn’t part of any religious group is one who has been appointed to some high governmental office to oversee a government department.
3. What is Mount The-Elohim? That is another name for Mount Sinai in the region known as Horeb. Mount The-Elohim means Mount The-Gods, or Mountain of the Gods.
4. Moshe said unto the elders, “Sit-ye to us in this until-that we will return unto you.” Identify us and we: Us and we refer to Moshe and Yehoshua!
5. What is this in, “Sit-ye to us in this until-that we will return unto you,” and what does “Sit-ye to us” mean? This refers to the place where they presently are—that is, within sight of Yehovah and on Mount Sinai, but at a distance. I propose that “Sit ye to us” in English would be more like, “Sit ye for us,” as in, “Stay here and wait for us.”
6. Why did Moshe mention that Aharon and Hur are with them? Aharon and Hur were now both able to lead the Israelis and to give wise counsel as well as to judge matters and conflicts. Thus, Moshe left Aharon and Hur in charge while Moshe (and Yehoshua!) ascended to Yehovah.
7. Moshe next stated, “Who is a master of speeches will come-close unto them!” What does this mean? I propose that a master of speeches is a person who feels very strongly to speak and to speak out regarding an issue. If I am right, this describes a person who is very upset about something that appears to be unjust, and who will therefore come to the leaders of Israel to address this issue.
8. How could anyone who is a ‘master of speeches’ come close unto Aharon and Hur if Yehovah explicitly commanded the Israelis to not even touch the mountain, and Aharon and Hur are part way up the mountain and in sight of Yehovah? I propose that they came down from the Mountain and returned into the camp! They had seen enough to testify to the Israelis that Yehovah was there. Now, Moshe and Yehoshua will ascend, and these other men will remain in camp to take care of any problems among the Israelis.
VIII. Glory, Cloud and Mountain (verses 15-18)
Moshe now ascended unto the mountain.
The cloud blanket-covered the mountain.
Glory Yehovah abode upon Mount Sinai. The cloud blanket-covered him six of the days!
Yehovah called unto Moshe in the seventh day from the midst of the cloud.
Glory Yehovah’s appearance is as a fire ‘eating’ at the top of the mountain; this was visible to the children of Israel.
Moshe came into the midst of the cloud. He ascended unto the mountain.
Moshe was in the mountain forty days and forty nights!
1. The text states, “And Moshe ascended unto the mountain.” Wasn’t he already there? He came back down from the mountain in order to prepare the Israelis and the elders for his more lengthy departure up the mountain.
2. What cloud blanket-covered the mountain, and what does blanket-covered mean? The same cloud that led the Israelis from place to place, that was a fire and light by night and gave them protection from the intensity of the sun by day, now covered the mountain.
Blanket-covering is a different word in Hebrew from just covering. It covers like a blanket instead of being a type of the coverings of Yehovah (for example, instead of being a type of the covering of sin that one sacrifice pictures). The entire mountain was completely covered like under a blanket by the cloud with which the Israelis were familiar by now.
3. Why did Yehovah make sure to entirely blanket-cover the mountain? Yehovah desired to keep the Israelis from coming near to the mountain; He didn’t desire to have to kill any of them. That cloud was on one hand very securing to them; on the other hand, the cloud frightened them because it wasn’t natural, and because it had frightened the entire Egyptian army.
4. The next statement is, “And Glory Yehovah abode upon Mount Sinai.” What is Glory, and what is Glory Yehovah? Glory means importance. Thus, the very importance of Yehovah abode upon Mount Sinai.
The Importance of Yehovah is demonstrated by the Salvation that Yehovah has provided to humans. I propose that Glory Yehovah refers to Yeshua Himself since He is the Salvation of Yehovah! I propose that He abode upon Mount Sinai!
5. What does abode mean? It is the past-tense form of abide, which means to come and to stay for a while—to make a residence. The amount of time can be short, but it can also be very long.
6. Who is him in, “And the cloud blanket-covered him six of the days”? It is either the mountain or Glory Yehovah!
7. What was occurring during that six-day period? The Israelis were just waiting and going about their regular business. Six days, they saw the cloud and they went with life as normal.
8. Why did Yehovah wait six days before calling to Moshe? I propose that this is a miniature of what will occur in the Tribulation; only, it will occur on Mount Zion, a different mountain. The call for all the Israelis to come up to Mount Zion’s summit at that time will occur in the seventh year. Glory Yehovah will be seen before that seventh year, but the call to ascend will especially come at the seventh year of the Tribulation.
9. Where was Moshe when Yehovah called unto him from the midst of the cloud? Moshe was in the camp of Israel.
10. Did the rest of the Israelis hear Yehovah call Moshe? The text doesn’t say. When one Israeli hears the call to proceed toward Mount Zion during the Tribulation, will others hear the very same call, or will the call be individual? All I know is this: When Moshe heard the call, he hearkened to the voice of Yehovah.
11. The text describes the appearance of Glory Yehovah being like a fire eating. What does this mean? A fire that is eating is an intense fire that is rapidly burning things up! A candle’s fire also eats, but very slowly; that isn’t a good picture of what occurred on the mountain. Think more of a forest fire that races through the woods and eats whole trees! This fire was of that nature.
12. What was the fire eating? This is what is so unusual. The fire wasn’t eating the mountain; its appearance is as a fire eating, but it wasn’t. Had it been eating the mountain, it would have been like the fire on the surface of the sun! Moshe would have been killed even getting close to it! Instead, it hurt no one, but its appearance showed everyone there that Yehovah is a ‘consuming’ (eating) fire!
13. What is the head of the mountain? The head of anything is its top or its leader!
14. What does “to the eyes of the children of Israel” mean? This means that these things were done not only in front of the children of Israel, but right in their eyesight!
15. Why did Yehovah desire the Israelis to see these things? He desired them to fear Him (so that they wouldn’t do wrong); He showed them His appearance when He will come to Mount Zion in the future; He wanted them to know about His wrath against all enemies (including them if they prove to be His enemy); He wanted the future Israelis to have confidence in Him because of His great power!
16. What does “And Moshe was in the mountain forty day and forty night” mean, and why aren’t day and night plural? Moshe remained under the cloud and with Yehovah for a full forty days and nights.
Since the number of days is more than a few, Hebrew sometimes switches to the singular. Also, it is as if it is describing one day and one night for Moshe!
17. Didn’t Moshe get hungry and thirsty? No, he didn’t! Even Yeshua hungered when tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, but Moshe seems to have been totally unaffected by the length of time.