|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:18-27 Once a week they must rest, even in ploughing time, and in harvest. All worldly business must give way to that holy rest; even harvest work will prosper the better, for the religious observance of the sabbath day in harvest time. We must show that we prefer our communion with God, and our duty to him, before the business or the joy of harvest. Thrice a year they must appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. Canaan was a desirable land, and the neighbouring nations were greedy; yet God says, They shall not desire it. Let us check all sinful desires against God and his glory, in our hearts, and then trust him to check all sinful desires in the hearts of others against us. The way of duty is the way of safety. Those who venture for him never lose by him. Three feasts are here mentioned: 1. The Passover, in remembrance of the deliverance out of Egypt. 2. The feast of weeks, or the feast of Pentecost; added to it is the law of the first-fruits. 3. The feast of in-gathering, or the feast of Tabernacles. Moses is to write these words, that the people might know them better. We can never be enough thankful to God for the written word. God would make a covenant with Israel, in Moses as a mediator. Thus the covenant of grace is made with believers through Christ.
Verses 27-35. - FINAL DESCENT OF MOSES FROM SINAI. The covenant having been renewed, Moses prepared to descend, having first however received a command to commit to writing the words of this second covenant (ver. 27). He received back the tables from God, inscribed with the Ten Commandments, and after a stay in Sinai of equal duration with the former one (ver. 28), descended, having the tables in his hands. He was not aware that the skin of his face had become radiant (ver. 29), and first learnt the fact by the rulers being afraid to come near him (ver. 30). After conversing with them and with the people he resolved to "put a vail on his face" ordinarily, only taking it of[ when he "went in before the Lord" into the ,, tent of meeting," and when, having received a message from the Lord to the people, he came out to deliver it. Verse 27. - Write thou these words. Literally, "write thee these words" - i.e., "write them for thyself and for thy people." According to the tenor of these words have I made a covenant. That is, "the covenant on my part is conditional on the observance of these words on the part of Israel." The "words" intended are those of vers. 10-26.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said unto Moses,.... Being still with him on the mount:
write thou these words; expressed in the preceding verses, from Exodus 34:11, as he before had written in a book all those laws, contained in Exodus 21:1 called the book of the covenant, Exodus 24:4 and which perhaps might be destroyed, as well as the two tables were broken; and therefore upon the renewal of the covenant here, there is a repetition made of the principal laws before given, which are ordered also to be written in a book, which may very well be called by the same name, since it follows:
for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel, with Moses, as their representative and mediator, and with them represented by him: what is above related carries in it the form of a covenant between them, God having declared on his part what he would do for them, and what laws and rules he required to be observed on their part; which Moses assented to in their name, and was ordered to write them down, that he might repeat them to them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27, 28. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words—that is, the ceremonial and judicial injunctions comprehended above (Ex 34:11-26); while the rewriting of the ten commandments on the newly prepared slabs was done by God Himself (compare De 10:1-4).
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