|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 8. - And all the people answered together. It would seem that the elders submitted to the whole congregation the question propounded by Moses; or at any rate submitted it to a popular meeting, fairly representing the congregation. No doubt the exact purport of the question was made known by the usual means beforehand, and the assembly was summoned to declare, by acclamation, its assent or dissent. The result was a unanimous shout of approval: - "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" - i.e., "we will obey his voice indeed, and keep his covenant" (see ver. 5). In this way they accepted the covenant beforehand, not knowing what its exact provisions would be, but assured in their hearts that all would be right, just, and good; and anxious to secure the promised blessings (vers. 5, 6) for themselves and their posterity Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord - i.e., Moses was the mouthpiece both ways. He took the messages of God to the people, and carried back ("returned") their answer.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And all the people answered together,.... By their heads and representatives, the elders, summoned before Moses, to whom he declared the whole will of God; or this being communicated by them to their respective tribes and families, they were all of one mind; there was not a contradicting voice among them, they all gave the same answer, or all united in returning for answer what follows:
all that the Lord hath spoken we will do; obey his voice in all things he directs unto, or commands to be done, and keep the covenant he should make with them, and observe whatever was required on their parts; which was well spoken, if with the heart, and if, under a consciousness of their own weakness, they had expressed their desire of dependence upon the grace of God to enable them to perform, see Deuteronomy 5:28. The Septuagint version adds, "and we will hear", or be obedient, as in Exodus 24:7,
and Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord; not for his information, who knew very well what they had said, but for the discharge of his office as a mediator and messenger between God and them: this, according to Jarchi, was on the third day of the month.
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