Exodus 3:6
Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look on God.
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(6) The God of thy father.—It is generally agreed that “father” is put collectively here for “forefathers.” (Comp. Genesis 31:42.) Hence St. Stephen, quoting the passage, renders it, “I am the God of thy fathers” (Acts 7:32).

The God of Abraham.—Primarily, no doubt, the meaning was, the God who was worshipped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but the form of the expression, “the God of Abraham,” &c., indicated the continued existence of the patriarchs after death, since He can only be the God of existent, and not of nonexistent things. (See Matthew 22:32.)

Moses hid his face, with the same feeling which made Jacob exclaim, “How dreadful is this place” (Genesis 28:17). Though nothing was to be seen but an appearance as of material fire, the knowledge that God was there rendered the fire awful.

Exodus 3:6. I am, &c. — He lets him know it is God that speaks to him, to engage his reverence, faith, and obedience. The God of thy father — Thy pious father Amram, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thy ancestors: engaged to them by solemn covenant, which I am now come to perform. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God — The more we see of God, the more cause we shall see to worship him with reverence and godly fear. And even the manifestations of God’s grace should increase our humble reverence of him.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.Our Saviour adduces this passage as a proof that the doctrine of the Resurrection was taught in the Old Testament Matthew 22:32, and He calls this book "the Book of Moses" Mark 12:26, two points to be borne in mind by readers of the Pentateuch. 6-8. I am the God … come down to deliver—The reverential awe of Moses must have been relieved by the divine Speaker (see Mt 22:32), announcing Himself in His covenant character, and by the welcome intelligence communicated. Moreover, the time, as well as all the circumstances of this miraculous appearance, were such as to give him an illustrious display of God's faithfulness to His promises. The period of Israel's journey and affliction in Egypt had been predicted (Ge 15:13), and it was during the last year of the term which had still to run that the Lord appeared in the burning bush. The God of thy fathers, engaged to them by covenant or promise, which I am now come to perform.

He was afraid to look upon God, as other excellent servants of God have been, through the sense of their own meanness and sinfulness, and of God’s majesty and holiness. See Genesis 16:13 17:3 1 Kings 19:13 Isaiah 6:2,5, &c. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy fathers,.... Of every one of his fathers next mentioned:

the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; with whom the covenant respecting the land of Canaan, and the promise of the blessed seed the Messiah, was made: this again shows that the Angel of the Lord that now appeared was God himself, Jehovah the Son of God. Our Lord makes use of this text to prove the resurrection of the dead against the Sadducees, God being not the God of the dead, but of the living; Mark 12:26.

and Moses hid his face; wrapped it in his mantle or cloak, as Elijah did, 1 Kings 19:13, because of the glory of the divine Majesty now present, and conscious of his own sinfulness and unworthiness:

for he was afraid to look upon God; even upon this outward appearance and representation of him in a flame of fire; otherwise the essence of God is not to be looked upon and seen at all, God is invisible; but even this external token and symbol of him was terrible to behold; the thought that God was there filled him with fear, considering the greatness and awfulness of his majesty, and what a poor, weak, and sinful creature he was.

Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was {g} afraid to look upon God.

(g) For sin causes man to fear God's justice.

6. Moreover] And (carrying on v. 4b in E).

the God of thy father] Exodus 15:2, Exodus 18:4 : the God worshipped by thy father, and, it is added afterwards, by thy forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well. Moses is not to introduce to his people any previously unknown God, but the God whom their fathers had worshipped, and who, it was believed, had promised to be with, and to defend, their descendants. Comp. Matthew 22:32 = Mark 12:26 = Luke 20:37.

hid his face] in reverence and fear: cf. 1 Kings 19:13; Isaiah 6:2.

6–10. God declares His purpose of delivering His people."God heard their crying, and remembered His covenant with the fathers: "and God saw the children of Israel, and God noticed them." "This seeing and noticing had regard to the innermost nature of Israel, namely, as the chosen seed of Abraham" (Baumgarten). God's notice has all the energy of love and pity. Lyra has aptly explained ויּדע thus: "ad modum cognoscentis se habuit, ostendendo dilectionem circa eos;" and Luther has paraphrased it correctly: "He accepted them."
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