Exodus 34:28
And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
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(28) He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights.—As on his former ascent (Exodus 24:18). The long time is, at first sight, surprising, since there were now no instructions to be given. But we learn from Deuteronomy (Exodus 9:18-19) that it was required for an earnest and prolonged intercession by Moses on behalf of his nation, which ultimately prevailed with God, and induced Him to put away His “anger and hot displeasure.”

He did neither eat bread, nor drink water.—A similar fast had been kept on the previous occasion (Deuteronomy 9:9), though it is not mentioned in Exodus. Fasts of this extraordinary duration are only recorded of Moses, of Elijah (1Kings 19:8), and of our Lord (Matthew 4:2). They are absolutely miraculous, and modern attempts to rival them are viewed by scientific men as deriving such apparent success as may have attended them from imposture.

He wrote upon the tables.—It has been concluded from this statement that Moses engraved the words upon the second tables; and the passage, if it stood alone, would certainly admit, and, indeed, naturally suggest, this meaning. But the Hebrew idiom allows us to regard Jehovah as the nominative to the verb “wrote;” and it is necessary so to do in order to bring the passage into agreement with Exodus 34:1. and with Deuteronomy 10:2; Deuteronomy 10:4. Thus the second tables are to be viewed as “written with the finger of God” no less than the first (Exodus 31:18; Exodus 32:16).

Exodus 34:28. He, God, wrote.

34:28-35 Near and spiritual communion with God improves the graces of a renewed and holy character. Serious godliness puts a lustre upon a man's countenance, such as commands esteem and affection. The vail which Moses put on, marked the obscurity of that dispensation, compared with the gospel dispensation of the New Testament. It was also an emblem of the natural vail on the hearts of men respecting spiritual things. Also the vail that was and is upon the nation of Israel, which can only be taken away by the Spirit of the Lord showing to them Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Fear and unbelief would put the vail before us, they would hinder our free approach to the mercy-seat above. We should spread our wants, temporal and spiritual, fully before our heavenly Father; we should tell him our hinderances, struggles, trails, and temptations; we should acknowledge our offences.He wrote - i. e. Yahweh wrote Exodus 34:1. 28. he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights—as long as formerly [Ex 24:18], being sustained for the execution of his special duties by the miraculous power of God. A special cause is assigned for his protracted fast on this second occasion (De 9:18). He was there forty days and forty nights; as he had been before, being now to renew the broken covenant. This forty days’ fast of his is mentioned four times, Exodus 24:18, and here, and Deu 9:18 10:10, but it is evident it was performed but twice, as the occasion of it happened only twice.

He wrote, not Moses, but the Lord, as appears from Exodus 24:1, and from Deu 10, the relative pronoun being here referred to the remoter antecedent, of which there are many instances, as Genesis 10:12 1 Samuel 21:14 27:8 Psalm 99:6.

And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights,.... These were other forty days and nights, besides those he had been with the Lord, when he came down and broke the two tables in his hand, on sight of the idolatry of the people; yea, not only the Jewish writers think that he was on the mount three times forty days and forty nights, but also several learned Christian writers, as Dr. Lightfoot (p) and others; and it seems plain that he went up to the mountain three times, Exodus 24:15 and it is not improbable that he was each time so long there; about the first and third times there can be no doubt, see Exodus 24:18 and the text before us; and at the second time, when he went up to make reconciliation for the people, Exodus 32:30 he says, that he fell down before the Lord, as at the first forty days and forty nights, Deuteronomy 9:18 and from the seventh day of the month Sivan, the day after the giving of the law, to the tenth of Tisri, on which day he now descended, are just so many days:

he did neither eat bread nor drink water: and it is very likely slept not, he being supported without either of these by the power of God; and having such nearness of communion with God, and his mind taken up with what he heard and saw, he had no thoughts of, nor desires and cravings after such things, as well as he stood in no need of them; all which must be ascribed to the miraculous interposition of God in the support of him; see Gill on Exodus 24:18.

and he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments; not Moses, for these were tables of stone, which he could not write or engrave upon without proper instruments, which it does not appear he had with him on the mount; but it was God that wrote them, who, in Exodus 34:1 says he would write them, and from Deuteronomy 10:2 we are assured he did.

(p) Works, vol. 1. p. 715, 716.

And he was there with the LORD {k} forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

(k) This miracle was to confirm the authority of the law, and should not be followed any more than other miracles.

Verse 28. - He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. As on the former occasion (Exodus 24:18). The patience and faith of the people was tested by this second long delay. Happily, they stood the test; and on Moses' final descent from Sinai the Israelites were found expectant and obedient (vers. 30-32). He did neither eat bread nor drink water. This was so also on the former occasion (Deuteronomy 9:9), though it is not mentioned in Exodus. The near presence of God sustained the vital powers and made food unnecessary. Moses, Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), and our Lord have alone accomplished a fast of this duration. Modern parodies are not held by scientific men to belong to the category of established facts. He wrote upon the tables. It has been argued from this expression that Moses wrote the words on the second tables; and it would be natural so to understand the passage, had nothing else been said on the subject. But in ver. 1 we are told that "God said, I will write upon these tables;" and the same is repeated in Deuteronomy 10:2. Moreover in Deuteronomy 10:4, it is distinctly declared "He" (i.e. God) "wrote on the tables according to the first writing." We must therefore regard "he" in this passage as meaning "the Lord," which is quite possible according to the Hebrew idiom. Exodus 34:28Moses remained upon the mountain forty days, just as on the former occasion (cf. Exodus 24:18). "And He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the ten covenant words" (see at Exodus 34:1).
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