Exodus 40:34
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
THE DESCENT OF THE GLOEY OF GOD UPON THE TABERNACLE.

(34) Then a cloud.—Heb., the cloud, i.e., the same cloud that had accompanied the host and directed their journeys from Succoth (Exodus 13:20-22).

Covered the tent.—The cloud rested on the tent outside; the “glory of God,”—some ineffably brilliant appearance—entered inside, and “filled” the entire dwelling. It pleased God thus to manifest His intention of making good His promise to go with the people in person (Exodus 33:17).

40:34-38 The cloud covered the tabernacle even in the clearest day; it was not a cloud which the sun scatters. This cloud was a token of God's presence to be seen day and night, by all Israel, that they might never again question, Is the Lord among us, or is he not? It guided the camp of Israel through the wilderness. While the cloud rested on the tabernacle, they rested; when it removed, they followed it. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In light and fire the Shechinah made itself visible: God is Light; our God is a consuming Fire. Yet so dazzling was the light, and so dreadful the fire, that Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, till the splendour was abated. But what Moses could not do, our Lord Jesus has done, whom God caused to draw near; and who has invited us to come boldly, even to the mercy-seat. Being taught by the Holy Spirit to follow the example of Christ, as well as to depend upon him, to attend his ordinances, and obey his precepts, we shall be kept from losing our way, and be led in the midst of the paths of judgment, till we come to heaven, the habitation of his holiness. BLESSED BE GOD FOR JESUS CHRIST!On the distinction between the tent as the outer shelter and the tabernacle as the dwelling-place of Yahweh, which is very clear in these verses, see Exodus 26:1 note. The glory appeared as a light within and as a cloud on the outside.34. a cloud—literally, "The cloud," the mystic cloud which was the well-known symbol of the Divine Presence. After remaining at a great distance from them on the summit of the mount, it appeared to be in motion; and if many among them had a secret misgiving about the issue, how the fainting heart would revive, the interest of the moment intensely increase, and the tide of joy swell in every bosom, when that symbolic cloud was seen slowly and majestically descending towards the plain below and covering the tabernacle. The entire and universal concealment of the tabernacle within the folds of an impervious cloud was not without a deep and instructive meaning; it was a protection to the sacred edifice from the burning heats of the Arabian climate; it was a token of the Divine Presence; and it was also an emblem of the Mosaic dispensation, which, though it was a revelation from heaven, yet left many things hid in obscurity; for it was a dark cloud compared with the bright cloud, which betokened the clearer and fuller discoveries of the divine character and glory in the gospel (Mt 17:5).

the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle—that is, light and fire, a created splendor, which was the peculiar symbol of God (1Jo 1:5). Whether this light was inherent in the cloud or not, it emanated from it on this occasion, and making its entry, not with the speed of a lightning flash as if it were merely an electric spark, but in majestic splendor, it passed through the outer porch into the interior of the most holy place (1Ki 8:10; Joh 1:14). Its miraculous character is shown by the fact, that, though "it filled the tabernacle," not a curtain or any article of furniture was so much as singed.

i.e. The glorious presence of God, which having been forfeited and lost was now returned to them, and took its habitation among them. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation,.... The outside of it; this cloud was the same with the pillar of cloud that went before the Israelites, as soon almost as they came out of Egypt; and led them through the Red sea, and conducted them to Mount Sinai; only it now appeared in a different form, not erect as a pillar, but more expanded, so as to cover the tabernacle without:

and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle; the inside of it, not the most holy place only, but the holy place also: this was an uncommon brightness, lustre, and splendour, a glorious stream of light, which the eye of man could not well bear to behold; such a glory filled the temple of Solomon at the dedication of that, 1 Kings 8:11 and was an emblem of Christ, the brightness of his Father's glory, dwelling in and filling the tabernacle of the human nature, where the Godhead, the Shechinah, the divine Majesty, dwells bodily, Hebrews 1:3 Colossians 2:9.

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34–38. The cloud (see on Exodus 13:21-22) now takes up its abode on the Tent of Meeting (cf. Numbers 9:15 P), and the glory (see on Exodus 16:10) of Jehovah fills the Dwelling (vv. 34 f.). Ever afterwards, through the period of the Israelites’ journeyings, the cloud, while they were stationary, remains upon the Tent of Meeting, with fire shining in it by night, its being lifted up from it being a signal that they are to break up camp, and move on (vv. 36–38).

the glory of Jehovah filled the Dwelling] cf. Exodus 29:43.Verses 34-38. - THE DESCENT OF THE GLORY OF GOD ON THE COMPLETED WORK. The work was finished the fist incense burnt (ver. 27) - the first sacrifice offered (ver. 29). Those who had watched the proceedings, and those who had been engaged in them, were probably about to retire to rest. Even Moses had withdrawn, and left the tabernacle to itself - when suddenly, there was a manifestation of Divine Power. The cloud, which had gone before the Israelites from Succoth onward (Exodus 13:20-22), and which had recently settled upon the extemporised "Tent of Meeting" (Exodus 33:9), left its place, and "covered" the newly-erected structure externally (ver. 34), while an intensely brilliant light - here called "the glory of God" - filled the whole interior of the tabernacle (ib,). Moses, it appears, would fain have re-entered the tabernacle - to see the great sight" (Exodus 3:3); but he could not - the "glory" was too dazzling (ver. 35). Thus a distinct approval was given to all that had been done. God accepted his house, and entered it. The people saw that he had foregone his wrath, and would be content henceforth to dwell among them and journey with them. Henceforth, throughout the wanderings, the cloud and tabernacle were inseparable. If the cloud was lifted a little off it and moved in front, the tabernacle had to follow (ver. 36) - if it settled down on the roof, the people stopped and remained until it moved again (ver. 37). The appearance was as of a cloud by day, and as of fire by night, so that all could always see where the tabernacle was, and whether it was stationary or in motion (ver. 38). After the first descent, it would seem that "the glory" withdrew into the Holy of Holies, so that both Moses and the priests could enter the holy place, and minister there (Leviticus 8:10; Leviticus 10:13, etc.). Verse 34. - Then a cloud. In the original "the cloud," i.e. the cloud so often spoken of (Exodus 13:21, 22; Exodus 14:19, 20, 24; Exodus 19:9; Exodus 24:15-18; Exodus 33:9, 10). Covered the tent. Descended on the outer covering and rested there. Filled the tabernacle. Entered inside, and filled both holy place and Holy of Holies. Arrangement of the front room of the dwelling. The table was placed on the right side, towards the north, and the shew-bread was laid upon it. לחם ערך does not signify "a row of bread," but the "position or placing of bread;" for, according to Leviticus 24:6-7, the twelve loaves of shew-bread were placed upon the table in two rows, corresponding to the size of the tables (two cubits long and one cubit broad). The candlestick was placed upon the left side, opposite to the table, and the golden altar in front of the curtain, i.e., midway between the two sides, but near the curtain in front of the most holy place (see at Exodus 30:6). After these things had been placed, the curtain was hung in the door of the dwelling.
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