The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Exodus 34

Exo 34:4

EARLY IN THE MORNING: Early prayers and devotions: Abraham got up very early to stand before the Lord (Gen 19:27). Jacob woke up with the first light of the morning to worship God after having seen a vision of angels in the night (Gen 28:18). Moses went early to meet the Lord at Sinai (Exo 34:4). Joshua got an early start when he prepared to capture Jericho (Jos 6:12). Gideon made his way at dawn to examine the fleece he had placed on the ground to discern Yahweh's will (Jdg 6:38). Job left his bed at an early hour to offer sacrifices to the Lord in behalf of his children (Job 1:5).

Exo 34:9

Lord (twice): The orig "Yahweh" altered to "Adonai" by Sopherim (Com App 32).

Exo 34:14

Marriage with unbelievers causes many problems: Gen 27:46; Deu 7:1-4; Exo 34:14-16; 1Ki 11:1-4; 1Co 7:39; 2Co 6:14-17. See Lesson, Marriage "only in the Lord".

Exo 34:20

NO ONE IS TO APPEAR BEFORE ME EMPTY-HANDED: "When the Israelites went to appear before the LORD at their feast days, on the Sabbaths or at personal times of dedication, we are told that 'no one is to appear before me (the LORD) empty handed.' At any and all of these times they were to bring an offering to God.

"Sometimes we think that the Law doesn't apply to us anymore, but this is a principle we would be wise to follow. Just as the Israelites had to bring an offering to the LORD when they came before him, so we should also bring an offering when we meet with him. How often do we go to a Sunday Morning service completely unprepared? We go along, sit in our seats and expect to be fed, entertained or made to feel good. We haven't given any thought to what might be said, what we can do to make the service more effective, how we can encourage someone else, or even prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, praise or asked God to bless the meeting. Are we presuming to appear before the LORD empty-handed?

"Instead, let us make sure that when we meet with the LORD we bring our offering -- whatever it may be. It may be the sacrifice of praise, the incense of prayer, a gift of encouragement, the willingness to work or even just simply having prepared our minds. 'No one is to appear before the LORD empty-handed' " (RP).

Exo 34:24

Although they deserted their land, etc to their enemies often, it was not taken. Proof of God's protecting hand over the Jews.

Exo 34:26

DO NOT COOK A YOUNG GOAT IN ITS MOTHER'S MILK: Found in Exo 23:19; 34:26 and Deu 14:21. Five possibilities: (1) The mother would suffer from still producing milk, with no offspring to nurse. (2) The Canaanites worshiped milk as coming from certain goddesses (ie, keep away from worship of idols of land). (3) A prohibition against imitating the superstitious rites of the Egyptians, who, at the end of their harvest, cooked a kid in its mother's milk and sprinkled the broth as a magical charm on their gardens and fields, to render them more productive the following season (JFB). (4) The suckling should not be killed so young, cut off in its prime. (Christ the sacrifice suffered in the midst of his own people.) (5) Do not "destroy" your child with the "milk" of excessive kindness/coddling!

Exo 34:33

Vv 33-35: Moses' face reflected God's glory. But the brightness faded, like the Mosaic Law itself. To hide this fading, Moses hid his face with the veil. Symbolically, the ordinary Jew never realized that the glory of the Law was only temporary. Cp 2Co 3:13-16; 4:4-6. Ct Jesus (Joh 3:34), to whom God gave not His Spirit by measure.

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