|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-4 When God made man in his own image, the moral law was written in his heart, by the finger of God, without outward means. But since the covenant then made with man was broken, the Lord has used the ministry of men, both in writing the law in the Scriptures, and in writing it in the heart. When God was reconciled to the Israelites, he ordered the tables to be renewed, and wrote his law in them. Even under the gospel of peace by Christ, the moral law continues to bind believers. Though Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, yet not from the commands of it. The first and the best evidence of the pardon of sin, and peace with God, is the writing the law in the heart.
Verse 3. - No man shall come up with thee. This time, no one, not even Joshua, was to accompany Moses. The new manifestation of the glory of God was to be made to him alone. Neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount, etc. Compare the injunctions given in Exodus 19:12, 13. The present orders are even more stringent.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And no man shall come up with thee,.... Before, Aaron and his two sons, and the seventy elders of Israel, went up with Moses, though they did not go so near the Lord as he did; but now having sinned in the matter of the golden calf, though a reconciliation was made, they were not allowed to go with him, nor even Joshua his servant, though he had no concern in the sin; Moses must be alone, that the ministration of the law might be by him only, and in order to receive a peculiar favour in answer to his request:
neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; in any part of it, as Joshua was before in some part of it, even all the while that Moses was there; but now not a single person must be seen anywhere, not only because of the giving of the law to Moses, but because of the display of the divine glory, which was to be made particularly to him:
neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount; or over against it, or rather "near" it (f); which was ordered, not so much on the account of the flocks themselves, who were not capable of any moral guilt; nor that they might not come to any hurt, since they were to be stoned or thrust through with a dart if they touched it, which order it is highly probable was in force as before; but on the account of their keepers, that there might be none of them on the spot, or near, to observe what passed; and chiefly this was said to command fear and reverence in the minds of the people, while this solemn affair was transacting between God and Moses, and to check all curiosity in them.
(f) , Sept. "prope montem illum", Noldius, p. 80.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. no man shall come up with thee … neither … flocks nor herds—All these enactments were made in order that the law might be a second time renewed with the solemnity and sanctity that marked its first delivery. The whole transaction was ordered so as to impress the people with an awful sense of the holiness of God; and that it was a matter of no trifling moment to have subjected Him, so to speak, to the necessity of re-delivering the law of the ten commandments.
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