|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:16-25 Never was there such a sermon preached, before or since, as this which was preached to the church in the wilderness. It might be supposed that the terrors would have checked presumption and curiosity in the people; but the hard heart of an unawakened sinner can trifle with the most terrible threatenings and judgments. In drawing near to God, we must never forget his holiness and greatness, nor our own meanness and pollution. We cannot stand in judgment before him according to his righteous law. The convinced transgressor asks, What must I do to be saved? and he hears the voice, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The Holy Ghost, who made the law to convince of sin, now takes of the things of Christ, and shows them to us. In the gospel we read, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Through him we are justified from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses. But the Divine law is binding as a rule of life. The Son of God came down from heaven, and suffered poverty, shame, agony, and death, not only to redeem us from its curse, but to bind us more closely to keep its commands.
Verse 19. - When the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder. This is a somewhat free translation; but it gives well the real meaning of the Hebrew. We may conclude that the trumpet's blast was not continuous. It sounded when the manifestation began (ver. 16). It sounded again, much louder and with a much more prolonged note, to herald the actual descent of God upon the mount. This time the sound was so piercing, so terrible, so intolerable, that Moses could no longer endure to keep silence, but burst out in speech. Were his words those recorded in Hebrews 12:21 - "I exceedingly fear and quake" - words not found now in the Old Testament - or were they others which have been wholly lost to us? It is impossible to say. His speech, however, had the effect of bringing the awful preparations to a close - "Moses spake, and God. answered him by a voice, and the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long,.... Not in one continued tone, as before, Exodus 19:13, where a different word is used, and when it decreased, and was about to cease, which was to summon the people to attend; but now they were come to the foot of the mount, and this sounding was a preparation to the giving of the law unto them, and was not one continued even tone: but waxed louder and louder; or, "going, and exceeding strong"; or, "strengthening itself exceedingly" (x); it went on to an high pitch, until it was exceeding vehement and strong, and so sonorous as scarce to be bore:
Moses spake; what he said is not here recorded; it is highly probable, as has been observed by some, that he uttered those words related of him in Hebrews 12:21 "I exceedingly fear and quake": such an impression did this loud and strong voice of the trumpet make upon him:
and God answered him by a voice; a still and gentle one, in order to encourage and comfort him; and so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it,"with a pleasant and audible voice, and with delightful words.''
(x) , Sept. "iens et fortificans se valde", Montanus; "roborans se", Vatablus; "quum pergeret et invalesceret valde", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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