|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:28-35 Near and spiritual communion with God improves the graces of a renewed and holy character. Serious godliness puts a lustre upon a man's countenance, such as commands esteem and affection. The vail which Moses put on, marked the obscurity of that dispensation, compared with the gospel dispensation of the New Testament. It was also an emblem of the natural vail on the hearts of men respecting spiritual things. Also the vail that was and is upon the nation of Israel, which can only be taken away by the Spirit of the Lord showing to them Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Fear and unbelief would put the vail before us, they would hinder our free approach to the mercy-seat above. We should spread our wants, temporal and spiritual, fully before our heavenly Father; we should tell him our hinderances, struggles, trails, and temptations; we should acknowledge our offences.
Verse 28. - He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. As on the former occasion (Exodus 24:18). The patience and faith of the people was tested by this second long delay. Happily, they stood the test; and on Moses' final descent from Sinai the Israelites were found expectant and obedient (vers. 30-32). He did neither eat bread nor drink water. This was so also on the former occasion (Deuteronomy 9:9), though it is not mentioned in Exodus. The near presence of God sustained the vital powers and made food unnecessary. Moses, Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), and our Lord have alone accomplished a fast of this duration. Modern parodies are not held by scientific men to belong to the category of established facts. He wrote upon the tables. It has been argued from this expression that Moses wrote the words on the second tables; and it would be natural so to understand the passage, had nothing else been said on the subject. But in ver. 1 we are told that "God said, I will write upon these tables;" and the same is repeated in Deuteronomy 10:2. Moreover in Deuteronomy 10:4, it is distinctly declared "He" (i.e. God) "wrote on the tables according to the first writing." We must therefore regard "he" in this passage as meaning "the Lord," which is quite possible according to the Hebrew idiom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights,.... These were other forty days and nights, besides those he had been with the Lord, when he came down and broke the two tables in his hand, on sight of the idolatry of the people; yea, not only the Jewish writers think that he was on the mount three times forty days and forty nights, but also several learned Christian writers, as Dr. Lightfoot (p) and others; and it seems plain that he went up to the mountain three times, Exodus 24:15 and it is not improbable that he was each time so long there; about the first and third times there can be no doubt, see Exodus 24:18 and the text before us; and at the second time, when he went up to make reconciliation for the people, Exodus 32:30 he says, that he fell down before the Lord, as at the first forty days and forty nights, Deuteronomy 9:18 and from the seventh day of the month Sivan, the day after the giving of the law, to the tenth of Tisri, on which day he now descended, are just so many days:
he did neither eat bread nor drink water: and it is very likely slept not, he being supported without either of these by the power of God; and having such nearness of communion with God, and his mind taken up with what he heard and saw, he had no thoughts of, nor desires and cravings after such things, as well as he stood in no need of them; all which must be ascribed to the miraculous interposition of God in the support of him; see Gill on Exodus 24:18.
and he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments; not Moses, for these were tables of stone, which he could not write or engrave upon without proper instruments, which it does not appear he had with him on the mount; but it was God that wrote them, who, in Exodus 34:1 says he would write them, and from Deuteronomy 10:2 we are assured he did.
(p) Works, vol. 1. p. 715, 716.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights—as long as formerly [Ex 24:18], being sustained for the execution of his special duties by the miraculous power of God. A special cause is assigned for his protracted fast on this second occasion (De 9:18).
Exodus 34:28 Parallel Commentaries
Exodus 34:28 NIV
Exodus 34:28 NLT
Exodus 34:28 ESV
Exodus 34:28 NASB
Exodus 34:28 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible