Ex. 24:1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

Ex. 24:2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

Only Moses was allowed intimate contact with the Lord.


Isn’t it interesting that Nadab and Abihu are specifically identified as part of this group.  This makes it even harder for me to understand how they could even think about disobeying God in their role as priests.


Numbers 3:4 “And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father.”


Ex. 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

Moses tells the people ALL the words of the LORD.  The people agree to obey everything God has said.  It seems at this point that God’s purpose in Exodus 20:20—to cause a healthy fear that would encourage the people to obey—was succeeding.


Ex. 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Ex. 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.

Ex. 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Ex. 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

Ex. 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

1)    Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD.  (This had to be through the work of the Holy Spirit because no man would be able to remember so much detail.

2)    Moses sent “young” men to make offerings unto the LORD.  Some of the first thoughts I have are that Adam was “young” when he first sinned, and Jesus was a young man in His prime when He was sacrificed for our sin.  The young men would be more representative of the future of Israel.  It was important for these representatives of Israel’s future to recognize the holiness of God and how intertwined the well being of the nation was with the condition of their relationship to God.

3)    “the book of the covenant” – I would assume this to be all the words that he had written that God had given him.  (11/05) I am reminded that Moses was “near the thick darkness where God was” (20:21à) when he received the contents of the book of the covenant. 

4)    Again, the words were read to the people and they agreed to be obedient to God in every way.

5)    I guess the sprinkling of the blood on the altar and on the people was representative of the covenant being established between them and God.


Ex. 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

Ex. 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

Ex. 24:11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

The thing about journaling is that it makes you examine each phrase.  This is the first time I’ve actually “heard” these verses.  These men saw the God of Israel.  They saw what appeared to be a pavement made out of sapphire stones that were as clear as the sky under His feet.


We know the Bible has no contradictions, so they couldn’t have seen His face.  Even Moses was only allowed to view His glory from the back.  It would seem to me that they were allowed enough of a vision of His feet on such a foundation as to assure them it was GOD.  He allowed them to see enough that would have justified His striking them with His hand—but He didn’t. 


Instead it says that they saw God and ate and drank—sounds like a time of fellowship to me.  (I think God is demonstrating His desire to have fellowship with His people.)


Ex. 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Ex. 24:13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

Ex. 24:14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.

Ex. 24:15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.

Ex. 24:16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

Ex. 24:17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.

Ex. 24:18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

1)    The LORD is calling Moses to come up the mountain to get:  1) tables of stone, 2) a law, and 3) commandments written by the hand of God.

2)    His purpose in giving them to Moses is so that he may teach them.

3)    Joshua goes with Moses partway up the mountain evidently; but only Moses goes up to the presence of God.  (What did Joshua do for the 40 days and nights?)

4)    The people weren’t left without leadership—Aaron and Hur were to serve as leaders/judges.

5)    Moses is up in the mount for six days before the LORD speaks to him on the seventh.  (What is Moses doing at this time?  What is going through his mind?)

6)    The glory of the LORD looked like a huge fire on the top of the mountain to the people down below.

7)    Moses was in the presence of God 40 days and nights.  (We know that all God had to do was speak and the tablets would have been finished, but we are told in Deut 9:10 as well as verse 12 above that they were written with the finger of God.  Why is this emphasized?  It seems that the important thing is that they are from the heart of God.)

Deut. 9:10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.


I usually think of these two tablets as containing only the Ten Commandments, but the following chapters indicate that Moses was also given instructions for the building of the tabernacle and its furnishings.  According to 25:9, God was instructing Moses according to a pattern.  This would account more for the 40 days and nights it took Moses to absorb the teaching.