|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:24-31 God met Moses in anger. The Lord threatened him with death or sent sickness upon him, as the punishment of his having neglected to circumcise his son. When God discovers to us what is amiss in our lives, we must give all diligence to amend it speedily. This is the voice of every rod; it calls us to return to Him that smites us. God sent Aaron to meet Moses. The more they saw of God's bringing them together, the more pleasant their interview was. The elders of Israel met them in faith, and were ready to obey them. It often happens, that less difficulty is found than was expected, in such undertakings as are according to the will of God, and for his glory. Let us but arise and try at our proper work, the Lord will be with us and prosper us. If Israel welcomed the tidings of their deliverance, and worshipped the Lord, how should we welcome the glad tidings of redemption, embrace it in faith, and adore the Redeemer!
Verses 27, 28. - The scene suddenly shifts. Moses is left in the wilderness to recover his strength and make such arrangements with respect to his wife and children as he thinks best under the circumstances. We are carried away to Egypt and introduced to Aaron, Moses' elder brother, of whom we have only heard previously that he could "speak well," and was to assist Moses as spokesman in his enterprise (Exodus 4:14-16). We now find God revealing himself to Aaron also, and directing his movements, as he had those of Moses. Aaron had perhaps already formed the design of visiting his brother (see ver. 14), and would have sought him in Midian but for the direction now given him. That direction was probably more definite than is expressed in the text, and enabled him to set forth confidently, without the fear of missing his brother. At any rate, under God's guidance he went and met him in the Sinaitic district. The joy of meeting is briefly described in the single phrase "he kissed him." The meeting was followed by a full explanation, on the part of Moses, both of the nature of his own mission and of the part which Aaron was to take in it. Verse 27. - Go into the wilderness. It is scarcely possible that this can have been the whole of the direction given, since the wilderness extended from the shores of the Mediterranean to the extreme point of the Sinaitic peninsula. The sacred writers study brevity, and leave much to be supplied by the common-sense of the reader. He went and met him in the mount of God. Compare above, Exodus 3:1, which shows that Horeb is meant. Horeb seems to have been the name for the entire mountain region, of which Sinai was a part. Kissed him. So Esau kissed Jacob after their long separation (Genesis 33:4), and Joseph, Benjamin and his other brethren (Genesis 45:14, 15). In the East men are more demonstrative than with us. Aaron's kiss showed the gladness that was in his heart (supra, ver. 14).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said unto Aaron,.... He appeared to him in a dream or vision, and to this reference is had in 1 Samuel 2:27.
go into the wilderness to meet Moses; in the wilderness of Arabia, through which Moses was to pass into Egypt, and who was now set out on his journey thitherward:
and he went; immediately, being obedient to the heavenly vision: and met him in the mount of God; in Horeb, where the Lord had appeared to Moses, and therefore called the mount of God, and where afterwards the law was given, and the covenant made with the people of Israel; and so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it,"in the mount on which the glory of God was revealed:"
and kissed him: as relations and intimate friends used to do at meeting or parting, to testify affection and respect; and Aaron must on all accounts be glad to meet Moses, both as he was his brother, whom he had not seen for many years, and as he was come to be a deliverer of the people of Israel. And it is observed, that it was but two days' journey from the land of Midian, where Jethro lived, from whence Moses set out; and that a common traveller cannot conveniently make the journey from Ramesses, or Grand Cairo (from whence it may be supposed Aaron set out), to Mount Horeb, in less than a fortnight, though he be carried on the back of a camel (g); and yet Aaron reached this place by the time that Moses did, which shows that either he delayed setting out on his journey, or was detained long at the inn on the road, on account of what happened there.
(g) Clayton's Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p 221.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. Aaron met him in the mount of God, and kissed him—After a separation of forty years, their meeting would be mutually happy. Similar are the salutations of Arab friends when they meet in the desert still; conspicuous is the kiss on each side of the head.
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