Exodus 34:31
And Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him: and Moses talked with them.
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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.The two tables of testimony - Compare Exodus 31:18.

The skin of his face shone - Compare Matthew 17:2. The brightness of the Eternal Glory, though Moses had witnessed it only in a modified manner Exodus 33:22-23, was so reflected in his face, that Aaron and the people were stricken with awe, and feared to approach him until he gave them words of encouragement.

The word translated "shine" is closely connected with a word translated "horn"; and hence, the Latin version and others have rendered the verb "to be horned." From this rendering of the word has arisen the popular representation of Moses with horns on his forehead; e. g. in Michaelangelo's statue at Rome.

30. they were afraid to come nigh him—Their fear arose from a sense of guilt—the beaming radiance of his countenance made him appear to their awe-struck consciences a flaming minister of heaven. Unto him, to the tabernacle, which was still at a distance from the camp, though afterwards, God being reconciled, it was set up in the camp, Exodus 40:34. And Moses called unto them,.... Who, as it appears by what follows, on sight of him were so terrified, that they did not proceed on to meet him, but went back, and therefore he called unto them to return and come forward:

and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him; knowing him by his voice, and encouraged by his call of them, who before might take him to be something more than human, some glorious form, one of the heavenly angels appearing in this manner:

and Moses talked with them; after he had put a vail on his face, of which there is an account in the following verses. He talked with them friendly, and told them all that had happened to him in the mount; what a glorious sight he had been indulged with; what a proclamation of the grace and goodness of God had been made to him; and what laws and ordinances God had enjoined him and them the observance of.

And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
31. the rulers in the congregation] See on Exodus 16:22.Verse 31. - Moses called unto them. Moses bade them approach - no doubt assured them that there was no cause for fear (cf. Luke 24:38, 39) - and by his manner and familiar voice dispelled their fears and re-assured them. Aaron and all the rulers... returned unto him. Apparently, in their alarm they had drawn back. Being re-assured, they "returned." The true way to worship Jehovah is then pointed out, first of all negatively, in the prohibition against making molten images, with an allusion to the worship of the golden calf, as evinced by the use of the expression מסּכה אלהי, which only occurs again in Leviticus 19:4, instead of the phrase "gods of silver and gold" (Exodus 20:23); and then positively, by a command to observe the feast of Mazzoth and the consecration of the first-born connected with the Passover (see at Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13:11, and Exodus 13:12), also the Sabbath (Exodus 34:21), the feasts of Weeks and Ingathering, the appearance of the male members of the nation three times a year before the Lord (Exodus 34:22, see at Exodus 23:14-17), together with all the other instructions connected with them (Exodus 34:25, Exodus 34:26). Before the last, however, the promise is introduced, that after the expulsion of the Canaanites, Jehovah would enlarge the borders of Israel (cf. Exodus 23:31), and make their land so secure, that when they went up to the Lord three times in the year, no one should desire their land, sc., because of the universal dread of the might of their God (Exodus 23:27).
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