March 16, 1993-
Name & Glory of God, Hebrews 12:26
Now the Lord recalls Moses back up the mount to regive him the law. Moses is to hew out tow stone tables like the Lord hewed out the first time. He is to take those tables with him and the Lord will write upon the tables the same words as were on the first tables. Furthermore, this time Moses is to take no one with him. Last time, although the Lord did not tell him to, he took Joshua with him, 24:13. The same restrictions are again applied to the mount: nothing living can be permitted on the mount.
1) The first time, the Lord made the tables; this time Moses must make them. Note that it is harder to repair the damage done than to do it the first time. I think it is easier to quit smoking the first time than it is the second or third...
MH "when peace was made all must be begun anew, not where they left off, but from the beginning. Thus backsliders must repent, and do their first works, Rev 2:5."
2) Moses intentionally broke the first tables in the sight of the people to impress upon them the evil that they had done. The Lord does not charge him with sin, only makes him hew out the tables this time.
3) in the morning. I suppose I notice mentions of morning because I find mornings best to meet with the Lord.
4) no man shall come... Joshua went last time, but this time Joshua stays below. 33:11, evidently Joshua remained in the tabernacle which Moses had pitched outside the camp. Joshua! Did he watch over the people this time? did he intercede for them in Moses' absence? This time when Moses came back, the people were being have themselves. Did they stay out of mischief because Joshua remained among them?
Note the similarity with the priest making atonement for the people, Le 16:17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.
Vs. 4-9. The Lord speaks to Moses again.
Moses obeys, hewed the two tables like the first, rose up early in the morning, and went up unto the mount with the two tables. The Lord again descended to speak with Moses. Question: why did Moses have to go up into the mount for God to give to him the law? Moses was already speaking to the Lord face to face in the tabernacle, 33:11.
1) The Lord descended and stood with Moses again upon the mount. Moses could only come up so far, and then the Lord had to descend to Moses. Of course, Christ took on the body of flesh that He might descend to sinful man.
A) no matter how good, godly or powerful one might be, the Lord still must descend to him. No man can ascend into the heavens. One of the basic sinful desires of man has been to ascend into the heavens on his own. He might use his good works or his power. We can read of the first record of such foolishness in Gen 11 and the tower of Babel. Also, note Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
B) no one can bring the Lord down to man's level, Ro 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [from above]:) The Spirit must bring man up so the Lord can meet him. A major fallacy with the new, updated versions of the Bible is that they attempt to bring the Lord down to man's level instead of bringing man up to the Lord's level.
2) There the Lord proclaimed the name of the Lord. Notice the proclamation: The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Thus the name of the Lord is, mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and truth.
3) The name of the Lord is described in the fact of His faithfulness: Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (v. 7): mercy, forgiving, and truth (justice). Luther called this a "sermon on the name of the Lord." "It proclaimed that God is love, but that kind of love in which mercy, grace, long-suffering, goodness, and truth are united with holiness and justice." Keil.
A) His mercy is for thousands while His judgment is to the third and fourth generation. The Lord a thousand times more desires to be merciful than He does to be judgmental. This statement to Moses by the Lord is quite similar to the statement the Lord made to all the people at the first giving of the law, Exo 20:5, 6. Men need to be reminded often that the Lord doesn't forget or overlook sin and evil.
Sin cut off from our children...
I believe the Lord stops the sin from going from generation to generation by opening the eyes of one generation so they can repent and turn, thus inheriting the forgiveness and grace of God. Then the Lord can work through the children in the next generation. This verse indicates that about every third or four generations there is a general revival. A generation is 40 years (the length of time Israel remained in the wilderness for the older generation to die out).
Many times people think they can avoid the results of their sin by simply saying a few "magic" words, eg. "Lord forgive me," &c. My hope is that indeed the results of my sin can be voided; they can be cut off with me from my children. Such is the promise of Pro 18:13, 14. I believe that genuine repentance (turning from in both heart and mind which is brought about by the Spirit) can result in the Lord salvaging the children. If we are willing to do right toward and with them according to the word of God, I believe we have the promises of God to work in their lives.
4) yes! the Lord's name is mercy and forgiveness, and His inmost being is Love. But the Lord is first of all truth and justice. Thus, although the Lord's mercy and forgiveness is emphasized and listed first, added to His mercy is truth.. which can by no means clear the guilty... Man cannot pervert grace; man will not get away with sin; truth and justice must and will prevail. Even though mercy and truth was incarcerate in the man Christ Jesus, Jesus did not nor will He clear the guilty. In other words, sin will be paid for either by His payment or by the sinner. In addition, the sacrifice of Christ does not solve the problem of willful, presumptions sin. Men, even Christians, will reap what they sow unless there is genuine repentance, Pro 28:13, 14.
God's love is listed first, then truth and justice is listed;
thus, God's holy love does not punish till sinners despise the
riches of His goodness, patience and long-suffering, Rom 2. The
more grace is turned to lasciviousness and perverted, the terrible
will be the judgment of God.
Jude 1:4, For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lasciviousness, unbridled lust. "I am saved; therefore, I am free from the law in Christ." I believe that we today are seeing grace perverted in a major way. And the greater the perversion, the greater the judgment.
5) The Lord proclaimed His holy name: mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and truth, but it did not cause pride in Moses. Rather, Moses made hast, and bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. People take advantage of the Lord's mercy, grace, longsuffering and goodness, and forget about truth; therefore, pride and arrogancy sets in. These wonderful attributes about our God should also cause to bow and worship.
6) but even though the Lord had restated v. 7, Moses still boldly asks for the Lord's presence, v. 9.
A) he still desires the Lord to go among them.
B) he still desires the Lord to pardon their sin.
C) he still desires the Lord to take us for His inheritance. (Moses includes himself, us.)
The righteous are bold as a lion, and Moses is bold.
7) Moses neither makes excuse for nor covers the evil of these people. He loves them enough that he is willing to die for them, yet he calls then a stiffnecked sinful people. As I just mentioned, he does not separate himself from them, for he says our.
8) Moses says us for thine inheritance. In other words, if the Lord will not renew the covenant with Israel, Moses wants no part of the covenant either. He has identified totally and completely with the people. He is very much a type of Christ as a mediator for the people of God.
But as great as Moses was, he was still only a servant, Heb 3:1-6, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house. For this [man] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some [man]; but he that built all things [is] God. And Moses verily [was] faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Thus, our mediator is not a servant; rather, He is the builder of the house over which Moses was a faithful
Vs. 10-17. The covenant restored.
Moses' request is granted, and the Lord restores His covenant with Israel.
Vs. 11-26. To recall the duties of the covenant once more to the minds of the people, the Lord repeats from among the rights of Israel, upon the basis of which the covenant had been established (chap. xxi.-xxiii.), two of the leading points which determined the attitude of the nation towards Him, and which constituted, as it were, the main pillars that were to support the covenant about to be renewed. There were, first, the warning against every kind of league with the Canaanites, who were to be driven out before the Israelites..; and, secondly, the instructions concerning the true worship of Jehovah... Keil.
1) the Lord promises to do great and marvelous things before the eyes of the stiffnecked nation. Not only before their eyes, but also before the eyes of all those around them. The workings of the Lord will be so great that no one will be able to deny that the Lord was the One Who did the works. Is this not what Rahab said when they went into Canaan 40 years latter, Josh 2:10? (Moses' face shown so bright that he had to ware a vail before the people.
A) Israel had already seen great wonders like no other people had ever seen, yet they turned away quickly out of the way. Thus, the pagans were more impressed with the power of the Lord than was His own people.
3) all the people... shall see... a terrible thing... with thee. Moses beseeched the Lord in a mighty way, not for himself, but for the stiffnecked people. The Lord will honour Moses because Moses honoured the Lord. The Lord will exalt those who exalt Him.
A cross reference for Exo 34:10 is Isaiah 64:3, referring to the great and terrible things which the Lord did for His people.
Wait upon the Lord...
Look at the next verse, 64:4, For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. The NT reference is 1 Cor 2:9, 16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Paul, under the leading of the Spirit, took liberty of the verse from Isaiah. Isaiah said, for him that waiteth for him... Paul said, for them that love him... Thus Paul's commentary on Isaiah tells us that NT love for God is equated with obedience to God's law and waiting for Him to bring it to pass in the manner pleasing to Himself (see TWOT below). Exo 34:10, Moses had been faithfully and patiently following the Lord's instructions, so the Lord promises to do great and marvelous things for and through Moses.
(note to change the spelling of the name in the final layout, L ORD)
The LORD (note the spelling) reveals His name to Moses, and His name is given specifically to His people: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exo 34:14. The LORD's jealousy over His people is a key aspect of the law, and every thought and action of His people must be in consideration that the Lord is a jealous God. The revelation of the LORD's name, Jealous, to Moses was not new: God' jealousy had been clearly presented within the hearing of all the people, 20:5. Evidently the people did not believe or hear Him when He spoke of His jealousy because they built the calf shortly thereafter.
Note: first, the jealous aspect of the Lord's name is the only aspect presented in the commandments, and, second, the LORD's name is not love (or mercy, grace, patience and/or goodness); rather, Jealous & Holy, Isa 57:15. Certainly, the character of God is love,1 John 4:6, 8; in fact, God so loved that He, in the form of Jesus Christ, died for the ungodly (Isa 53). But significantly, no place in Scripture does God give His name as love, ie. my name is Love. Obviously then, God's love must be viewed in terms of His name, Jealous & Holy; His love provided the means of upholding His name, Jealous & Holy. Furthermore, His name, Jealousy, speaks of the marriage relationship.
Note TOWT's comment on jealousy:
The central meaning of our word, however, relates to "jealousy" especially in the marriage relationship. Adultery was punishable by death (Lev 20:10; Deut 22:22). By marriage the "two become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Hence, adultery was a severing of the body - a form of murder. Because woman usurped man's position in Eden the law was constructed to emphasize her subjection and man's leadership (Gen 3:16). Hence, provision was made for a husband to accuse and discover suspected adultery (Nu 5). Nor should it be overlooked that this was also a means whereby an accused but innocent woman could escape the accusation and wrath of a jealous husband inasmuch as God himself would pronounce her guiltless. The law provides a fit end for justified jealousy, the death of the offender.
God is depicted as Israel's husband; he is a jealous God (Ex 20:5) Idolatry is spiritual adultery and merits death. Phinehas played the faithful lover by killing a man and his foreign wife, and thus stayed the wrath of divine jealousy (Nu 25:11). Joshua repeated the fact that God is a jealous God who would not tolerate idolatry and the people voluntarily placed themselves under God's suzerainty (Josh 24:19). Through idolatry Israel incited God to justified wrath, e.g. in the days of Ahab, and God punished them. Ultimately, repeated warnings went unheeded and God gave his people the justice due their spiritual adultery (Ez 5:13; 8:3, 5; 16:38). The Psalmist identified the jealousy of God as the cause of the exile and he besought his Sovereign to quench his wrath against Israel (Ps 79:5). According to promises God rested his jealous wrath against Israel (Ez 16:42; cf. Deut 30) and turned against those who had misused them (Ez 36:5-6). So strong is his disposition to vindicate his name (Ez 39:25) and his people, that all the earth felt his wrath (Zep 3:8). Thus it will be seen that the action informed by this intensity may result in ill and perdition and is associated with words denoting wrath (Nu 25:11; Ez 16:38, 42, 36:6; 38:9) and anger (Deu 29:19 [H 20]), and as a consuming force with fire (Zep 1:18; 3:8).
On the other hand the divine action accomplished with "jealousy" may result in good and salvation...
God expects man to return his love. Love, however, is not simply an emotion. It is a structured relationship. To love God is to obey him. So the word [love] is used to denote a passionate, consuming "zeal" focused on God that results in the doing of his will and the maintaining of his honor in the face of the ungodly acts of men and nations. E.g. Phinehas, Elijah & Jehu. (TWOT, p 802.)
God's relationship to His people is given in a structured manner which His people can understand: husband and wife. God's love and jealousy cannot be divided asunder any more than love and jealousy in a marriage relationship can be separated. Biblically, God's love can only exist in His "structured relationship" of justice & holiness, for His name is Jealous & Holy. In other words, God's name is Jealous & Holy, and, therefore, His love cannot override either. Thus when the "relationship" was violated and His name (Holy) dishonored, the Lord, even in His jealous zeal, followed His structure. After many repeated warnings, God, using Assyria, Babylon and Rome, followed Biblical structure when Israel departed from her rightful Husband, Jehovah.
A) it can only exist in a proper "structured relationship," eg. a man can not be jealous over another man's wife. Hence, the Lord is jealous over His church;
B) "the law provides a fit end for justified jealousy, the death of the offender." Therefore, as the "Husband" of His people, when they put other things before Him, His zeal against them is fully justified. They have committed adultery;
C) God's character is in His name, Jealous/Holy, and love is part of His character. Thus, God's jealous, holy zeal cannot be separated from His love. Jealousy and Holiness demand that sin be punished. Love (free grace) provides the only acceptable Substitute for the penitent sinner, and provides the power to live free from sin's power;
D) love for God is expressed in zeal to honour His name (Holy) and obey His will.
E) God's jealousy over His people protects them from their enemies, only allows beneficial circumstances to come upon them and assures them of His conquering power, cf. Rom 8.
The revelation of the LORD's name, Jealous, is contained in the "ban," Ex 34:11-17. The Lord's revelation of His name, Jealous, is the foundation for His ban against the false gods; they presented a prospective dangerous and adulterous situations for Israel against her legitimate Husband, Jehovah. Thus the jealousy and holiness of God required: separation from the pagans and their evil ways; no agreement, or covenant, with the surrounding pagans (Ezra and Nehemiah contended with Israel's intermarriage with those forbidden to them.); no worshiping or serving the false gods; the destruction of all representations of false gods, and no worshiping or serving Jehovah after the manner of pagan worship, ie. no graven images.
The God Whose name is Jealous and Holy was/is a consuming fire against all opposition to His kingdom. Men's attitude toward God's kingdom and people determines His attitude toward men. The Lord's casting out the Canaanites was conditioned upon His people's faithfulness to Himself, following His word, vs. 11ff.
God's jealous zeal revealed
De 4:24 For the LORD thy God [is] a consuming fire, [even] a jealous God. His consuming fire burns against His people who forget the covenant of the Lord their God, v. 23. They have His name, Holy; therefore, forsaking their responsibility to the Lord results in His jealousy consuming them.
De 9:3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God [is] he which goeth over before thee; [as] a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. His consuming fire burns against all who are against His kingdom, and he shall bring them down, Isa 33:13ff; 2 Thes 1:6-9 (the context probably spoke of 70 AD, but the substance is that the Lord will, in His good time, recompense tribulation to them that trouble His faithful people; Isa 41:10-15; Ro 8:31, 37). Hence the Lord promises to cast down all who oppose His kingdom, Ex 34:11. The Lord is Owner and King of the whole earth, and He gives kingdoms to some and removes from another according to His sovereign will and good pleasure.
(Significantly, Israel's goodness was not the cause for the Lord subduing the Canaanite kingdoms; Israel was a stiffnecked people, De 9:6 &c. Obviously then, He does not subdue the wicked to His people for any good on their part, cf. De 20:4;31:3-6.)
The NT & God's jealousy
First, Paul refers to the giving of the law at the foot of the mount, and thus brings forward God's warning to His OT nation to His NT nation, the church, cf. Ex 20 & He 10 & 12. While he emphasized that the OT sacrifices were done away with in Christ, Paul makes it clear that the judgment and fiery indignation, which devour[s] the adversaries (those who despise Moses' law) were not done away with, Heb 10:26-31.
Second, the substance of God's law given to Moses (separation from the unbeliever, Ex 34:15-17) is clearly applied to the NT people of God by Paul, 2 Cor 6:14ff. The jealousy of God waxed hot against His OT nation, so obviously, it will wax hot against His NT nation. The God Whom changes not changed not His name; it is still Jealous and Holy.
Third, For our God [is] a consuming fire, Heb 12:29. Repeatedly and conclusively, Paul serves notice that the God who changes not has not changed; He name is still Jealous and Holy. His standard is still the same as it was for His people at the foot of the mount: the Commandments. Notice the close parallel between Hebrews 12 and the giving of the law both to the people (Ex 20) and to Moses (Ex 34).
Fourth, the church has been espoused to Christ, 2 Co 11:2. The same jealous zeal of the Lord against spiritual adultery in the OT will be exhibited against spiritual adultery in the New. Jehovah's (Jesus') NT bride, the church, must also follow Biblical structure, or she will receive the chastisement called for within the marriage relationship, for His name is Jealous & Holy, cf. Hebrews 10, 12.
His name (thus, His character) is forever Jealous & Holy; therefore,
1) God is love, but His love operates within the essence of
His name, never in violation. His name is Thrice Holy & Jealous.
2) Any covenant with the unsaved, whoring after the false gods with the surrounding pagans, intermarriage with the unsaved (as someone said, "There is no missionary dating or marrying") and/or service to the surrounding false gods, still has God's wrath against it. He has not changed His name; it is still Jealous and Holy. How can we bless, condone or unite with what God has cursed? Moreover, how can the church make peace with those whom God wars against?
3) We must work at separation, for the Lord told Moses, Take heed to thyself, 34:12. Separation does not come natural; the road to sin and compromise is downhill.
4) We indeed live in an adulterous generation where God's people flock after the gods of this world, trying to serve both the pagan's gods and the Lord God. 1 Cor 10:21, 22 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
(vs. 17-26. The true way to worship Jehovah is then pointed out, first of all negatively, and the prohibition against making molten images, with an allusion to the worship of the golden calf...; and then positively, by a command to observe the feast of mazzoth and the consecration of the first-born connected with the Passover, also the Sabbath, the feast of Weeks and Ingathering, the appearance of the male members of the nation three times a year before the Lord, together with all other instructions connected with them. Keil)
Because this section is the Lord regiving particular portions of the law, I have already covered most of the things given herein. Therefore, I will only go through and pick out some points which stand out to me.
V. 18 the seven day feast of unleavened bread.
Leaven... I have a study somewhere concerning leaven, but I don't know where it is. We should mention here that leaven is a neutral term or type, and speaks of something which works slowly behind the scene, and it works completely: leaven is a small amount compared to the whole. Furthermore, leaven represents the corruptible works of man.
Leaven is mentioned three times in the NT:
A) In Mt 13:33 (Lu 13:21), the gospel of the kingdom of Christ is compared to leaven. The gospel is spread by corruptible men. The gospel appears to have no effect until the whole lump is affected. Leaven can be stopped by to much heat, but the Lord promises that He will not permit more heat than His people can bear.
B) In Mat 16:6 (16:11; Mk 8:15; Lk 12), false teaching is compared to leaven.
V. 6, Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the
leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. V. 12, Christ spoke
of their doctrine.
Leaven of the Pharisees...
Christ warns us many times of the little leaven that leaveneth the whole lump. Therefore, the leaven of the Pharisees, the teaching of tradition either above or in place of the law of God, will overrun a church if it is not carefully watched for.
The leaven of the Pharisees would include, "This is the way I have been taught, this is the way I have always taught it, so I am not going to change now."
There are many other areas of leaven, and all of them were dealt with by the Lord in His sermon on the mount (Ye have heard...). The confrontation started with the Pharisees in Mat 5, and climaxed in His death at the hands of the Pharisees.
Another important point is that leaven is only a little. It could be added without notice because it is such a small amount. Leaven is not noticeable all at once. It needs time to develop, and when it does, it blows the whole thing all out of proportion.
Beware.. the Lord says. But it has taken over almost completely today. Traditional teachings of Judaism over the word of God among other things.
C) In 1 Cor 5:6 (Gal 5:9), undealt with sin in the lives of God's people or in the church is compared to leaven. If sin is not removed according to the word of God and the power which worketh in us, it will ruin the whole of the individual and/or church. Paul points out that one openly sinful person (lump of leaven) is sufficient to destroy a whole church.
Using Paul's idea, I believe we can say that one person as committed to the gospel of Christ as the sinner is committed to his sin, can also leaven the whole lump. One committed person can have a very large effect for the kingdom.
The feast of unleavened bread:
The first mention of the feast of unleavened bread was in Exodus 12:15-20, where it was given just before the killing of Egypt's firstborn; it was the first passover feast. The Lord gives the command several more times to Moses, 13:4, 6; 23:15; 29:2, 23 and of course, here in 34:18. The feast of unleaven bread spoke of Israel's redemption apart from any work on their own. The feast of unleavened bread was Israel's reminder that their redemption from bondage was entirely of the Lord, Exo 13:3. Furthermore, it was one of the most emphasized "holy days" on their calendar. Significantly, the Lord gives it again right after the sin with the calf; there would be no doubt that the Lord did indeed deliver them because of NO good on their part.
Christ and the passover:
Christ was killed the day before the passover, John 19:14; Mk 14:1; Luke 22:1. And in the NT, He is referred to as our Passover, 1 Cor 5:7.
The context of this command of Exo 34:18 is important. The Lord is renewing the covenant with Moses for Israel after the sin of the calf. The context of v. 18 gives us two points.
First, obviously the passover spoke of Christ and His substitutionary, redemptive sacrifice as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, John 1:29, 36. Through His work on the cross, His people are delivered from death unto life. (Cf. Acts 8:32, &c.)
Second, it is important to notice that not only did Christ, as our passover, spare His people from the death in Egypt (redemption/eternal life), but Christ as our passover speaks of freedom from the power of sin, 1 Peter 1:18-25, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Thus the feast of unleavened bread spoke of redemption and freedom from the power of sin.
Positive use of Leaven
Le 7:11-14 And this [is] the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer [for] his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation [for] an heave offering unto the LORD, [and] it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings.
Le 23:15-18, And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; [they are] the firstfruits unto the LORD. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, [even] an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD. Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, [even] an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
Leaven was part of the peace offering. Some teach that leaven represents sin; it is rather a symbol of corruptibility. As a peace offering, leaven was acceptable. After man's atonement is established through the blood of the unblemished innocent sacrifice, man is in communion with God. Now man's works, however faulty, are acceptable to God through Christ. All man's services to God have an element of corruptibility, but they are commanded by God to Himself and accepted through Christ. Man was/is clearly commanded to give a corruptible gift to God, and when faithfully done, it is a sacrifice well pleasing in His sight. Christ makes redeemed man's corruptible works acceptable to the Heavenly Father. (RJR, 83. See my notes on 1 Pet 2 [which I can't find].)
Leaven speaks of hidden power: the hidden power of the gospel as it is preached in the power of the Spirit, and the hidden power of sin which is left unchecked in the life of the believer.
[It is interesting that the gospel (Christianity in general) today seems to be hidden. There is very little exposed of it which would speak of any power of the gospel in our society. Evil seems to be prevalent. But according to the words of Christ, the gospel works behind the scenes, under cover so to speak, and when His time is right, it will have the whole lump leavened. I believe that the best point here is that it doesn't take much, a little leaven, to leaven the whole. And in our day, it appears to be very little of the true gospel being added to the whole lump.]
Thus, the reminder of the feast of unleavened bread to Moses, Exo 34:18 after the sin of the calf and the renewal of the covenant, is far more than simply eternal life; it speaks of both redemption/eternal life and redemption from the power of sin in the lives of His people. The feast of unleavened bread spoke of casting out sin: casting sin out of the church and casting sin out from the lives of the individual believer. (Cf. Rev 5:6-12.) Unleavened bread speaks of a victorious life in Christ, Ro 6:12, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Therefore, Moses is again given the command concerning unleavened bread after the sin of the calf.
V. 19, 20.
Closely attached to the feast of unleavened bread was the Lord's command that all life is His, both of man and beast. This was dealt with in Exo 13.
Exodus 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, [both] of man and of beast: it [is] mine.
Numbers 18:15 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, [whether it be] of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.
Eze 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Luke 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
Observe: the Lord clearly lays claim to all life, Ex 34:19, &c. The first-born of man and beast represented the rest of the family; thus, the first-born of man was bought with a price and the tribe of Levi was taken before God in the first-born's place. The first-born of beast also represented the rest of the family. If the animal was clean, the first-born male was sacrificed to the Lord; if the animal was unclean, the first-born male was to be killed. In both cases, the owner had the opportunity to redeem the first-born.
Exo 34:20, the understanding of the statement, And none shall appear before me empty is found in Deut 16:16, Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: and is explained in v. 17, Every man [shall give] as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee. In other words, every male is to appear before the Lord, and every male is to bring something to the Lord, eg. 1 Sam 9:7, 8.
Most people who come before the Lord, either in prayer or in "worship service" at church, come asking &/or expecting the Lord to give something to them. Here we see that we are to come before the Lord with the desire of "What can I give to or do for the Lord." No man was permitted to appear before the Lord empty!
V. 22, the Lord emphases again the Sabbath rest. He adds, in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. In other words, there is nothing enough to justify violation of the Sabbath.
V. 23, the command for all of Israel's men to appear three times a year before the Lord. This command is preceded with v. 24, For, and the promise that the Lord Himself will 1) enlarge their borders by casting out the nations before them, and 2) will cause their enemies not to desire their land when they obey the Lord to appear before Him.
1) The Lord is the One Whom works in the heart of the enemies.
2) When the enemies desire the land (possessions) of God's people, it could be a sign that His people have ignored Him and His laws.
3) God works in the hearts of even the ungodly king, Pr 21:1 The king's heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
4) "The way of duty is the way of safety. MH" God will protect His servants as they go about doing His will.
2 Chronicles 17:10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all
the kingdoms of the lands that [were] round about Judah, so that
they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Acts 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
The Lord forbids leaven to be with any blood sacrifice. Observe that the blood sacrifice speaks of the blood sacrifice of Christ; therefore, it must be free from all corruptible works of men. Throughout the OT, the essence of the blood sacrifice made it clear that faith in the shed blood of Christ alone was required for salvation; no more, no less. Anything at all added to the blood brought only the wrath of the Lord against the individual.
The command for the first-fruits to be brought to the Lord. As we mentioned previously (Ex 23:19), even though the size of the first-fruit offering is not specified, it had to be offered. Observe, the tithe was only on the increase: no increase, no tithe. But the first-fruits had to be brought whether there was an increase or not. If there was a harvest at all, this had to be given to God. It was thanksgiving for His blessing in any harvest at all.
The situation with the kind and his mother's milk was dealt with previously. There were probably a couple things implied: 1) a pagan practice which was forbidden to God's people, and 2) proper authority and relationship in the family. God protects the proper family relationship even in the animal kingdom.
The words which Moses is commanded to write down are not as lengthy as were the words the first time God gave them. As mentioned previously, the Lord only gives a brief outline of the covenant. Note: 1) the Lord, by again telling Moses to write these words, tells Moses that the covenant which the people broke with the calf (and Moses with the tables) is restored, and 2) sin could not change God's mind. The Lord is not restricted by man's sin as He reminds Moses of the same things which were told Moses before the calf.
Though Moses was not given as complete instructions as previously, he was still before the Lord for 40 days as he was the first time. Observe the expense of sin, but sin does not hinder (or even slow down) God's plan.
Deut 9:18ff, records a second 40 day fast on Moses' part, but it is unclear if there were two or three periods of fasting and prayer on Moses' part. Fasting:
1) man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Moses lived at least 80 days only on the words which proceeded from the mouth of God.
2) we see in this that far from the words of the law having death in them, they have life. Moses did not die upon hearing the law of God, but the sinners died upon hearing the law.
3) Moses hewed the tables, but the Lord wrote upon them. This writing by the Lord upon the tables reminds me of the writing upon the tables of the heart by the finger of God, the law of God, 2 Cor 3:3.
Moses comes down from the mount with the commandments in his hand, and his face shown. As the saw Moses, they feared to approach him, so he calls them to himself. He places a vail over his face while he gave them all that the Lord had given to him. Then when Moses went back before the Lord to speak to Him, he removed the vail.
1) Moses' glory is more this time than the first time he returned from before the Lord.
A) 34:10, the Lord told Moses that He would do marvels, such as have not been done... Was Moses's face one of those marvels? Moses' face was obvious proof that he had been with the Lord. Again the Lord confirms for these rebellious people that Moses in His man and doing as he is instructed by the Lord.
B) the previous trip up the mountain for 40 days was not for intercession for the people. This time Moses spent the 40 days interceding for the sinful people (and Aaron). The people were spared and Moses glorified. Thus Moses benefitted as much, if not more, than the people from his intercession for the rebels. We receive as much, if not more, benefit from our genuine concern for others. God will bless those whom place others in their proper place.
2) Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone. I believe that the person close to the Lord does not realize their closeness near as much as do those around them. But a person close to the Lord will radiate his fellowship with the Lord in a way that others cannot help but notice. Our relationship with the Lord will be obvious. True godliness will cause the fact to shine.
3) Moses called the people to himself. Closeness to the Lord did not cut him off from those he was responsible for. Note the purpose of calling the people to him: to teach them the commandments of the Lord. And the people feared to close to a godly man.
4) Moses & the vail: on as he spoke to the people, off as he spoke to the Lord. Note that we must meet people where they are. Moses did not condemn the people for their faces not shining with the radiance of God as did his. Rather, he met them were they were, and tried to instruct them in God's word.
5) Moses spoke with the Lord without the vail, and took the message from the Lord to the people. He replaced the vail as he spoke to the people. Note that Moses here exemplifies a true minister of God: he seeks instructions from the Lord for the people; then he takes those instructions to the people. Is this not the purpose of the minister? Of course! We must spend time with the Lord receiving His word and instructions; then we must take those instructions to the people.
As my pastor used to tell me, "Use it or lose it." Use what God has given and give it to people, or God will remove it from us. The purpose of wisdom and instruction from God to us is not merely for our own benefit and instruction; it must be passed on.
6) Paul refers to Moses' vail in 2 Corinthians 3. Because of the conclussion we are going to make in v. 17, we must develop the context of the verse.
A) The OT law as given to Moses was glorious, so glorious, in fact, that Moses had to hide his face from the people. But even though it was glorious, it held no real hope for life. The law exposed sin and made the sinner dead before God; life and hope came by grace, the Lord Jesus Christ. The law alone brings only death, but life results when grace is added, v. 6.
B) The glory of the OT law was seen on Moses' face; it shown so much that Israel was fearful to look upon his face.
C) Though Moses' glory was great, it was not designed to be permanent. It spoke of the greater glory to come, Christ.
a) if the giving of the law was so glorious, then how much
more glorious the giving of the gospel of grace through Jesus
b) if the work on the stones by the finger of God was glorious, how much more glorious the work in the heart by the finger of God?
c) if the law which brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious gospel message of righteousness which brings life?
d) if the law as mediated by Moses was glorious, how much more glorious the gospel as mediated by the Spirit of God, the Lord Jesus?
Thus that which appeared to be glorious under Moses, v. 10, actually could not compare in glory when compared to the glory in Christ. The picture is of a very bright light in the dark, but when the sun comes out in its full glory, the light is no longer noticed. The glory of the OT mediation was outshone by the glory of the New mediation, Christ.
V. 11, done away with... What was done away with, the commandments as given through Moses? No, the administration or mediation of Moses, eg. the rites, rituals, sacrifices, offerings, tabernacle and temple and all the glorious trappings which went with the commandments. Moses' face, the tabernacle and every thing pertaining to it reflected the glory of the law. Christ came and did away with all those things because they spoke of Himself. Thus the glory of the old was done away with, replaced by the true glory of the Father and law, Jesus Christ. The law itself (ie. Ten Commandments) was not done away with in Christ, only that which spoke of His work, the mediation of Moses.
V. 12, plainness of speech... Unlike Moses and the OT prophets, Paul spoke clearly of the redeeming work of Christ. Paul spoke in OT terms: he told Timothy that all OT scripture was given for doctrine, reproof and instruction in righteousness. Assuming that Paul wrote Hebrews, he is even clearer there, as the book of Hebrews goes into great detail to show how all the OT rites, rituals and ordinances spoke of Christ. Whereas the old ministries spoke only in types and shadows, Paul spoke of the same thing in great plainness of speech.
V. 13, Paul's plainness of speech is contrasted to Moses placing the vail over his face so the people could not see the glory of God. The Lord Jesus, while on this earth, also placed a vail over His face, for if the wicked men had seen the glory of Christ when He was here, they would not have crucified Him, 1 Cor 2:7, 8, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. The glorious gospel of Christ's work for all men everywhere was revealed in typology and symbols throughout the OT. But His glorious work was kept hidden as a mystery until the time was right.
The end of the law
Thus the vail spoke of intentionally hiding the glory of Christ's coming work which appeared in OT topologies and symbols, ie, end of that which is abolished - that which is abolished must be the ministration laws, the rites and rituals, &c., because they were never of permanent design to make the sinner right before God. Even at their time of implementation, their purpose, or end, was to one day be abolished in Christ.
Thayer (Strongs #5056, Thayer's p 619.) defines End thusly: "1. end, i.e. a. termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be, (in the Grk. writ. always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time... i.q. he [Christ] who puts an end to: Christ has brought the law to an end, Rom 10:4; cf ...the end of all things (i.e. of the present order of things), 1 Pet. iv. 7... What 'end' is intended the reader must determine by the context..." The end of the law must refer to the mediation work of Christ; it could not refer to the end of the Ten Commandments because Paul, writing after the work of Christ, clearly holds mankind to the Commandments in Rom 13:8ff. Hence the word end in 2 Cor 3:13 is the same word used in Rom 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. & 1 Pet 4:7, But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (ie. the end of the OT Jewish economy in 70 AD.)
Notice the implication of v. 13: Moses intentionally placed the vail over his face, not because the people could not bear to look at him, but because Moses did not want Israel to stedfastly look on him.
The picture is this: the "ministration laws" which spoke of the coming glorious work of the Saviour were intentionally obscured from His people, Israel, in a manner resembling a vail thrown over a dazzling and splendid object. Paul "removed that vail" through his plainness of speech. He clearly and plainly spoke of the new, greater glory of Christ over the old laws (not the commandments of course, because they describe the character of Christ, and thus cannot be done away with). Cf. Hebrews 9 & 10.
Note v. 14 particularly: Paul clearly tells us that the vail over Moses face typified the blindness of Israel to the truth about Christ as revealed in the OT. This is why Christ was able to walk among men, doing His mighty things in clear fulfillment of Scripture, yet they could not recognize Who He was. The ones He confronted knew the OT Scriptures thoroughly, but were unable to make the most obvious connections between Christ and the prophecies concerning Him.
Note: 1) The vail prevents people from seeing Christ in the OT. 2) The vail is placed upon the minds by the Lord. 3) faith in Christ, as He is revealed in the OT rites, rituals and ordinances, removes the vail, enabeling His people to see and understand the OT doctrines concerning Christ. The removal of the vail from the apostles minds gave them tremendous courage, caused them to preach the complete victory of Christ and conquered the world for Christ within 300 years.
Vs. 14-16, the vail blinding Israel to the glory of Christ as revealed in the OT mediation laws was still in place in Paul's day, which was well after the time of Christ. The appearence of Christ did not automatically remove the vail; it was/us only removed by a specific act of the Spirit of Christ. Paul spoke of the time when the vail would be removed (cf. Jn 6 & 10. No man can come to the Son unless the Father draw him).
1) when Paul wrote, Israel's characteristic was to not understand (their minds blinded to) the true sense of their own Scriptures (OT): the vail was untaken away, even though the spirit of Christ was already at work removing the vail.
2) Paul spoke of a time coming when the vail, preventing Israel's understanding Christ from the OT, would be removed by the Spirit of God (Christ).
A) Significantly, Paul, unlike many commentators, calls the blinded people the children of Israel and not the Jews. Thus Paul calls for a mass conversion of the children of Israel, not of the Jews. When it shall turn to the Lord... gives no time-table for Israel's turning. Prophecy is from the time it is written, not from the time it is read; Paul wrote around 60 AD, well before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Observe Paul's wording:
Apparently Paul uses the terms Jew and Israel interchangeably, but they are not interchangeable:
Jew (#2452): Jewish as respects to birth, race, religion.
Israel (#2474 [#2475]):
By menton. for the posterity of Israel i.e. the Israelites (a name of esp. honor because it made reference to the promises of salvation through the Messiah, which were given to Jacob in preference to Esau, and to be fulfilled to his posterity... Mt ii. 6; viii. 10; ix. 33; Lk i. 54, 68, 80; Acts iv. 8; Eph ii. 12; Rom xi. 2, 7, 26, etc. (Ex v. 2; xi. 7, and often):" Thayer
Scripture distinguishes between Jews and Israelites: Jew speaks primarly of religion and nationality; whereas, Israel speaks of national heirship to the Messianic promise to Jacob. Thus Paul (Eph 2:12, 13) securely grafts the Gentiles, through the new birth, into the literal commonewalth of Israel. Commonwealth: "a state, commonwealth; with a gen. of the possessor spoken of the theocratic or divine commonwealth, Eph 2:12." Thayer. Thus the elect are brought into the theocratic or divine kingdom of God, Israel. Cf. Rom 11; note the mystery: the root is Christ, graffting is accompolished by the Spirit and everyone who will be in Christ must be graffted in by the Spirit. Paul does not graft the elect into Judaism. Although Thayer lists Gal vi. 16 (Israel) under a separate derivative of the word, "i.e. Christians, Gal. vi. 16," both Gal 6:16 & Ehp 2:12 fall under the same basic word, Israel.
All of that to say this: Paul specifaccly uses children of Israel in 2 Cor 3, not Jews. Vs. 7, 13, the children of Israel who looked into Moses' face; vs. 14, 15, 16, their, their, it, all refure to the children of Israel. This is an important distinction because it means that v. 16 could easily be a reference to the elect in general.
Paul's wording in 2 Cor 13:14-16 permits several views:
1) for one to be genuine member of the children of Israel, he had to prove his linage. So Paul is not at all referring to a religious sect, ie. the Jews, but he his referring specifically to the nation of Israel by birth. The Israelite nation of Paul's day no longer exists today, being anhilated in 70 AD, although the religious sect in still very much with us.
2) as far as we know, all of the children of Israel which Paul spoke of here could already be saved, and all who rejected Christ destroyed with the fall of Jerusalem.
3) the remnant of Israel from the fall of Jerusalem are saved. In other words, v. 16 could be already fulfilled. What prohibits understanding this verse to say that all of the elect of the litteral OT nation of Israel are already "in Christ." Prophetic passages must be understood from the time they are writen, not from the time they are read.
4) Paul speaks specifically of Israel. Elsewhere, eg. Galatians, Paul plainly says the Church is the new Israel of God: Ga 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Thus when one is "saved," the vail is removed and he understands the glory of Christ from the OT.
Furthermore: Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
a) Isa 53 identifies His people: all the elect of God; therefore, Israel in Paul's context could speak of the turning of the elect to Christ because the elect are the true Israel.
b) the fullness of the Gentiles, Rom 11:25, could be that the Lord permits the pagans to trod under foot His church (the new Jerusalem) for a specific period, then the Lord will remove the "vail" from His people and they will claim their victory in Christ and conquer the world for Jesus.
c) the fullness of the Gentiles... Remember Neb's vision in Daniel chapter one? The time of the Gentiles started with the Babylonian captivity and the head of gold. The image deterorated to iron mixed with clay. Then when God's time was right, the Stone was cut out of the mountain, smote the image and ground it to powder. The last part of the image was Rome; Rome fell to the Kingdom of God in 325 AD. Thus the time of the Gentiles ran from the Babylonian captivity to the fall of Rome, about 900-1,000 years. Paul wrote a couple of hundred years before the fall of Rome, so the fullness of the Gentiles had not yet arived. And so all Israel shall be saved, refers to the elect, for the Deliverer came to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. The covenant promises is to remove sin; therefore, the covenant is made with the elect, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, not with the Jews (cf. Jer 31:31).
The doctrine of Israel's salvation is one of the more confusing doctrines of Scripture, and I admit that I do not have the answers. Personally, I feel that identifying the church as the new Israel of God fits best into the context of the word of God.
B) Isa 25:7 talks about a world-wide vail removed by God in His good time. Barnes' borders on Darbyism by identifying all people as the Jews. That is not at all what the verse says (it appears that Barns' also has a "vail" at this point). Clearly the verse says all people..., and all nations. The Lord explicitly discribes a vail over all nations which prohibits all people from seeing the glory of Christ in the OT. But one day that vail will be removed and the nations brought to the Lord. V. 8, candidly speaks of victory in the resurrected Christ, 1 Cor 15.
Leupold statement on Isa 25:7 fits the context best:
But the New Testament reference to the veil, found in II Cor. 3:15, rather would suggest that the veil and the blanket signify ignorance. For as Fischer puts it: "The knowledge of Yahweh will be the noblest joy of the nations... and they too will see his glory." When two figures are used (veil and blanket) it would seem to argue for a state of dense blindness before these obstacles are eliminated.
2 Cor 3:17, appears to be a key verse in Scripture. The OT was veiled to Israel: obscure and impossible to understant were all the figures, types and prophecies which spoke of Christ. Now the Lord Jesus is that Spirit Who removes the vail, permitting Israel, God's elect, to understand the totality of Christ as revealed in the OT. And it is only as people study and understand the Lord Jesus as presented in the OT, and act accordingly, that liberty is given. Certainly, the NT reveals Christ, but that revelation is neither new nor complete. The NT revelation must be added to the OT revelation of Jesus; one cannot stand without the other.
Though Barnes' borders on Darbyism in Isa 25:7, and unfortunately substitutes the word Jews for Israel, his comment on v. 17 is good:
He [Paul] had said (ver. 6), that he was a minister "not of the letter, but of the Spirit;" and he had stated that the Old Testament was not understood by the Jews who adhered to the literal interpretation of the Scriptures. He here says, that the Lord Jesus was "the Spirit" to which he referred, and by which he was enabled to understand the Old Testament so as to speak plainly, and without obscurity... The word "liberty" here... speaks the general truth, that the effect of the Spirit of God was to give light and clearness of view; to remove obscurity from a subject, and to enable one to see it plainly. [Emp added.]
MH gives this thought:
freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, and from the servitude of corruption; liberty of access to God, and freedom of speech in prayer...
Paul is speaking of the children of Israel, thus the heirs to the covenant promise of the Messiah; Paul is not speaking to Jews. Note: the vail which hid the glorious Christ from Israel required Israel to interpret the OT literally, thereby missing Christ: eg. the OT spoke of a coming King Who would reign over all creation, but it also spoke of a meek lamb. This apparent, unreconcilable contradiction arose when the OT was interpreted literally; therefore, when Christ came, they were blind to Him. Their natural desire was for a literal, physical, conquering king; they were not looking for a lamb which would remove the guilt and penalty of sin, and by His death conquer sin and death.
Because of the influence of that Spirit, Paul was able to speak openly and clearly of Christ's glory as it appeared in the many types in the OT. Moses, because of the vail, was not able to speak clearly of Christ as Paul did.
The vail is compared to blindness to the glory of Christ as revealed in the law of Moses. The law as given to Moses was glorious, but that glory was hidden from man. The law (although Paul refers to the old testament) reflected the glory of God, but under the old covenant the glory was "veiled." The gold was there, the grace of God was revealed, God's truth about the glory of Christ was present in the old testament, but God blinded Israel's minds to that glory.
B) 2 Cor 3:16, the vail is removed as a result of turning to the Lord.
C) Paul refers to great plainness of speech in such a way as to identify the vail with manner of speech. In other words, speech which people are unable to understand is a vail which hides the glorious gospel as revealed in the OT from the hearer. The hope, v. 12, is the hope that the Spirit will use plainness of speech to remove the vail so the hearer can see the glory of Christ in the OT.
1) V. 17, Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty, has nothing to do with civil liberty. Rather, it refers to: A) freedom and liberty to live a Godly life in obedience to the Ten Commandments; B) freedom from having to adhere to literal interpretations of the OT law and prophets (which the vail caused), and thereby missing the glorious typology of Christ. Note the letter of the law requires litteral interpretation of OT Scriptures, but the Spirit requires seeing their general truth. Liberty is the liberty to see Christ's glory and the freedom to proclaim the glory of Christ. Civil liberty is no more than a result of both A & B freedom.
2) Unquestionably, the vail's removal involves understanding the typology of the OT and properly seeing the glory of Christ. Without that removal, the NT Christ cannot be properly understood. All the great doctrines of the Christian religion, both clearly and in typologies, are given in the OT, and only when the vail is removed are those doctrines revealed.
3) The same vail, demand for literal interpretation of the OT (& NT) Scripture which caused Israel to miss the Messiah when He appeared, seemingly has been lowered again, only this time over the church. Adherence to literal interpretation of the Scriptures (esp Old & New Testament prophetic passages) causes one to miss their general truth which speaks of Christ's glorious work for His people, soverengty and final victory through His people. The essence of the great prophecies has been lost through the demand for literal understanding of glorious passages, eg. Dan 2; Ez 38, 39; Isa 55-66, &c.
Seemingly, today's metheod of interpretation demands that a passage be understood literally, unless such understandign is absolutely impossible. Therefore, the vast amount of Scriptural interpretation misses completely the intent of the passage.
Desasterous results are taking place as false gospels and christs arise, striping Christ of His OT glory, soverengty and victory through His people.
I think that one of the reasons Christianity has lost so much power and influence today is because Christ is viewed from only the NT. The NT reveals His grace and love; the OT reveals His holiness, justice, sovereignty, &c.
While we are under the topic of the vail, we should also cover
Eph 3:1-8: Paul speaks of a OT mystery. That mystery was the work of Christ for all people, including the Gentiles. Christ's work would make all people members of the same body and partakers in the same promise in Christ, v. 6. The mystery, which was hidden from the time of Adam until the time of Christ, was the glorious gospel: the work which Christ would do. Even though Christ's work was clearly spoken of in the rites, rituals and ordinances, the vail prevented His work (for all people) from being seen.
1) Christ's words of Lk 24:44-47: the disciples knew the OT Scriptures; they had spent better than three years with Christ as He taught them privately, preached the OT Scriptures to the vast multitudes (they even heard Him quote many OT passages to His enemies, eg. Mt 21), and applied an immense amount of OT prophecies to Himself. Furthermore, they witnessed all the actions of the wicked against Christ and His death. Yet they still did not understand what was going on until he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures... v. 45. Christ had "straightly" told them that He and His work (His glory) were clearly presented throughout the OT. Even then they could not understand the message until the Lord opened their eyes. Clearly, the vail was upon the apostles hearts, for their minds were blinded until the vail was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor 3:14-17.
Thus the glory of Christ's work was clearly revealed throughout the OT, in every ordinance, sacrifice and offering, but the vail keep it hidden from God's people until His perfect time. At God's proper time (Gal 4:4), Christ came in fulfillment of all the types and symbols, but His glory was still hidden. Then, by special revelation, the glory of Christ from the OT was revealed to the apostles: the vail was removed by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor 3:17. After Christ opened the eyes of His first preachers, the apostles, they proceeded to preach Jesus from the OT. Note Peter's words in Acts 3:20, And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you... Peter told his hearers that Moses was the one who preached Jesus to the OT Hebrews, vs, 21ff.
The point we need to see is that the glory of the gospel of Christ was clearly presented throughout the OT law and prophets, but the vail hid that glory from even the disciples. In God's timing, Christ opened their eyes and the vail was removed from the apostles so they could see and preach the glorious gospel from the OT, cf. Acts 8:5, 35. (There was no NT when the apostles preached in the Book of Acts, so the glories of Christ had to be preached from the OT.) A great many hearers then had the vail, which had prevented their seeing the glory of Christ, removed by the Spirit. By preaching the OT Scriptures, they spread the glorious gospel of Christ.
2) Paul was saved in Acts 9 through a special revelation of Christ's glory from Christ Himself. Christ was preached to him by Ananias, And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales... Paul was baptized, and straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues. Obviously, Paul preached the glories of Christ from the OT or he would have been thrown from the synagogues.
Christ's work, as revealed in the OT rites, rituals and ordinances, was made known by special revelation to Paul, Ga 1:17, Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Note the connection: Ga 4:25, For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. Evidently, Paul went to the same place Moses saw the glory of the Lord which caused his face to shine.
Follow Paul's words through: Eph 3:3, How that by revelation he [God] made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words...). Compare with Paul's words of 2 Cor 3:12, Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:... There are a vast number of NT Scriptures which talk about preaching the glorious gospel of Christ from the OT, Rom 15:19; 1 Cor 15:12; 2 Cor 1:19; Phil 1:18, &c.
Clearly, the hidden mystery in the OT was the glorious work of Christ as it particularly pertained to His mediation work to include all people ("Jews and Gentiles") into one body in Himself.
2 Cor 3:18.
But even though we see the glory of Christ in the law, we still do not see Him clearly, v. 18. Furthermore, as we see Christ, we are changed into the image of Christ. The change is not sudden, but takes place over an extended period of time by the same Spirit of the Lord as mentioned in v. 17: from glory to glory.
Observe that the Spirit which reveals the glory of Christ from the OT, v. 17, is the same Spirit that changes the believer into Christ's image in v. 18.
Thus it is the image of Christ as revealed in the OT that the believer is changed into here in 2 Cor 3:18.
Exo 34:35, I wonder how long Moses' face shone?