|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 29-31. - Moses seems to have parted with Zipporah and his children in Horeb, and to have sent them back to Jethro (Exodus 18:2), perhaps because they might have interfered with the work which he had to do, perhaps because he thought Egypt would be no pleasant residence for them during the coming struggle. He journeyed onward from Horeb with Aaron for his sole companion, and had abundant time for taking counsel with him, and exercising the influence over him which high intellect and education combined will always give to their possessor. The journey from Horeb to Goshen occupied probably some weeks. On arriving in Goshen, the two brothers, in obedience to the divine command (Exodus 3:16), proceeded at once to "gather together all the elders of Israel" - that is, all these who exercised local authority over their countrymen in the various districts which they inhabited. Through the mouth of Aaron, Moses declared all that had been revealed to him at the burning bush and subsequently, exhibiting at the same time the credentials which proved him an ambassador from God, i.e. the three miracles which he had been empowered to work at any moment (Exodus 4:2-8). The elders, being themselves convinced, summoned an assembly of the people, as is implied though not expressed in ver. 30; and the people, having heard the words of Aaron and seen the signs, were also convinced, and bowing their heads, worshipped the God whose ambassadors had appeared before them. Verse 29. - On the elders of Israel, see note upon Exodus 3:16. It is clear that the Israelitish nation, though in bondage to the Egyptians, had a certain internal organisation of its own, and possessed a set of native officers. These were probably the hereditary heads of families. Moses and Aaron could have no authority to gather these persons together; but they issued an invitation, and it was accepted. The "elders" came to the meeting.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Moses and Aaron went,.... Set forward for Egypt: and being come thither:
gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel; the heads of tribes and families, as many as they could conveniently get together in one place; probably in the metropolis of the kingdom, where Pharaoh's palace was, since we quickly hear of their going in to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29-31. Moses and Aaron went—towards Egypt, Zipporah and her sons having been sent back. (Compare Ex 18:2).
gathered … all the elders—Aaron was spokesman, and Moses performed the appointed miracles—through which "the people" (that is, the elders) believed (1Ki 17:24; Jos 3:2) and received the joyful tidings of the errand on which Moses had come with devout thanksgiving. Formerly they had slighted the message and rejected the messenger. Formerly Moses had gone in his own strength; now he goes leaning on God, and strong only through faith in Him who had sent him. Israel also had been taught a useful lesson, and it was good for both that they had been afflicted.
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