Exodus 34:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim

King James Bible
But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

American Standard Version
but ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and ye shall cut down their Asherim;

Douay-Rheims Bible
But destroy their altars, break their statues, and cut down their groves:

English Revised Version
but ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and ye shall cut down their Asherim:

Webster's Bible Translation
But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves.

Exodus 34:13 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

When 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 34:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ye shall

Exodus 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but you shall utterly overthrow them...

Deuteronomy 7:5,25,26 But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves...

Deuteronomy 12:2,3 You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains...

Judges 2:2 And you shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; you shall throw down their altars: but you have not obeyed my voice...

Judges 6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Take your father's young bullock...

2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made...

2 Kings 23:14 And he broke in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.

2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke the images in pieces...

2 Chronicles 34:3,4 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father...

images. Heb. statutes

Cross References
Exodus 23:24
you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.

Deuteronomy 7:5
But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

Deuteronomy 12:3
You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.

Deuteronomy 16:21
"You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the LORD your God that you shall make.

Judges 2:2
and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?

Judges 6:25
That night the LORD said to him, "Take your father's bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it

Judges 6:26
and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down."

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