EXODUS LESSON 34
We will begin this lesson in Exodus 19:1 "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." Exodus 19:2 "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."
We are being reminded, here, that it had been a very short time
(three months) since God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt,
and brought them to the mount of God. Everything that had happened to
them, happened for the purpose of teaching them the ways of God. We,
Christians, (spiritual Israel) can take a lesson from this, as well.
Things that we call "troubles" to us are, also, happening to teach us
the ways of God. God allows problems to come, to make us strong, and to
make us realize that He is the source of our strength. God purposely
brought them to this mountain to receive from Him the law.
Exodus 19:3 "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;" Exodus 19:4 "Ye have seen
what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings,
and brought you unto myself."
Moses realized, all along, that this mount was the mount of God.
Moses started up the mount to meet with God, but before he got there,
God called out to him, and told him what to say to this group of people
he was leading. I believe God called them the "...house of Jacob..."
showing their covenant with God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Then He spoke of them as the "...children of Israel..." showing that
they had grown into a mighty nation. God reminded them, that it was by
His power they were brought out of Egypt. He said, that He had
protected His, all along. God told them that He had led them to this
very mountain where He dwells.
Exodus 19:5 "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:"
This covenant that God was trying to make with these people was a
conditional covenant. It depended entirely upon them obeying His voice,
and keeping commandment with Him. Then, and only then, would the
blessings be theirs. God had chosen them to be His alone. He would not
share them with false gods. Everything, and everyone, belong to Him, but
He has given man a free will to follow Him, or not. He desired to bless
them above all people, but they had to do their share, as well.
Covenants have two sides. Both parties have to agree to keep the
Exodus 19:6 "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."
This message that God had given Moses, was to be told to them in
total. God wished to bless them and have them for a special people set
aside for Him, but they had to live holy lives. He wanted to make them
all priests to fellowship with Him. Jesus is the High priest. They
could reign with Him as His subordinates. Their part was to stay holy.
Exodus 19:7 "And Moses came and called for the elders of the
people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD
Moses did just as God had commanded him. He gave the whole
message of God, without alteration to the people.
Exodus 19:8 "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."
It seems that, the elders of the people received this message from
God through Moses. These elders, carried this message to the people;
and, the people unanimously agreed. They had not been given the details,
but they knew from experience the power of God. Their reply was "We
will do the will of God". The chain was reversed here, and Moses took
their reply back to God.
Exodus 19:9 "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
God, before, had not appeared and spoken to the people. Probably,
this thick cloud, that God would speak to the people from, was the same
cloud that led them in their travels. This cloud being thick would
keep the presence of God (Light) from burning up these sinners. The
Light of God cannot be looked upon by sinful man. This voice of God
coming from this thick cloud would be heard by all the people, and
would leave no doubt in any of their minds that God, Himself, was
leading this large group. It, also, would assure them that the messages
Moses was giving them, were really from God. They would be more receptive
to Moses, knowing it was actually God speaking through Moses.
Exodus 19:10 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people,
and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their
clothes," Exodus 19:11 "And be ready against the third day: for the
third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon
Moses had gone back to tell God that the people were in agreement.
Now, God told Moses to go and prepare for His descent to the people.
To be truly sanctified, is to be washed in the blood of the Lamb and
made pure by Him. Sanctification really takes place inside a person's
heart, but since these people were not children of grace, this type of
sanctification (made right with God) was not possible. The next best
thing was to cleanse them completely on the outside. This washing was
symbolic of the washing away of sin. The "third day" just shows the
holiness, and also, shows the reverence we are to have for God. This
"coming down" just meant that He would come near enough, that they could
hear His voice. He would be covered in a very thick cloud, so as not
to blind them with His presence of Light, and to protect them from
sudden death from His presence. The whole mountain (Sinai) would be a
very holy place with the presence of God.
Exodus 19:12 "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:"
We will learn in a future lesson, that where the presence of God
is, everything must be pure. We will find that in the tabernacle in
the wilderness, in the holy of holies, not anything less then 24 kt
gold (pure gold) was used. Everything in there had to be 24 kt gold or
24 kt gold overlaid. Anything in the presence of God had to be pure.
Not only could they not touch Him, but they could not be in close
proximity of Him. God is pure and holy. He cannot be around sin, at
all. Nothing impure can touch God. These people had not been purified
by the shed blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).
Exodus 19:13 "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
We see, here, an extreme holiness that God's presence had brought
to this mountain. Moses was to build a barricade to keep the people from getting too close to the mountain, while God's presence was on it.
If someone strayed over too close to the mountain, the people were to
stone the person to death, or shoot and kill him with arrows. Even the
ones carrying out the punishment could not cross the barricade or they,
too, would be killed. The trumpet sounding long was a signal for them to
come in hearing distance, but not to cross the barricade. The only ones
who could touch the mountain, or go up the mountain, were the holy men of
God, such as Moses and Aaron.
Exodus 19:14 "And Moses went down from the mount unto the people,
and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes."
Moses came down and prepared the people. They washed themselves and
Exodus 19:15 "And he said unto the people, Be ready against the
third day: come not at [your] wives."
We see, here, a cleansing of the people, and a total separation from
things of the world. They were to even abstain from sex for three days.
This outward cleansing was symbolic of the cleansing that should
go on inside of a believer. This three days, here, symbolized a time
of acceptance of serious prayers we make to God. Fasting and prayer
include total abstinence from sex relations, and all worldly things, and
a cleansing of the body by doing without food for three days and
nights. This is a time acceptable unto God.
Exodus 19:16 "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."
God deals with people, many times, with thundering and lightnings.
Many times, the voice of God was heard as thundering. We can look at
this scene now. The people were ready. They had washed their clothes
and bodies and abstained from worldliness, and they were at least
cleaned up on the outside. Moses had warned them not to get too near
the mountain, and now, this voice as of a loud trumpet sounded. God was
covered with a thick cloud to conceal His bright Light. This trumpet
voice had called them to attention and frightened them so badly that
Exodus 19:17 "And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp
to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount."
Exodus 19:18 "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."
This had to be an awesome sight. It appeared that the whole mount
was on fire. The presence of God, many times, is seen as a fire, or
smoke. "For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29) Many times,
earthquakes were God dealing with mankind. All of this happened, so
there would be no doubt that the voice that came from this mount,
was the voice of God.
Exodus 19:19 "And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and
waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound in the sky to redeem us
from the earth, it is the voice of the Lord, as well. I believe this
was similar here. The voice and the trumpet got a little confusing.
Probably, they are the same. Perhaps, the voice of God is as a trumpet.
Then God spoke in words understandable in answer to Moses. "By a voice"
just means the words were understandable to all the people.
Exodus 19:20 "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."
Moses was sanctified, and had been ever since God spoke to him in
the burning bush. Moses could be in God's presence, but not look upon
the face of God. This, you see, would not be the first, or the last,
time that Moses would be much closer to God than the people. God had
set Moses aside for this very purpose.
Exodus 19:21 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the
people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of
We can see that the barricade Moses put up, was for the protection
of the people. God feared the awesomeness might cause them to try to
break through, so that they might see God, and if they did, they would
die. In Numbers 4:20, God forbids the looking on holy things. This
should show us how reverent we should be in the presence of God.
Exodus 19:22 "And let the priests also, which come near to the
LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them."
God was saying, by this, the priests had to clean themselves up,
also. They were not exempt from cleansing, just because they were
priests. The same rules were for them, that were for the people. We
will see in a later lesson, that the priests who went into the holy
place, who had not cleansed themselves from sin, were killed. God's
ministers are not exempt from His laws and convenants. The ministers,
more than the people, should live holy lives. To whom much is
revealed, much is required.
Exodus 19:23 "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."
Moses reminded God, here, of the barricade put up to protect the
mount from the people.
Exodus 19:24 "And the LORD said unto him, Away, get the 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."
Exodus 19:25 "So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them."
We see, here, a little scolding from God to Moses. When God tells us
to do something, our answer should be "Yes Sir", not an explanation why it
isn't necessary to do it. Moses immediately did as God told him. Moses was to warn even the priests not to come near the mount. Only Moses and Aaron
(chosen men of God, sanctified by God for this work) could come on the mount.
Exodus 34 Questions
1. How many months had the Israelites been gone from Egypt, when they
came to the wilderness of Sinai?
2. What was mount Sinai called?
3. Why had all these things happened to the children of Israel?
4. Things we, Christians, call troubles, are sometimes what?
5. What was God's purpose in bringing the Israelites to the mount of
6. Moses went up unto----------.
7. What house was Moses to speak to?
8. God said He bare them up how?
9. Why does the author believe God called them the house of Jacob,
10. If they did what 2 things, God would make them His peculiar
treasure to Him?
11. What type of covenant was God making with them?
12. What did God want them to be like to Him?
13. Who did Moses give God's message to?
14. How did the people answer?
15. How was God going to appear to the people?
16. What was the purpose of this?
17. What was Moses to do to the people, to get them ready to meet God?
18. How long did it take?
19. What was the washing symbolic of?
20. What was Moses to do, to keep them away from God?
21. What would happen to anyone who touched the mountain?
22. Why was stoning, or shooting with an arrow, to be the way of death?
23. What was the signal for them to gather near the mountain?
24. What, besides washing, did God tell them not to do to prepare to
25. How is fasting and prayer today similar?
26. What occurred on the mountain, that told them God was there?
27. When this happened, what did the people do?
28. Why was the mountain as if it were on fire?
29. What was the smoke likened to?
30. Who went up and talked with God?
31. Why did God tell Moses to tell the people to stay back from the
32. Were the 70 priests allowed on the mountain?
33. What did Moses say that angered God?
34. Who was the only one allowed to go with Moses on the mount?