|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-8 Moses was called up the mountain, and was employed as the messenger of this covenant. The Maker and first Mover of the covenant, is God himself. This blessed charter was granted out of God's own free grace. The covenant here mentioned was the national covenant, by which the Israelites were a people under the government of Jehovah. It was a type of the new covenant made with true believers in Christ Jesus; but, like other types, it was only a shadow of good things to come. As a nation they broke this covenant; therefore the Lord declared that he would make a new covenant with Israel, writing his law, not upon tables of stone, but in their hearts, Jer 31:33; Heb 8:7-10. The covenant spoken of in these places as ready to vanish away, is the national covenant with Israel, which they forfeited by their sins. Unless we carefully attend to this, we shall fall into mistakes while reading the Old Testament. We must not suppose that the nation of the Jews were under the covenant of works, which knows nothing of repentance, faith in a Mediator, forgiveness of sins, or grace; nor yet that the whole nation of Israel bore the character, and possessed the privileges of true believers, as being actually sharers in the covenant of grace. They were all under a dispensation of mercy; they had outward privileges and advantages for salvation; but, like professing Christians, most rested therein, and went no further. Israel consented to the conditions. They answered as one man, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. Oh that there had been such a heart in them! Moses, as a mediator, returned the words of the people to God. Thus Christ, the Mediator, as a Prophet, reveals God's will to us, his precepts and promises; and then, as a Priest, offers up to God our spiritual sacrifices, not only of prayer and praise, but of devout affections, and pious resolutions, the work of his own Spirit in us.
Verse 7. - And Moses came. Moses descended from the point of the mountain which he had reached, and summoned a meeting of the elders of the people. When they were come together, he reported to them totidem verbis the message which he had received from God. He is said to have laid the words "before their faces" - a Hebraism, meaning simply "before them."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Moses came and called for the elders of the people,.... After he had heard the above words from the mouth of God, he came down from the mount into the camp of Israel, and sent for the elders or principal men of the tribes and families of Israel to come to him:
and, being gathered together:
laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him; expressed them in the plainest manner, set them in the clearest light to their minds and consciences; so that they thoroughly understood them, were fully convinced of the propriety of these things God required of them, and their obligation to observe them, and saw plainly the greatness and importance of what he promised unto them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7, 8. Moses came and called for the elders of the people—The message was conveyed to the mighty multitude through their elders, who, doubtless, instructed them in the conditions required. Their unanimous acceptance was conveyed through the same channel to Moses, and by him reported to the Lord. Ah! how much self-confidence did their language betray! How little did they know what spirit they were of!
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