And he said to the elders, Tarry you here for us, until we come again to you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come to them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He said unto the elders.—Moses understood that his stay in the mount was about to be a prolonged one (see Exodus 24:12). He therefore prudently determined to make arrangements for the government and direction of the people during his absence. Aaron his brother, and Hur, the father of Bezaleel, perhaps his brother- in-law, seemed to him the fittest persons to exercise authority over the people during his absence; and accordingly he named them as the persons to whom application was to be made under any circumstances of difficulty.
Here.—In the plain below the mountain. The injunction was that the camp should not be moved until Moses came down, however long he might be detained by the Divine colloquy.For us, i.e. for me and Joshua, and here, i.e. in the camp, where he was when he spake these words; for it was where not only Aaron and Hur, but the people might come, as it here follows, and therefore not upon the mount. Moses had made
Aaron and Hur joint-commissioners, to determine hard causes which were brought to them from the elders, according to the order, Exodus 18:22. Some make Aaron the ecclesiastical head, and Hur the civil head; but Aaron was not authorized for ecclesiastical matters till Exo 28.
tarry ye here for us; meaning himself and Joshua, who was going with him:
until we come again unto you; perhaps Moses might not know how long his stay would be at the top of the mount, but supposed it would be some time by the provision he makes for hearing and adjusting cases in his absence:
and behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; Hur is not mentioned before, as being with Moses and the rest; but doubtless he was, at least it is highly probable he was one of the seventy elders of him; see Gill on Exodus 17:10.
if any man have any matters to do: any cases to be considered, any cause to be tried in difference between him and another man, and which cannot be determined by the inferior judges, is too difficult for them to take in hand:And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. And unto the elders he said] viz. before going up into the mount (v. 13). The elders are not the seventy mentioned by J in vv. 1, 9 (among whom Hur is not named, and who are not likely to have had forensic differences while waiting for Moses’ return), but the elders in the camp, who would naturally take the lead during Moses’ absence, and who are bidden here not to move (with the camp) from where they are, till he and Joshua return. Perhaps (Nöld., We., Bä.) elders is even a harmonistic correction for people, suggested by vv. 1, 9.
whosoever hath a cause, &c.] if during Moses’ absence any differences arise among the people, requiring for their settlement the intervention of a judge, they must be referred to Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:10; Exodus 17:12), as his representatives. The judicial organization established in ch. 18 does not seem to be presupposed; the verse thus supports the conclusion (p. 162) that ch. 18 once stood after ch. 24.
a cause] lit. words: see on Exodus 23:8; cf. (for the Heb.) Isaiah 50:8.Verse 14. - And he said unto the elders. Before taking his departure for the long sojourn implied in God's address to him, "Come up to me into the mount, and be there" (ver. 12), Moses thought it necessary to give certain directions to the elders as to what they should do in his absence -
1. They were to remain where they were - i.e., in the plain at the foot of Sinai, until his return, however long it should be delayed.
2. They were to regard Aaron and Hur as their leaders, and his (Moses') representatives. In case of any difficulty arising, they were to refer the matter to them. On Hur see the comment upon Exodus 17:12. Exodus 19:6). And this covenant was made "upon all the words" which Jehovah had spoken, and the people had promised to observe. Consequently it had for its foundation the divine law and right, as the rule of life for Israel.
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