Exodus 4:29
And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
THE RETURN TO EGYPT.

(29) Moses and Aaron went.—The two brothers returned together from the Sinaitic region to Egypt. No particulars of the journey are narrated, nor can we even tell what was the route which they followed. On their arrival, they at once set themselves to carry out the charge committed to them (Exodus 3:16). The Israelites in Egypt, though suffering under severe oppression, had an organisation of their own, jurisdiction attaching probably to the heads of tribes, or of chief families. (Comp. Numbers 1:4-16.) These persons are here called “elders,” which the LXX. render τὴν γερουσίαν, “the senate.” Moses and Aaron could have no power to convoke them; but they invited them to a conference, and the elders came.

4:24-31 God met Moses in anger. The Lord threatened him with death or sent sickness upon him, as the punishment of his having neglected to circumcise his son. When God discovers to us what is amiss in our lives, we must give all diligence to amend it speedily. This is the voice of every rod; it calls us to return to Him that smites us. God sent Aaron to meet Moses. The more they saw of God's bringing them together, the more pleasant their interview was. The elders of Israel met them in faith, and were ready to obey them. It often happens, that less difficulty is found than was expected, in such undertakings as are according to the will of God, and for his glory. Let us but arise and try at our proper work, the Lord will be with us and prosper us. If Israel welcomed the tidings of their deliverance, and worshipped the Lord, how should we welcome the glad tidings of redemption, embrace it in faith, and adore the Redeemer!All the elders - The Israelites retained their own national organization; their affairs were administered by their own elders, who called a public assembly Exodus 4:31 to hear the message brought by Moses and Aaron. 29-31. Moses and Aaron went—towards Egypt, Zipporah and her sons having been sent back. (Compare Ex 18:2).

gathered … all the elders—Aaron was spokesman, and Moses performed the appointed miracles—through which "the people" (that is, the elders) believed (1Ki 17:24; Jos 3:2) and received the joyful tidings of the errand on which Moses had come with devout thanksgiving. Formerly they had slighted the message and rejected the messenger. Formerly Moses had gone in his own strength; now he goes leaning on God, and strong only through faith in Him who had sent him. Israel also had been taught a useful lesson, and it was good for both that they had been afflicted.

All of them whom they could easily and quickly bring together, or all that were in those parts. Of those elders, see Exodus 3:16 24:1,9 Num 11:16. And Moses and Aaron went,.... Set forward for Egypt: and being come thither:

gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel; the heads of tribes and families, as many as they could conveniently get together in one place; probably in the metropolis of the kingdom, where Pharaoh's palace was, since we quickly hear of their going in to him.

And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Exodus 29-31. Execution of the commands given in Exodus 3:16, Exodus 4:2-9.Verses 29-31. - Moses seems to have parted with Zipporah and his children in Horeb, and to have sent them back to Jethro (Exodus 18:2), perhaps because they might have interfered with the work which he had to do, perhaps because he thought Egypt would be no pleasant residence for them during the coming struggle. He journeyed onward from Horeb with Aaron for his sole companion, and had abundant time for taking counsel with him, and exercising the influence over him which high intellect and education combined will always give to their possessor. The journey from Horeb to Goshen occupied probably some weeks. On arriving in Goshen, the two brothers, in obedience to the divine command (Exodus 3:16), proceeded at once to "gather together all the elders of Israel" - that is, all these who exercised local authority over their countrymen in the various districts which they inhabited. Through the mouth of Aaron, Moses declared all that had been revealed to him at the burning bush and subsequently, exhibiting at the same time the credentials which proved him an ambassador from God, i.e. the three miracles which he had been empowered to work at any moment (Exodus 4:2-8). The elders, being themselves convinced, summoned an assembly of the people, as is implied though not expressed in ver. 30; and the people, having heard the words of Aaron and seen the signs, were also convinced, and bowing their heads, worshipped the God whose ambassadors had appeared before them. Verse 29. - On the elders of Israel, see note upon Exodus 3:16. It is clear that the Israelitish nation, though in bondage to the Egyptians, had a certain internal organisation of its own, and possessed a set of native officers. These were probably the hereditary heads of families. Moses and Aaron could have no authority to gather these persons together; but they issued an invitation, and it was accepted. The "elders" came to the meeting. In order that Pharaoh might form a true estimate of the solemnity of the divine command, Moses was to make known to him not only the relation of Jehovah to Israel, but also the judgment to which he would be exposed if he refused to let Israel go. The relation in which Israel stood to Jehovah was expressed by God in the words, "Israel is My first-born son." Israel was Jehovah's son by virtue of his election to be the people of possession (Deuteronomy 14:1-2). This election began with the call of Abraham to be the father of the nation in which all the families of the earth were to be blessed. On the ground of this promise, which was now to be realized in the seed of Abraham by the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, the nation of Israel is already called Jehovah's "son," although it was through the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai that it was first exalted to be the people of Jehovah's possession out of all the nations (Exodus 19:5-6). The divine sonship of Israel was therefore spiritual in its nature: it neither sprang from the fact that God, as the Creator of all nations, was also the Creator, or Begetter, and Father of Israel, nor was it founded, as Baumgarten supposes, upon "the physical generation of Isaac, as having its origin, not in the power of nature, but in the power of grace." The relation of God, as Creator, to man His creature, is never referred to in the Old Testament as that of a father to a son; to say nothing of the fact that the Creator of man is Elohim, and not Jehovah. Wherever Jehovah is called the Father, Begetter, or Creator of Israel (even in Deuteronomy 32:18; Jeremiah 2:27; Isaiah 44:8; Malachi 1:6 and Malachi 2:10), the fatherhood of God relates to the election of Israel as Jehovah's people of possession. But the election upon which the υἱοθεσία of Israel was founded, is not presented in the aspect of a "begetting through the Spirit;" it is spoken of rather as acquiring or buying (קנה), making (עשׂה), founding or establishing (כּנן, Deuteronomy 32:6). Even the expressions, "the Rock that begat thee," "God that bare thee" (Deuteronomy 32:18), do not point to the idea of spiritual generation, but are to be understood as referring to the creation; just as in Psalm 90:2, where Moses speaks of the mountains as "brought forth" and the earth as "born." The choosing of Israel as the son of God was an adoption flowing from the free grace of God which involved the loving, fatherly treatment of the son, and demanded obedience, reverence, and confidence towards the Father (Malachi 1:6). It was this which constituted the very essence of the covenant made by Jehovah with Israel, that He treated it with mercy and love (Hosea 11:1; Jeremiah 31:9, Jeremiah 31:20), pitied it as a father pitieth his children (Psalm 103:13), chastened it on account of its sins, yet did not withdraw His mercy from it (2 Samuel 7:14-15; Psalm 89:31-35), and trained His son to be a holy nation by the love and severity of paternal discipline. - Still Israel was not only a son, but the "first-born son" of Jehovah. In this title the calling of the heathen is implied. Israel was not to be Jehovah's only son, but simply the first-born, who was peculiarly dear to his Father, and had certain privileges above the rest. Jehovah was about to exalt Israel above all the nations of the earth (Deuteronomy 28:1). Now, if Pharaoh would not let Jehovah's first-born son depart, he would pay the penalty in the life of his own first-born (cf. Exodus 12:29). In this intense earnestness of the divine command, Moses had a strong support to his faith. If Israel was Jehovah's first-born son, Jehovah could not relinquish him, but must deliver His son from the bondage of Egypt.
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