Exodus 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

New Living Translation
"Do not come any closer," the LORD warned. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.

English Standard Version
Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

New American Standard Bible
Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

King James Bible
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not come closer," He said. "Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

International Standard Version
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground."

NET Bible
God said, "Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God said, "Don't come any closer! Take off your sandals because this place where you are standing is holy ground.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said, Do not come near; take off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place upon which thou dost stand is holy ground.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.

American King James Version
And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where on you stand is holy ground.

American Standard Version
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: loose thy sandals from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

English Revised Version
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said, Approach not hither: put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place on which thou standest is holy ground.

World English Bible
He said, "Don't come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground."

Young's Literal Translation
And He saith, 'Come not near hither: cast thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place on which thou art standing is holy ground.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-6 The years of the life of Moses are divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh's court, the second as a shepherd in Midian, the third as a king in Jeshurun. How changeable is the life of man! The first appearance of God to Moses, found him tending sheep. This seems a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it; and thus learns meekness and contentment, for which he is more noted in sacred writ, than for all his learning. Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good friend to our communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; an emblem of the church in bondage in Egypt. And it fitly reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions kept by the presence of God from being destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine holiness and justice, also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that baptism of the Holy Ghost, by which sinful affections are consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image. God gave Moses a gracious call, to which he returned a ready answer. Those that would have communion with God, must attend upon him in the ordinances wherein he is pleased to manifest himself and his glory, though it be in a bush. Putting off the shoe was a token of respect and submission. We ought to draw nigh to God with a solemn pause and preparation, carefully avoiding every thing that looks light and rude, and unbecoming his service. God does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but I am. The patriarchs still live, so many years after their bodies have been in the grave. No length of time can separate the souls of the just from their Maker. By this, God instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his belief of a future state. Thus it is interpreted by our Lord Jesus, who, from hence, proves that the dead are raised, Lu 20:37. Moses hid his face, as if both ashamed and afraid to look upon God. The more we see of God, and his grace, and covenant love, the more cause we shall see to worship him with reverence and godly fear.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Draw not nigh. The awful greatness of the Creator is such that his creatures, until invited to draw near, are bound to stand aloof. Moses, not yet aware that God himself spoke to him, was approaching the bush too close, to examine and see what the "great thing" was. (See ver. 3.) On the general unfitness of man to approach near to holy things, see the comment on Exodus 19:12. Put off thy shoes. Rather, "thy sandals." Shoes were not worn commonly, even by the Egyptians, until a late period, and would certainly not be known in the land of Midian at this time. The practice of putting them off before entering a temple, a palace, or even the private apartments of a house, was, and is, universal in the East - the rationale of it being that the shoes or sandals have dust or dirt attaching to them. The command given to Moses at this time was repeated to Joshua (Joshua 5:15). Holy ground. Literally, "ground of holiness " - ground rendered holy by the presence of God upon it - not "an old sanctuary," as some have thought, for then Moses would not have needed the information. Exodus - The God of thy father. "Father" here is used collectively, meaning forefathers generally, a usage well known to Hebraists. (Compare Exodus 15:2, antioch, 18:4.) The God of Abraham, etc., i.e. the God who revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and entered into covenant with them (Genesis 15:1-21; Genesis 26:2-5; Genesis 35:1-12). The conclusion which our Blessed Lord drew from this verse (Matthew 22:32) is not directly involved in it, but depends on his minor premiss, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Moses hid his face. A natural instinctive action. So Elijah, on the same site (1 Kings 19:13) and the holy angels before God's throne in heaven (Isaiah 6:2). In the religious system of Rome, the augurs when discharging their office, and all persons when offering a sacrifice, veiled their heads. (See Liv. 1:18; Virg. Aen. 3:405; Juv. 6:390.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he said, draw not nigh hither,.... Keep a proper distance:

put off thy shoes from off thy feet; dust and dirt cleaving to shoes, and these being ordered to be put off from the feet, the instrument of walking, show that those that draw nigh to God, and are worshippers of him, ought to be of pure and holy lives and conversations:

for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground; not that there was any inherent holiness in this spot of ground more than in any other, which ground is not capable of; but a relative holiness on account of the presence of God here at this time, and was not permanent, only while a pure and holy God was there: hence, in after times, the temple being the place of the divine residence, the priests there performed their services barefooted, nor might a common person enter into the temple with his shoes on (k); and to this day the Jews go to their synagogues barefooted on the day of atonement (l), to which Juvenal (m) seems to have respect; and from hence came the Nudipedalia among the Heathens, and that known symbol of Pythagoras (n), "sacrifice and worship with naked feet": in this manner the priests of Diana sacrificed to her among the Cretians and other people (o); and so the priests of Hercules did the same (p); the Brahmans among the Indians never go into their temples without plucking off their shoes (q); so the Ethiopian Christians, imitating Jews and Gentiles, never go into their places of public worship but with naked feet (r), and the same superstition the Turks and Mahometans observe (s).

(k) Misn. Beracot, c. 9. sect. 5. (l) Buxtorf. Jud Synagog. c. 30. p. 571. (m) "Observant ub. festa mero pede Sabbata reges." Satyr. 6. (n) Jamblichus de Vita Pythagor. Symbol. 3.((o) Solin. Polyhistor. c. 16. Strabo, l. 12. p. 370. (p) Silius de Bello Punic, l. 3.((q) Rogerius de Relig. Brachman. l. 2. c. 10. apud Braunium de vest. sacerdot. l. 1. c. 3. p. 66. (r) Damianus a Goes apud Rivet. in loc. (s) Pitts's Account of the Relig. and Manners of the Mahometans, c. 6. p. 38. 81. Georgieviz. de Turc. Moribus, c. 1. p. 11. Sionita de Urb. Oriental. & Relig. c. 7. p. 18. c. 10. p. 34.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. put off thy shoes—The direction was in conformity with a usage which was well known to Moses, for the Egyptian priests observed it in their temples, and it is observed in all Eastern countries where the people take off their shoes or sandals, as we do our hats. But the Eastern idea is not precisely the same as the Western. With us, the removal of the hat is an expression of reverence for the place we enter, or rather of Him who is worshipped there. With them the removal of the shoes is a confession of personal defilement and conscious unworthiness to stand in the presence of unspotted holiness.

Exodus 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Moses at the Burning Bush
4When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." 6He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.…
Cross References
Acts 7:33
"Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

2 Peter 1:18
We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

Exodus 19:21
and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish.

Deuteronomy 23:14
For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

Joshua 5:15
The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.

Ecclesiastes 5:1
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Jeremiah 30:21
Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me-- for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?' declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where on you stand is holy ground.

draw not.

Exodus 19:12,21 And you shall set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take …

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, …

Hebrews 12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much …

put off.

Genesis 28:16,17 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is …

Joshua 5:15 And the captain of the LORD's host said to Joshua, Loose your shoe …

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready …

Acts 7:33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off your shoes from your feet: for …

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