|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:9-11 The elders saw the God of Israel; they had some glimpse of his glory, though whatever they saw, it was something of which no image or picture could be made, yet enough to satisfy them that God was with them of a truth. Nothing is described but what was under his feet. The sapphires are the pavement under his feet; let us put all the wealth of this world under our feet, and not in our hearts. Thus the believer sees in the face of Jesus Christ, far clearer discoveries of the glorious justice and holiness of God, than ever he saw under terrifying convictions; and through the Saviour, holds communion with a holy God.
Verse 11. - The nobles - i.e., the notables - the seventy elders, and other persons, already mentioned (vers. 1, 9). He laid not his hand. God did not smite them with death, or pestilence, or even blindness. It was thought to be impossible to see God and live. (See above, Genesis 32:30; Exodus 32:20; Judges 6:22, 23, etc.) Man was unworthy to draw near to God in any way; and to look on him was viewed as a kind of profanity. Yet some times he chose to show himself, in vision or otherwise, to his people, and then, as there could be no guilt on their part, there was no punishment on his. It is generally supposed that, in all such cases, it was the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who condescended to show himself. Also they saw God. Rather, "they both saw God, and did eat and drink." The two were simultaneous. As they were engaged in the sacrificial meal, God revealed himself to them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand,.... Which some interpret of his hand of prophecy, and of the measure of the Spirit, such an one as Moses had, and by virtue of which he lived forty days and nights without eating and drinking; but these not having such a measure of the Spirit, were obliged to eat and drink to support nature, as in the next clause: but it is rather to be understood of the hand of God; he did not inflict any disease or death upon them on their sight of him, it being a notion that no man could see God and live; but these men did live, not only Moses, and Aaron and his two sons, but the seventy elders, who were the principal choicest persons among the children of Israel; wherefore the Targum of Jonathan wrongly restrains this to Nadab and Abihu:
also they saw God, and did eat and drink: though they saw God, they continued alive and well, and in good health, of which their eating and drinking were a sign and evidence; or they ate, as Abendana, the sacrifices of the peace offerings, which were usually eaten by the priests and the people; and as a feast was common at covenant making, here was a feast kept by the elders, the representatives of the people, when they covenanted with God. Onkelos favours this sense,"and they rejoiced in their sacrifices, which were accepted with good will, as if they had ate and drank.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand—The "nobles," that is, the elders, after the sprinkling of the blood, were not inspired with terror in presence of the calm, benign, radiant symbol of the divine majesty; so different from the terrific exhibitions at the giving of the law. The report of so many competent witnesses would tend to confirm the people's faith in the divine mission of Moses.
eat and drink—feasted on the peace offering—on the remnants of the late sacrifices and libations. This feast had a prophetic bearing, intimating God's dwelling with men.
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