The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus

Chapter 19

The people arrive at Sinai, 1, 2. God's message by Moses to the people out of the mountain, 3-7. The people's answer returned again, 8. The people are prepared for the third day, for the giving of the law, 9-11. The mountain must not be touched, 12-15. The fearful presence of God upon the mountain, 16-25.

1 In the third month, when the children of Israel had gone forth from the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim and had come to the desert of Sinai and had pitched in the wilderness. And there Israel encamped before the mountain. 3 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people, for all the earth is mine. 6 And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." And Moses returned the words of the people to the LORD. 9 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud so that the people may hear when I speak with you and believe you forever." And Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.

10 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes 11 And be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And you shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up upon the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death. 13 There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through. Whether it be beast or man, it shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain." 14 And Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day. Do not come near your wives."

16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, a thick cloud upon the mountain, and the voice of the trumpet exceedingly loud so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mountain.

18 And mount Sinai was altogether in a smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire. And its smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long and grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. 20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, charge the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze and many of them perish. 22 And let the priests also who come near the LORD sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them." 23 And Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to mount Sinai, for you charged us, saying, 'Set bounds around the mountain and sanctify it.'" 24 And the LORD said to him, "Away, go down, and you shall come up—you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest he break forth upon them." 25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Exodus, Chapter 19[➚]


[v.1a] - From John Gill's Exposition: "[Sinai,] which had its name from the mountain situated in it, and that from the bushes which grew upon it... Hither they came either on the same day they came from Rephidim; which, according to Bunting, were eight miles from it, or on the same day of the month, as to number, that is, on the third day of the third month; and so Jerom and others say it was on the forty seventh day after their coming out of Egypt, three days after which they received the law on Mount Sinai, it being a generally received notion that the law was given fifty days after the passover; hence the feast of weeks is called from thence the feast of pentecost, or fifty days:"

[v.1b] - Reference, Galatians 4:24-25.

[v.2] - Reference, Hebrews 12:18-24.

[v.4] - Reference, Isaiah 40:31. Compare to, Luke 13:34.

[v.5] - Reference, Deuteronomy 7:6, 32:9.

[v.6] - "you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation" - Quoting 1st Peter 2:9. Reference, Revelation 1:6.

[v.7-9] - Here, Moses is again typifying Christ in that he is acting as mediator between God and man and about to deliver the covenant of the law. Christ is the Mediator of a new and better covenant. Reference, Hebrews 8:6, 12:24.

[v.10] - Similarly, Job sanctified his children (Job 1:5). Now, our sanctification is done by the Holy Spirit through the work of Christ on the cross (Titus 3:5-6).

[v.13] - Quoted in Hebrews 12:20.

[v.21-23] - From Robert Hawker's Commentary: "Is there not a lesson here, of living by faith, and not by sight? Deuteronomy 29:29."