Exodus 34:27
And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
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(27) Write thou these words.—Heb., Write for thee these words, i.e., put them in writing for thine own use and the use of thy people. This express command accounts for the assignment of so much space to what is mainly repetition. The requirement of the repetition can only be explained by the importance of the laws laid down under the circumstances of the Hebrew nation, and the power of repetition to enforce upon the conscience what is pressed upon it by reiteration.

After the tenor of these words.—The summary of positive laws contained in this chapter (Exodus 34:12-26) was not intended to supersede the “Book of the Covenant,” but rather to confirm and reinforce it. The covenant was renewed not upon these words only, but “after the tenor,” i.e., after their general aspect or bearing.

34:18-27 Once a week they must rest, even in ploughing time, and in harvest. All worldly business must give way to that holy rest; even harvest work will prosper the better, for the religious observance of the sabbath day in harvest time. We must show that we prefer our communion with God, and our duty to him, before the business or the joy of harvest. Thrice a year they must appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. Canaan was a desirable land, and the neighbouring nations were greedy; yet God says, They shall not desire it. Let us check all sinful desires against God and his glory, in our hearts, and then trust him to check all sinful desires in the hearts of others against us. The way of duty is the way of safety. Those who venture for him never lose by him. Three feasts are here mentioned: 1. The Passover, in remembrance of the deliverance out of Egypt. 2. The feast of weeks, or the feast of Pentecost; added to it is the law of the first-fruits. 3. The feast of in-gathering, or the feast of Tabernacles. Moses is to write these words, that the people might know them better. We can never be enough thankful to God for the written word. God would make a covenant with Israel, in Moses as a mediator. Thus the covenant of grace is made with believers through Christ.Neither shall any man desire etc. - Intended to encourage such as might fear the consequences of obeying the divine law in attending to their religious duties. Compare Proverbs 16:7. 27, 28. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words—that is, the ceremonial and judicial injunctions comprehended above (Ex 34:11-26); while the rewriting of the ten commandments on the newly prepared slabs was done by God Himself (compare De 10:1-4). Object.

God saith, I will write, Exodus 34:1.

Answ. 1. Moses was to write the ritual precepts mentioned here above, God wrote the moral law.

2. Moses wrote what he wrote in a book; see Exodus 24:7; but what was written upon the tables of stone was written by God himself, not by Moses, who had no graving instruments with him in the mount, and could not without them write upon the stone.

And the Lord said unto Moses,.... Being still with him on the mount:

write thou these words; expressed in the preceding verses, from Exodus 34:11, as he before had written in a book all those laws, contained in Exodus 21:1 called the book of the covenant, Exodus 24:4 and which perhaps might be destroyed, as well as the two tables were broken; and therefore upon the renewal of the covenant here, there is a repetition made of the principal laws before given, which are ordered also to be written in a book, which may very well be called by the same name, since it follows:

for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel, with Moses, as their representative and mediator, and with them represented by him: what is above related carries in it the form of a covenant between them, God having declared on his part what he would do for them, and what laws and rules he required to be observed on their part; which Moses assented to in their name, and was ordered to write them down, that he might repeat them to them.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
27. These words,—i.e. the commands of vv. 11–26,—are to be written down by Moses; for they constitute the conditions upon which Jehovah establishes His covenant (vv. 10, 27) with Israel. ‘The verse is J’s parallel to Exodus 24:3-8 in E’ (Di.).

after the tenor of] The expression used in Genesis 43:7.

28a. And he was there, &c.] viz. after the ascent of the mount described in v. 4, i.e. in the present form of vv. 1–4, Moses second ascent of it, but in their original form, if the view stated on p. 364 be correct, the ascent mentioned in Exodus 24:1-2; Exodus 24:9-11, so that in this case the forty days of J here will be the same as the forty days of E in Exodus 24:18 b.

28b. And he wrote] i.e., in the present context of the words, Moses (see p. 364). Of course it must be admitted that v. 28b may have once stood in a context in which the pronoun would refer naturally to Jehovah: this would be the case, for instance, if it once stood immediately after v. 4, as Deuteronomy 10:4 would suggest (cf. p. 364).

the words of the covenant] The ‘words’ of v. 27, i.e. the commands of vv. Exodus 11-26. It is difficult to think that this expression, at least as an original part of J, can have denoted the Decalogue of Exodus 20 : for the Decalogue of Exodus 20 is not in any part of Ex. made the basis of a covenant: this is a representation characteristic of Dt. (Deuteronomy 4:13, Deuteronomy 5:2-3 al.: see pp. 175, 193).

the ten commandments] Heb. words: i.e., if the words are part of J, and in their original context, the ‘words,’ or commandments, of vv. 11–26, which, though they are now more, may once have consisted only of ten (the ‘ritual Decalogue,’ p. 365). But it is probable that the words are a later addition, made, on the basis of Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:4, after the original wording of the chapter had been modified in vv. 1, 4, so as to make it describe the re-writing of the ‘moral’ Decalogue of Exodus 20 (p. 365); and in this case they will, as in Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:4 †, refer to that Decalogue. So Kittel, Bä., McNeile (p. xxxi), al.

Verses 27-35. - FINAL DESCENT OF MOSES FROM SINAI. The covenant having been renewed, Moses prepared to descend, having first however received a command to commit to writing the words of this second covenant (ver. 27). He received back the tables from God, inscribed with the Ten Commandments, and after a stay in Sinai of equal duration with the former one (ver. 28), descended, having the tables in his hands. He was not aware that the skin of his face had become radiant (ver. 29), and first learnt the fact by the rulers being afraid to come near him (ver. 30). After conversing with them and with the people he resolved to "put a vail on his face" ordinarily, only taking it of[ when he "went in before the Lord" into the ,, tent of meeting," and when, having received a message from the Lord to the people, he came out to deliver it. Verse 27. - Write thou these words. Literally, "write thee these words" - i.e., "write them for thyself and for thy people." According to the tenor of these words have I made a covenant. That is, "the covenant on my part is conditional on the observance of these words on the part of Israel." The "words" intended are those of vers. 10-26. Exodus 34:27Moses was to write down these words, like the covenant rights and laws that had been given before (Exodus 24:4, Exodus 24:7), because Jehovah had concluded the covenant with Moses and Israel according to the tenor of them. By the renewed adoption of the nation, the covenant in ch. 24 was eo ipso restored; so that no fresh conclusion of this covenant was necessary, and the writing down of the fundamental conditions of the covenant was merely intended as a proof of its restoration. It does not appear in the least degree "irreconcilable," therefore, with the writing down of the covenant rights before Knobel).
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