Exodus 34:3
And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(3) No man shall come up with thee . . . —These stringent commands were new. On the previous occasion, Aaron, Hur, and the elders had ascended the mount part of the way (Exodus 24:9-11); and Joshua had accompanied his master almost to the summit (Exodus 24:13), and had apparently remained in some part of the mountain during the whole time of Moses’ stay (Exodus 32:17). Now Moses was to be quite alone, and no one was to be seen in any part of the mount. The stringency of the new orders must be connected with the promised revelation to Moses of God’s glory (Exodus 33:21-23).

34:1-4 When God made man in his own image, the moral law was written in his heart, by the finger of God, without outward means. But since the covenant then made with man was broken, the Lord has used the ministry of men, both in writing the law in the Scriptures, and in writing it in the heart. When God was reconciled to the Israelites, he ordered the tables to be renewed, and wrote his law in them. Even under the gospel of peace by Christ, the moral law continues to bind believers. Though Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, yet not from the commands of it. The first and the best evidence of the pardon of sin, and peace with God, is the writing the law in the heart.Hew thee - The former tables are called "the work of God;" compare Exodus 32:16.

The words - See Exodus 34:28.

3. no man shall come up with thee … neither … flocks nor herds—All these enactments were made in order that the law might be a second time renewed with the solemnity and sanctity that marked its first delivery. The whole transaction was ordered so as to impress the people with an awful sense of the holiness of God; and that it was a matter of no trifling moment to have subjected Him, so to speak, to the necessity of re-delivering the law of the ten commandments. This is said, not for the beasts, which are not capable of a law, but to restrain the presumption and curiosity of the people, by this argument, that even the beasts that come too near shall be destroyed, and much more man, whose knowledge aggravates his sin and punishment.

And no man shall come up with thee,.... Before, Aaron and his two sons, and the seventy elders of Israel, went up with Moses, though they did not go so near the Lord as he did; but now having sinned in the matter of the golden calf, though a reconciliation was made, they were not allowed to go with him, nor even Joshua his servant, though he had no concern in the sin; Moses must be alone, that the ministration of the law might be by him only, and in order to receive a peculiar favour in answer to his request:

neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; in any part of it, as Joshua was before in some part of it, even all the while that Moses was there; but now not a single person must be seen anywhere, not only because of the giving of the law to Moses, but because of the display of the divine glory, which was to be made particularly to him:

neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount; or over against it, or rather "near" it (f); which was ordered, not so much on the account of the flocks themselves, who were not capable of any moral guilt; nor that they might not come to any hurt, since they were to be stoned or thrust through with a dart if they touched it, which order it is highly probable was in force as before; but on the account of their keepers, that there might be none of them on the spot, or near, to observe what passed; and chiefly this was said to command fear and reverence in the minds of the people, while this solemn affair was transacting between God and Moses, and to check all curiosity in them.

(f) , Sept. "prope montem illum", Noldius, p. 80.

And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
3. The precautions are similar to those taken in Exodus 19:12 f.

before] rather, in front of, i.e. on the slopes in front of the mountain, towards its foot.

As was pointed out on p. 347, the historical retrospect in Deuteronomy 9:8-29 is based largely upon Exodus 32, and contains numerous verbal excerpts from it; and a comparison of Deuteronomy 10:1-3 with Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:4 makes it practically certain that in the text of Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:4 which lay before the author of Dt., there was mention of the ark as made at this time by Moses. Here is the text of Deuteronomy 10:1-3, with the words excerpted from Exodus 34:1-2; Exodus 34:4 printed in italics:—‘(Deuteronomy 10:1) At that time Jehovah said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me to the mount, and make thee an ark of wood; (2) that I may write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. (3) And I made an ark of acacia-wood; and I hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and I went up to the mount; and the two tables were in my hand.’ Thus in Dt. Moses is instructed to make, and actually does make, the ark, before ascending the mount the second time to receive the tables of stone (Exodus 34:4); whereas in Ex. the command to make the ark is both given to Bezalel and executed by him, after Moses’ return from the mountain (Exodus 35:30 ff., Exodus 36:2, Exodus 37:1—all passages belonging to P). The two accounts are evidently discrepant: and there can be no reasonable doubt that the notices of the ark contained in the original text of Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:4 were omitted by the compiler, as inconsistent with the more detailed particulars, which he preferred, contained in the narrative of P.

Verse 3. - No man shall come up with thee. This time, no one, not even Joshua, was to accompany Moses. The new manifestation of the glory of God was to be made to him alone. Neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount, etc. Compare the injunctions given in Exodus 19:12, 13. The present orders are even more stringent. Exodus 34:3When Moses had restored the covenant bond through his intercession (Exodus 33:14), he was directed by Jehovah to hew out two stones, like the former ones which he had broken, and to come with them the next morning up the mountain, and Jehovah would write upon them the same words as upon the first,

(Note: Namely, the ten words in Exodus 20:2-17, not the laws contained in Exodus 34:12-26 of this chapter, as Gthe and Hitzig suppose. See Hengstenberg, Dissertations ii. p. 319, and Kurtz on the Old Covenant iii.182ff.)

and thus restore the covenant record. It was also commanded, as in the former case (Exodus 19:12-13), that no one should go up the mountain with him, or be seen upon it, and that not even cattle should feed against the mountain, i.e., in the immediate neighbourhood (Exodus 34:3). The first tables of the covenant were called "tables of stone" (Exodus 24:12; Exodus 31:18); the second, on the other hand, which were hewn by Moses, are called "tables of stones" (Exodus 34:1 and Exodus 34:4); and the latter expression is applied indiscriminately to both of them in Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 5:19; Deuteronomy 9:9-11; Deuteronomy 10:1-4. This difference does not indicate a diversity in the records, but may be explained very simply from the fact, that the tables prepared by Moses were hewn from two stones, and not both from the same block; whereas all that could be said of the former, which had been made by God Himself, was that they were of stone, since no one knew whether God had used one stone or two for the purpose. There is apparently far more importance in the following distinction, that the second tables were delivered by Moses and only written upon by God, whereas in the case of the former both the writing and the materials came from God. This cannot have been intended either as a punishment for the nation (Hengstenberg), or as "the sign of a higher stage of the covenant, inasmuch as the further the reciprocity extended, the firmer was the covenant" (Baumgarten). It is much more natural to seek for the cause, as Rashi does, in the fact, that Moses had broken the first in pieces; only we must not regard it as a sign that God disapproved of the manifestation of anger on the part of Moses, but rather as a recognition of his zealous exertions for the restoration of the covenant which had been broken by the sin of the nation. As Moses had restored the covenant through his energetic intercession, he should also provide the materials for the renewal of the covenant record, and bring them to God, for Him to complete and confirm the record by writing the covenant words upon the tables.

On the following morning, when Moses ascended the mountain, Jehovah granted him the promised manifestation of His glory (Exodus 34:5.). The description of this unparalleled occurrence is in perfect harmony with the mysterious and majestic character of the revelation. "Jehovah descended (from heaven) in the cloud, and stood by him there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah; and Jehovah passed by in his sight, and proclaimed Jehovah, Jehovah God, merciful and gracious," etc. What Moses saw we are not told, but simply the words in which Jehovah proclaimed all the glory of His being; whilst it is recorded of Moses, that he bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. This "sermon on the name of the Lord," as Luther calls it, disclosed to Moses the most hidden nature of Jehovah. It proclaimed that God is love, but that kind of love in which mercy, grace, long-suffering, goodness, and truth are united with holiness and justice. As the merciful One, who is great in goodness and truth, Jehovah shows mercy to the thousandth, forgiving sin and iniquity in long-suffering and grace; but He does not leave sin altogether unpunished, and in His justice visits the sin of the fathers upon the children and the children's children even unto the fourth generation. The Lord had already revealed Himself to the whole nation from Mount Sinai as visiting sin and showing mercy (Exodus 20:5.). But whereas on that occasion the burning zeal of Jehovah which visits sin stood in the foreground, and mercy only followed afterwards, here grace, mercy, and goodness are placed in the front. And accordingly all the words which the language contained to express the idea of grace in its varied manifestations to the sinner, are crowded together here, to reveal the fact that in His inmost being God is love. But in order that grace may not be perverted by sinners into a ground of wantonness, justice is not wanting even here with its solemn threatenings, although it only follows mercy, to show that mercy is mightier than wrath, and that holy love does not punish til sinners despise the riches of the goodness, patience, and long-suffering of God. As Jehovah here proclaimed His name, so did He continue to bear witness of it to the Israelites, from their departure from Sinai till their entrance into Canaan, and from that time forward till their dispersion among the heathen, and even now in their exile showing mercy to the thousandth, when they turn to the Redeemer who has come out of Zion.

Exodus 34:3 Interlinear
Exodus 34:3 Parallel Texts

Exodus 34:3 NIV
Exodus 34:3 NLT
Exodus 34:3 ESV
Exodus 34:3 NASB
Exodus 34:3 KJV

Exodus 34:3 Bible Apps
Exodus 34:3 Parallel
Exodus 34:3 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 34:3 Chinese Bible
Exodus 34:3 French Bible
Exodus 34:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Exodus 34:2
Top of Page
Top of Page