September 9-15, 1992 (Note that I go through and find what I can, then add Keil or ...)
The covenant-relationship of all things
The final victory according to vs. 5, 6.
Central importance of Mt 28:19, 20, v. 6
Entrapment forbidden, v. 13.
Check Edersheim. I failed to when I put this together, and he has some excellent thoughts.

Exodus 19

The Covenant

Vs. 1, 2.
Three months have past since Israel departed Egypt. Probably a year has passed since the Lord met Moses here at this location and commissioned him to go get Israel out of Egypt. Now Moses has the people right where the Lord told him to bring them, at the foot of the mount.

A covenant relationship.

Vs. 3-6, Moses goes up into the mountain at the place where the Lord met him before for further instructions. Notice that this starts the covenant-relationship between God and man.

V. 3, the Lord specifically tells him what to tell the people. Moses is quoting verbatim what the Lord told him to say:

1) V. 4, the Lord's claim upon the people. In other words, the Lord opens His instructions to this people by plainly telling them two things:

First, His love delivered them from Egypt. It is important to see that the love of God delivered the people, AND the same love provided them with His law to live by (many times our children think we hate them because we give them laws which are strict in their sight. The Lord prepares His people for the giving of His law by reminding them of His loving care).

Second, the Lord tells them by what authority He is speaking to them. His authority to give them the law is that He destroyed the Egyptians in order to redeem the people unto Himself. They are now His servants, not the Egypt's: and brought you unto myself. THE LORD BOUGHT THEM WITH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, SO THEY NOW BELONG TO HIM.

A) the Lord reminds them of the mighty works He did in their redemption. It has been around a year since Moses first went to them (4:29-31), and the people have seen marvelous works of the Lord against Egypt as no other people have even seen. The works should have been fresh in their mind; certainly, they could not deny what took place.

2) V. 5, obey and keep... the word keep is interesting. TWOT gives these ramifications of keep:

A) the basic idea is "to exercise great care over."
B) it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes &c. (I.e., Gen 18:19 Abraham was to command his children to keep the way of the Lord.)
C) "to take care of," "guard." This involves keeping or tending to things such as a garden, Gen 2:15.
E) "regard" "give heed to." It is used of a man's attitude of paying attention to, or reverence for, God or others.
F) "preserving," "storing up," such as the anger against Israel which Edom kept, Amos 1:11.

Although obedience is part of this word, it is only one part out of several. Thus, the requirement given by Paul to be faithful over the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1, 2) involves far more than just doing the Word of God. God's people are to pay special attention to and develop all of its ramifications; they are to watch out for it and preserve it as parents would their child or a man would a treasure; they are to give heed to it; they are to do all they can to store it up for the next generation. God's people are required to show the same care and concern for His law here on this earth as God Himself does. When they are faithful in these "keeping" areas, they will suffer the same persecution that God Himself suffered while He walked here on this earth in the form of Jesus (God with us).

The penalty for not being faithful and keeping in these areas that God is concerned about is to be cast out and trodden under the foot of man.

3) Vs. 5, 6, notice that even though the people had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb and separated from Egypt as a nation, they were yet neither a peculiar treasure unto the Lord, nor a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation unto the Lord. The Lord makes it clear that even though they had been separated from Egypt, their relationship to Him was dependant upon their keeping His covenant: it was a covenant-relationship.

In other words, their relationship to the Lord was dependant upon their covenant faithfulness to Him, not upon their relationship to Abraham. He redeemed them in order to make them into the kind of people He desired them to be. It would take a lot of "fire to mold them into His holy people.

A) Israel's relationship to the Lord of their redemption was, from this time on, a covenant-relationship. This is why the promise contained in vs. 5 & 6, was so easily transfused to the church, Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:5-10; Rev 20:6.

Because man's relationship with God is a covenant-relationship, anyone who will keep the covenant can be a member of the covenant-people, a member of the kingdom of priests and a member of the holy nation unto the Lord. Observe that salvation alone does not make one a part of the peculiar treasure, kingdom of priests, and an holy nation, for true salvation is obedient to the Word of God. The Lord through Moses, emphatically says if.. then...

We need to develop the thought a little of kingdom.. Keil points out that,

Israel was to be a regal body of priests to Jehovah, and not merely a nation of priests governed by Jehovah... This great and glorious promise, the fulfillment of which could not be attained till the completion of the kingdom of God, when the Israel of God, the Church of the Lord, which Jesus Christ, the first-begotten from the dead, and prince of the kings of the earth, has made a 'kingdom,' 'priests unto God and His Father' (Rev. i. 6 & 10), is exalted to glory with Christ as the first-born among many brethren, and sits upon His throne and reigns, has not been introduced abruptly here. On the contrary, the way was already prepared by the promises made to the patriarchs, of the blessing which Abraham would become to all the nations of the earth, and of the kings who were to spring from him and come out of the loins of Israel (Gen. xii.3, xcii. 6, xxxv. 11), and still more distinctly by Jacob's prophecy of the scepter of Judah, to whom, through Shiloh, the willing submission of the nations should be made (Gen xlix. 10). But these promises and prophecies are outshone by the clearness, with which kingship and priesthood over and for the nations are foretold of Israel here. This kingship, however, is not merely of a spiritual kind..., but culminates in the universal sway foretold by Balaam in Num. xxiv. 8 and 17 sqq., by Moses in his last words (Deut. xxxiii. 29), and still more distinctly in Dan. vii. 27, to the people of the saints of the Most High, as the ultimate end of their calling from God. The spiritual attitude of Israel towards the nations was the result of its priestly character. As the priest is a mediator between God and man, so Israel was called to be the vehicle of the knowledge and salvation of God to the nations of the earth. By this it unquestionably acquired an intellectual and spiritual character; but this includes, rather than excludes, the government of the world. For spiritual and intellectual supremacy and rule must eventually ensure the government of the world, as certainly as the spirit is the power that overcomes the world.


Keil points out the meaning of ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests is that as Israel met the conditions of the covenant, every person would be a king and priest, that is they would bear rule in the name of the Lord over all the earth, as well as be mediators between the Lord and the pagan nations (they would bring the pagans to the Lord, cf. Mt 28:19, 20).

Furthermore, this covenant-promise in Ex 19 is not new, but grounded in the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And the Church is the only legitimate heir to the promise.

[Note the central importance of Mat 28:19, 20—it is the bridge between the OT covenant and the NT covenant; it is the pivotal point for the transfer of the covenant-promise from the OT nation of Israel to the New Testament nation of Israel, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those to whom the command of Mat 28:19, 20 is given are the legitimate heirs to the promise given to Abraham. If that command was given to the OT Israel, then they are the continued heir, but if it was given to the Church, the Church is the heir.]

Moreover, notice the basis of the covenant-promise, v. 5, for all the earth is mine. The Lord can exalt anyone whom He desires to exalt; He can move in any way He desires to move. He chose Abraham and his descendants out of all the earth by His sovereign grace, and He can do with them as He pleases. He has chosen to rule the earth through His faithful covenant-people according to vs. 5 & 6.

[The Jews held to this promise as being to them as a nation, regardless of their relationship to the heavenly Father. Christ came in fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham and included every Christian in the promise, Gal 3. The Jews never gave up this promise and are even now claiming it for their own. They have laid hold of this promise and have conquered the world with it, giving them close to total control. Their false claim has caused them to declare total warfare against all followers of Christ, with great success we might add. Zionism, Communism, 'Hitlerism,' and modern humanism have all come from of their belief that they are the chosen race of God and that Christ is heresy. See the video, The Other Israel" for documentation, among other things.]

B) an holy nation.. without holiness no man will see the Lord. It is the spirit of God that forms in His people the image of His Holy Son, Jesus, making the people of God a holy people.

In dealing with this subject, an holy nation, Keil says thus:

God has displayed the glory of His name in the election and guidance of Israel (compare Ps. civ. with Ps. ciii.). God has displayed the glory of His name in the creation of the heavens and the earth (Ps. viii.); but His way in Israel (Ps lxxvii. 14), i.e. the work of God in His kingdom of grace, is holy; so that it might be said, that the glory of God which streams forth in the material creation is manifested as holiness in His saving work for a sinful world, to rescue it from the <Hebrew word> of sin and death and restore it to the glory of eternal life, and that it was manifested here in the fact, that by the counsels of His own spontaneous love (Deut. iv. 37) He chose Israel as His possession, to make of it a holy nation, if it harkened to His voice and kept His covenant. It was not made this, however, by being separated from the other nations, for that was merely the means of attaining the divine end, but by the fact, that God placed the chosen people in the relation of covenant fellowship with Himself, founded His kingdom in Israel, established in the covenant relationship an institution of salvation, which furnished the covenant people with the means of obtaining the expiration of their sins, and securing righteousness before God and holiness of life with God, in order that by the discipline of His holy commandments, under the guidance of His holy arm, He might train and guide them to the holiness and glory of the divine life. But as sin opposes holiness, and the sinner resists sanctification, the work of the holiness of God reveals itself in His kingdom of grace, not only positively in the sanctification of those who suffer themselves to be sanctified and raised to newness of life, but negatively also, in the destruction of all those who obstinately refuse the guidance of His grace; so that the glory of the thrice Holy One (Isa. vi.3) will be fully manifested both in the glorification of His chosen people and the deliverance of the whole creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. viii. 21), and also in the destruction of hardened sinners, the annihilation of everything that is ungodly in the is world, the final overthrow of Satan and his kingdom, and the founding of the new heaven and new earth. Hence not only is every person, whom God receives into the sphere of His sin-destroying grace holy; but everything which is applied to the realization of the divine work of salvation, or consecrated by God to this object. The opposite of holy, is profanus, not devoted to holy purposes and uses (cf. Lev. x. 10); and this term was applied, not only to what was sinful and unclean, but to everything earthly in its natural condition, because the whole earth, with all that is upon it, has been involved in the consequences of sin.


In Israel's deliverance, God only provided the means:

a) of obtaining the expiration of their sins, and of securing righteous before God. Neither forgiveness of sins nor righteousness before God were automatically applied to the people upon their deliverance. The means of forgiveness and righteousness was now made clear to them, but they personally had to apply the means as individuals to themselves.

b) of obtaining the end of being an holy nation unto the Lord. Their supernatural deliverance did not make them an holy nation. Israel's relationship with the Lord is always a covenant relationship: if you will do this, then I will do this, saith the Lord.

c) of delivering them from bondage and bringing them into the glorious liberty of the Lord. There was still the covenant to keep. As the people would walk in that liberty and according to the covenant, all creation would also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, Rom. 8:21. [Notice where v. 21 is located: it is just before v. 28, 29. In other words, all things that happen to the child of God is for the purpose of freeing him from the bondage to sin and to death.]

d) of avoiding the destructive consequences of not keeping the covenant.

e) of the final overthrow of Satan and his kingdom, and the founding of a new heaven and new earth.

Keil's conclusion is that as man is freed from sin and thus its consequences, so will be the whole earth. This is the last several chapters of Isaiah, particularly 65:20.

Probably the most important fact presented by Ex 19:5 & 6 is that every relationship with the Lord is a covenant-relationship. The new covenant, rather than having Moses as the mediator, has Christ. All the book of Hebrews presents this fact. The new covenant is not a new law of the covenant, but it is a new Mediator and a new power (grace) to cause the terms of the covenant to be met.

C) when grace is defined by Paul as the God-given desire and power to please God (Ph 2:13), we see that covenant-membership is totally of the Lord. In His sovereignty and with no advise from anyone, He chooses in whom to place His grace in order to make them covenant-faithful, thereby inheriting the promises given here.

D) The Lord brought the people out of Egypt because of the covenant-promise to their fathers (De 4:37), but their continued relationship with the Lord was dependant upon keeping His covenant. As we follow their history through the OT, we find that they violated the covenant and were finally cut off.

4) v. 5, for all the earth is mine: therefore, the Lord can make any qualification for who will be peculiar people that He desires to make. Who can say to Him, "What doest thou," or "I don't agree with that"?

Vs. 4, 5, shows us that the Lord has a double claim upon His people: 1) He, by His sovereign grace, redeemed them, and 2) He created them and all the world.

5) V. 6, these are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. V. 3, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob.. Twice the Lord tells Moses that he must repeat these exact words to Israel. Why? Obviously the Lord is, at the very start of their relationship with Himself, making it clear that their relationship with Him is a covenant-relationship. Otherwise, they would think that their relationship was one of "unconditional love"—the Lord would keep them unto Himself regardless of their action.

The attitude of exclusiveness with the Heavenly Father because of their relationship with Abraham is exactly what developed in latter years. All of the later prophets, as well as the Lord Jesus Christ personally, condemned them for this evil attitude.

The attitude of the 20th century church has devolved into the same thing as mentioned above. Exodus 19:5, 6, has been removed from modern Christians' Bibles even though the NT quotes these verses several times. It has been replaced with "unconditional love."

The whole of man's relationship with the heavenly Father hinges on these two verses, 5 & 6. Man's relationship with the Father is a covenant-relationship at every point. (See Edersheim's note below.)

Vs. 7-25, Moses is the mediator of the old covenant.

V. 7, Moses gathered the elders together and told them the exact words of the Lord—he told them the conditions of their being His people. Evidently, these were the same elders he had worked through in the past.

V. 8, the elders answer as one person for the people: "We will do all the Lord wants us to do."

This answer is striking to me. They have been free from Egypt just 90 days, and they have griped and complained all the time. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that they haven't done one thing of the Lord's commands thus far, they swear undying allegiance.

Aren't people strange? They can live in open rebellion against the Lord, His commands and His appointed leaders, yet they can swear undying allegiance to the Lord. The fallen nature has an astounding amount of hardness of heart and toleration for inconsistency. I think these people honestly thought they were doing right and would do all that the Lord had spoken.

Vs. 8, 9. Moses takes the people's answer back to the Lord. The Lord tells Moses that He will descend and speak personally to Moses in a manner that the people can hear the words of the Lord. Again, the Lord is going to exalt Moses in Israel's eyes for the purpose of causing Moses' words to stand for ever; there must be no doubt that Moses spoke with the Lord, the Lord spoke with Moses and the words (the covenant-law) were God's words. Moses takes the words of the Lord to the people.

Vs. 10-14, the Lord is going to speak, so the people need to prepare themselves for the Lord's message. I would suppose that this detailed instruction for the Lord to talk with the people is given in response of their attitude in v. 8. The attitude seems to me to be almost disrespect. They respond to the Lord as though He is just another slave master similar to the Egyptians. These instructions show that the Lord is not someone to trifle with. It would take three days for them just get ready to hear Him speak, which would be contrasted with their words, all that the Lord hath spoken we will do. They just did not realize Who they were dealing with or what they were saying. But they soon will.

The Lord is going to emphasize His holiness. They were "excited" about becoming a holy nation unto the Lord, for they said, "We'll do it." Evidently the Lord realized that the people regarded Him lightly, so now He is going to impress upon them His majesty and holiness.

Observe that Moses is to go get the people ready for the Lord to speak in their hearing. Moses is to sanctify them so they will be ready on the third day.

1) have them wash their clothing: cleanliness. "Cleanliness is next to godliness," is a true saying. "Teach them to be pure in heart, as they show themselves outwardly clean by washing." [V. 10, Geneva] Note, therefore, that outward cleanliness is a mark of inward cleanliness—inner sanctification will result in outward sanctification. The two cannot be separated.

I don't know how many people I have heard say that the Lord looks on the heart; therefore, the outward appearance doesn't really matter. Such a thought is totally contrary to what the Lord demanded here before the people could meet with Him. It took them two days to get cleaned up before the Lord would meet with them.

2) the men were not to touch their wives for three days. This is not saying that sexless (unmarried) way is superior; the reason the men were to avoid their wives was that the Lord wanted no identification with fertility cults and rites. Notice Lev 15:18, intercourse between husband and wife has defilement connected with it. This further discouraged any kind of fertility rites from God's people.

But give yourselves to prayer and abstinence, that you may at this time attend entirely upon the Lord, 1 Cor 7:5. [V. 15, Geneva]

3) Moses had to set bounds round about the mount, and the result of anyone, even an animal, touching the bounds was death. As the author of Hebrews said, our God is a consuming fire. The book of Esther shows us the respect that the king was to receive. She, the king's wife, was fearful of approach him uninvited, for even she could die if she made such an attempt. God is the King of kings, and here He enforces the authority, power and majesty of a king. Even though Christ makes the way of apporach to Him open so that we can come boldly into His presence, He is not to be taken lightly.

A) Ex 19:13, the offender was to be put to death from a distance, no hand shall touch him. He was to be killed from a distance, stoned or shot—he could not be followed within the appointed boundaries.

Observe: I think this shows us the Lord's prohibition against entrapment, because in entrapment, the "entraper" follows the "entrapped" into the sin in which they are trying to catch him. In other words, it is not right to violate the law in order to peruse and catch another violator.

B) "Neither dignity nor multitude have authority to pass the bounds that God's word prescribeth." [V. 24, Geneva] In other words, no one individual is above God's law, nor is the multitude above God's law. One of the more corrupt things which we see today is the elected officials exempting themselves from the very laws they force upon the population in general. Also the idea that "the voice of the people is the voice of God (Democracy)" corrupts this law. The society or the individual who denies that God is the standard and that all law must reflect His holiness, will die.

4) at the sound of the trumpet, the people were to come close to the mountain. Obviously, the trumpet refers to royalty.

A) the sounding of the trumpet: It,

"was done either to give a signal to summon the people to war (Judg. iii. 27, vi. 34), or to call them to battle (Judg. vii.18; Job xxxix. 24, 25, etc.), or for other public proclamations. [Keil]

It sure sounds like the Lord is here calling His people to war and battle. They are to conquer the land of Canaan for the Lord, and latter His people are to conquer the world for Christ. The Lord is going to give them their rules of engagement: the Ten Commandments.

Vs. 14-25, the Lord reveals a small portion of His holiness and majesty.

Moses goes down and gives detailed instructions to the people for what they are to do. The people make the three day preparation, and the Lord appears.

1) thunders, lightnings, thick cloud, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

I am impressed with the trumpet: it spoke of royalty, and now it sounds so loud that the earth shakes and the people tremble. Jehovah here manifests,

His glory in fire as the mighty, jealous God, in the midst of thunders and lightnings, so that the mountain burned with fire, and the smoke of the burning mountain ascended as the smoke, and the whole mountain trembled, at the same time veiling in a thick cloud the fire of His wrath and jealousy, by which the unholy are consumed. [Keil]

The Lord intends to instill "salutary fear" of His majesty in the hearts of the people in such a way as they will never forget.

2) at the sound of the trumpet, Moses brought the people out to meet the Lord.

3) V. 16-19, all the people.. trembled. This was the purpose of the manifestation of the majesty of the Lord.

They had taken the Lord for granted in v. 8, but now they are confronted with His majesty. Everything speaks of the majesty of the Lord. It was to impress upon the people the importance of what they were doing and of the importance of the agreement they were entering into. Furthermore, it exalted Moses, for Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

The desired results take place, 20:18-21. The people realize the holiness of the Lord and that they will die if they try to approach Him directly; therefore, they ask Moses to mediate for them.

[Keil places the giving of the ten commandments after 20:18-21, although that is not what the KJV says. The way the text is given, Keil is right, because before the Lord actually speaks, the people move back and stood afar off. After they move back, they ask Moses to intercede for them. Then the law is given to Moses in within the hearing of Israel. Evidently, the order of events is something like this:
Moses brings the people out of Egypt.
He "parks" them at the foot of the mountain and goes up for further instructions from the Lord.
The Lord then gives him further instructions, 19:5, 6.
Moses comes down the mountain, and gives the instructions to the elders of the people, v. 7.
The people readily agree, v. 8.
Moses takes their agreement back to the Lord on the mountain, v. 8. The Lord tells Moses that He will exalt Moses in the eyes of the people by coming to him in a thick cloud and gives him further instructions, v. 9. The Lord wants the people to believe Moses. So the Lord now sends Moses back down to prepare the people for the Lord's appearance. Moses goes back down the mountain.
Moses gives the detailed instruction to the people, and the people prepare themselves for the Lord's appearance. The trumpet sounds, and Moses takes the people to the foot of the mountain, v. 17.
Moses spoke to the Lord, and the Lord answered Moses in the sight and hearing of all the people.
The Lord again calls Moses back up the mountain.
The Lord tells Moses to go back down the mountain and warn the people again and come back up with Aaron.

Now it gets confusing. The text reads that at this point the Lord spoke the 10 commandments, and when they were completed the people realized the holiness of the Lord and asked Moses to mediate for them, 20:18-21.
Then the Lord gives the alter whereby sinful man can approach Him, 20:22-26.
When chapter 21-23 takes place in the order of events, I do not know. It reads as though it is given while Moses is still at the foot of the mountain and the people are within hearing distance. I say this because Ch 24 is where Moses is commanded to come back into the mountain with the others with him (which takes place after the sealing of the covenant with the blood of the sacrifice). Further words are given to Moses, and the Ten Commandments are written on the stone tablets. Then the design for the tabernacle, &c., is given. Evidently, Moses is here for 40 days this time because it is in Ch 32, that he and Joshua went down to confront Aaron and the golden calf.

Edersheim gives this order of events:

First, they underwent certain purifications, symbolic of inward cleansing. Secondly, bounds were set round Dinai, so that none might break through nor touch the mountain. Then, on the third day, Moses led forth the men, and placed them ' at the nether part of the mount,' 'that burned with fire.' There God proclaimed His holy and eternal law amidst portentous signs, which indicated He was great and terrible in His holiness, and a jealous God, though the fire of His wrath and zeal was enwrap in a dense cloud.
The revelation of God's will, which Israel heard from Mount Sinai, is contained in the ten commandments, or, as they are called in the Hebrew original, 'the ten words.' ... The 'ten words' were afterwards written on two tables of stone, which were to be kept within the ark of the covenant...


I think a major point here for us is that we take the holiness of God far too lightly. Sure, Christ has opened the way for His people to come boldly to the Father, but we fail to realize His holiness and majesty.

Vs. 20-25, Moses is called up for further instruction.

1) Moses is to again impress upon the people the danger of lightly regarding the Lord. He must go back down and warn the people. V. 20, notice the extreme danger of curiosity concerning the Lord. I wonder how many people have perished because they wondered after the Lord out of curiosity? God places the death penalty against a curios search after Himself: HE IS NOT AN OBJECT OF CURIOSITY, and He will not permit Himself to be regarded as such.

2) V. 22, special mention is made of the priests, but this is given before the priestly line is established. Evidently the first-born males were already functioning as a priesthood for the people. Could it be that they considered themselves immune or special in some way? Jehovah God was impressing upon ever person here at the foot of the mount his or her absolute unholiness and unworthiness to approach Himself. The thrice-holy God can only be approached through a mediator; Moses was that mediator in the Old Testament; Christ is the mediator in the New. No person, no matter what their birth or their office in the congregation of the Lord can approach the Heavenly Father without a mediator: the man Christ Jesus. Only Moses and Aaron, the OT mediators, were allowed to approach the Lord.

A) Just a thought: I am struck with Moses. The Lord met him quietly about a year previous to this encounter. Moses resisted the Lord's call as long as he could as the Lord dealt gently with him; now here Moses is in the same place again, only this time the Lord appears in an undescribable manner. It is the same Lord that met Moses at the same place, but the manner of the Lord's rehalation is as different as night and day. (In fact, over in Hebrews, Moses said that even he quaked with fear.)

Moses, the very hesitant servant of God, is exalted in a manner beyond description forever as the Lord, from this "terrible" manifestation of Himself, speaks personaly to Moses. The honour heaped upon Moses here is incredible. Also the abuse he had to take from this ungrateful people was also indescribable. The Lord more than made up for the abuse Moses suffered in the honour He heaped upon Moses.

James 4:10, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of the Lord, and in due time he will lift you up. The Lord does not forget where we are from, nor will He forget to reward according to our faithfulness to His calling.

3) V. 23, Moses protests that he has already warned the people. (Notice the close relationship between the Lord and Moses. The majesty of the Lord is evident for millions of people to see, yet Moses is talking with Him face to face as a friend.)

4) V. 24, the Lord sends Moses down to check on the people and reinforce the previous warning. Again, I think this is because of the glib attitude toward the Lord in v. 8. Even though the people had seen the mighty works of the Lord for over a year, they still did not comprehend who He is. They never did!

5) V. 25, Moses goes and warns the people and the priests again.

6) 24:6-11, the law of the covenant is given and sealed with blood.
After the people had been received into fellowship with Jehovah through the atoning blood of the sacrifice, they were permitted to ascend the mountain in the persons of their representatives, and there to see God. [Keil]

Thus we see that the blood brought the people neigh to the Lord giving them access to the Lord in the OT.

The New Testament reference:

The writer of Hebrews tries to impress upon the church the importance of the covenant which the church has entered into, Heb 12:14-29.


1) The writer to the Hebrews is calling the church to holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, He 12:14. This is what the Lord is doing in Ex 19:5, as He calls His people to holiness. The Lord placed an if with holiness, which made "an holy nation" conditional upon obedience to His commands. The writer of Hebrews does the same.

2) Moses himself said that the terribleness of the Lord's appearance at the mount caused him to exceedingly fear and quake, He 12:21. But the Lord tells us in v. 25 that the new covenant and the new mediator is far more terrible than what took place at the mount, v. 25.

3) It was the voice of Jesus that shook the mount, v. 26. His is the same voice that commands His people today.

4) The shaking of the mount by the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ was mild compared to the shaking that is in store for the whole earth, v. 26. The coming shaking will be world-wide and it will be so violent that everything that can fall will fall.

5) The assurance is that the Kingdom of God and all who are in it will remain firm. The holy nation and kingdom of priests will be on the firm foundation.

6) Notice the source of firmness in the shaking, v. 28. It is from the grace of God.

7) the final warning is that our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is a consuming fire.

Along with the passage in Hebrews, we need to read Deut 5:23ff.

Gleanings from others:

This mountain is constantly called Sinai so long as Israel stayed there... Horeb was the range [of mountains] of which Sinai was one particular mountain, which only came prominently out to view when Israel had arrived at the mount of legislation. [Keil]

[Moses] took the whole nation, that is to say, all the adult males of 20 years old and upwards' and this is especially evident from the command so emphatically and repeatedly given, that no one was to break through the hedge placed around the mountain. It may also be inferred from the design of the revelation itself, which was intended to make the deepest impression upon the whole nation of that majesty of Jehovah and the holiness of His law. [Keil]

God "had brought the Israelites to Himself to make them His own nation.." Keil. In other words, they were not yet His nation.

This manifestation of the love of God to Israel [brought them out of Egypt on 'eagles' wings'] formed only the prelude, however, to that gracious union which Jehovah was now about to establish between the Israelites and Himself. If they would hear His voice, and keep the covenant which was about to be established with them, they should be a costly possession to Him out of all nations. [Keil]

This outward sanctification of Israel had been preceded by inward and spiritual preparation. As always, the demand and the commend of God had been preceded by His promise. For He ever gives what He asks. It is, as St. Augustine beautifully expresses it, 'Give what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.'" [Edersheim.]


What God requires of us, He provides for us; He requires faithful service, so He provides for us the grace and power to be faithful.

And Israel was to be a holy people as dwelling in the light, through its covenant-relationship to God. It was not the selection of Israel from all other nations that made them holy, but the relationship to God into which it bought the people. The call of Israel, their election and selection, were only the means. Holiness itself was to be attained through the covenant, which provided forgiveness and sanctification, and in which, by the discipline of His law and the guidance of His Holy Arm, Israel was to be led onward and upward. [Edersheim]

In other words, An holy nation was not the result of their being chosen out of the nations; rather, it was the result of their practical application of the means of holiness made available to them after they were brought out of Egypt. That means was the law.