Exodus 3:4
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
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(4) When the Lord saw . . . God called.—Heb., When Jehovah saw, Elohim called. The German theory of two authors of Exodus, one Jehovistic and the other Elohistic, is completely refuted by this passage; for it is impossible to ascribe one clause of a sentence to one author, and the next to another. If originally the same term had been used in both places, a reviser would not have altered one without altering both.

Moses, Moses.—Comp. Genesis 26:11; 1Samuel 3:10; and Acts 9:4. The repetition marks extreme urgency.

3:1-6 The years of the life of Moses are divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh's court, the second as a shepherd in Midian, the third as a king in Jeshurun. How changeable is the life of man! The first appearance of God to Moses, found him tending sheep. This seems a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it; and thus learns meekness and contentment, for which he is more noted in sacred writ, than for all his learning. Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good friend to our communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; an emblem of the church in bondage in Egypt. And it fitly reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions kept by the presence of God from being destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine holiness and justice, also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that baptism of the Holy Ghost, by which sinful affections are consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image. God gave Moses a gracious call, to which he returned a ready answer. Those that would have communion with God, must attend upon him in the ordinances wherein he is pleased to manifest himself and his glory, though it be in a bush. Putting off the shoe was a token of respect and submission. We ought to draw nigh to God with a solemn pause and preparation, carefully avoiding every thing that looks light and rude, and unbecoming his service. God does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but I am. The patriarchs still live, so many years after their bodies have been in the grave. No length of time can separate the souls of the just from their Maker. By this, God instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his belief of a future state. Thus it is interpreted by our Lord Jesus, who, from hence, proves that the dead are raised, Lu 20:37. Moses hid his face, as if both ashamed and afraid to look upon God. The more we see of God, and his grace, and covenant love, the more cause we shall see to worship him with reverence and godly fear.The Lord saw - The interchange of the two divine names is to be observed; "Jehovah" (Yahweh) saw, "God" called. 4. when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see—The manifestations which God anciently made of Himself were always accompanied by clear, unmistakable signs that the communications were really from heaven. This certain evidence was given to Moses. He saw a fire, but no human agent to kindle it; he heard a voice, but no human lips from which it came; he saw no living Being, but One was in the bush, in the heat of the flames, who knew him and addressed him by name. Who could this be but the Divine Being? He doubles the name, partly to show kindness and familiarity, and principally to make Moses more attentive to the business before him. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see,.... Who is before called the Angel of the Lord, here Jehovah, the omniscient and omnipresent Being, who observing Moses turning aside and going onward to gratify his curiosity, by examining more narrowly this strange phenomenon:

God called unto him out of the midst of the bush; with an articulate voice, being the eternal Word:

and said, Moses, Moses; for the Lord knows his people distinctly, and can call them by name; and the repetition of his name not only shows familiarity and a strong vehement affection for him, but haste to stop him, that he might proceed no further; and this was done in order to stir him up to hearken to what would be said to him:

and he said, here am I; ready to hear what shall be said, and to obey whatever is commanded.

And when the {d} LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

(d) Whom he calls the angel in Ex 3:2.

4. And when, &c.] In the Heb., And Jehovah saw …, and God called, &c., to which the division of sources does no violence.Verse 4. - When the Lord saw... God called. This collocation of words is fatal in the entire Elohistic and Jehovistic theory, for no one can suppose that two different writers wrote the two clauses of the sentence. Nor, if the same term was originally used in both clauses, would any reviser have altered one without altering both. Out of the midst of the bush. A voice, which was the true voice of God, appeared to Moses to proceed out of the midst of the fire which enveloped the thorn-bush. An objective reality is described, not a vision. Moses, Moses. The double call implies urgency. Compare the call of Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10). Exodus 2:23-25 form the introduction to the next chapter. The cruel oppression of the Israelites in Egypt continued without intermission or amelioration. "In those many days the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the service" (i.e., their hard slave labour). The "many days" are the years of oppression, or the time between the birth of Moses and the birth of his children in Midian. The king of Egypt who died, was in any case the king mentioned in Exodus 2:15; but whether he was one and the same with the "new king" (Exodus 1:8), or a successor of his, cannot be decided. If the former were the case, we should have to assume, with Baumgarten, that the death of the king took place not very long after Moses' flight, seeing that he was an old man at the time of Moses' birth, and had a grown-up daughter. But the greater part of the "many days" would then fall in his successor's reign, which is obviously opposed to the meaning of the words, "It came to pass in those many days, that the king of Egypt died." For this reason the other supposition, that the king mentioned here is a successor of the one mentioned in Exodus 1:8, has far greater probability. At the same time, all that can be determined from a comparison of Exodus 7:7 is, that the Egyptian oppression lasted more than 80 years. This allusion to the complaints of the Israelites, in connection with the notice of the king's death, seems to imply that they hoped for some amelioration of their lot from the change of government; and that when they were disappointed, and groaned the more bitterly in consequence, they cried to God for help and deliverance. This is evident from the remark, "Their cry came up unto God," and is stated distinctly in Deuteronomy 26:7.
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