Exodus 20:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

New Living Translation
As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

English Standard Version
The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

New American Standard Bible
So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

King James Bible
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

International Standard Version
Then the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

NET Bible
The people kept their distance, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.

New Heart English Bible
The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The people kept their distance while Moses went closer to the dark cloud where God was.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the people stood afar off; but Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

New American Standard 1977
So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

King James 2000 Bible
And the people stood far off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

American King James Version
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

American Standard Version
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the people stood afar off. But Moses went to the dark cloud wherein God was.

Darby Bible Translation
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the obscurity where God was.

English Revised Version
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

World English Bible
The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Young's Literal Translation
And the people stand afar off, and Moses hath drawn nigh unto the thick darkness where God is.
Study Bible
Moses Comforts the People
20Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin." 21So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. 22Then the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.…
Cross References
Exodus 19:16
So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Deuteronomy 5:22
"These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
Treasury of Scripture

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

the people

Exodus 19:16,17 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were …

Deuteronomy 5:5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the word …

thick

1 Kings 8:12 Then spoke Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

2 Chronicles 6:1 Then said Solomon, The LORD has said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

Psalm 18:9,12 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet…

Psalm 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment …

Psalm 104:2 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out …

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can …

Verse 21. - The people stood afar off. They retired from the base of Sinai to their tents, where they "stood," probably in their tent doors. And Moses drew near unto the thick darkness. As the people drew back, Moses drew near. The display which drove them off, attracted him. He did not even fear the "thick darkness" - a thing front which human nature commonly shrinks. Where God was, he would be.

CHAPTER 20:22-26 And the people stood afar off,.... Still kept their distance in their camp and tents; or the heads and elders of the people having had this conversation with Moses, returned to their tents as they were bid, Deuteronomy 5:30 and to the people in the camp, and there they continued while Moses went up to God with their request:

and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was; the thick cloud, Exodus 19:9 as Jarchi interprets it, and who observes from their doctors that there were three enclosures about the divine Majesty, darkness, a cloud, and thick darkness; and so Moses passed through the darkness, and the cloud, to the thick darkness where Jehovah was, and where he is said to dwell when the temple was built, 1 Kings 8:8 and they have an observation that the word rendered "drew near" is transitive, and should be translated, "he was brought near" or, "made to draw nigh"; Michael and Gabriel being sent to him, took hold of his hands and brought him against his will unto the thick darkness (r); but if the word will admit of such a version, the sense is either that he was caused to draw near through the importunity of the people; or rather through the call of God to him, or an impulse of his upon his mind, which obliged him to it.

(r) Pirke Eliezer, c. 41. 20:18-21 This law, which is so extensive that we cannot measure it, so spiritual that we cannot evade it, and so reasonable that we cannot find fault with it, will be the rule of the future judgment of God, as it is for the present conduct of man. If tried by this rule, we shall find our lives have been passed in transgressions. And with this holy law and an awful judgment before us, who can despise the gospel of Christ? And the knowledge of the law shows our need of repentance. In every believer's heart sin is dethroned and crucified, the law of God is written, and the image of God renewed. The Holy Spirit enables him to hate sin and flee from it, to love and keep this law in sincerity and truth; nor will he cease to repent.
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