Giving of the Law

Exodus – Giving of the Law (Ch 19-24)

How Chuck Missler breaks down the giving of the law:

Category Addresses Chapters
Commandments Moral 19-20
Judgments Social 21-22
Ordinances Religious 23-24
  • Giving of 19-20
  • Social & Ceremonial Law 21-23
  • Ratification of Law 24


Giving of the Law (19-20)

ch 19

“one must consider the function of the law ‘within Ancient Israel.’ Notice, the very first word at Mount Sinai is a word about grace and redemption; God declares “you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians.” God saved the Israelites while they were totally helpless in slavery to be His people. We must remember that “all the commandments of God’s covenant focus on the heart of covenant relation, the bond between God and His people.” God was true to His word and now asks Israel to “obey His voice and keep His covenant,” and this thankful and obedient response seems absolutely appropriate.” -Matt Capps


Goldsworthy notes that the same pattern is expressed in the giving of the Ten Commandments when God begins by stating “I am the Lord your God (YHWH), who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” … “He is their God, and He has saved them. On this basis the law is given…the law is given to those who have already experienced the grace of God in salvation, and it [the law] is not the basis upon which they will be saved.” … Matt Capps


Social & Ceremonial Law (21-23)


22:21-22 These laws all deal with the weakest members of society: strangers (foriegners), widows, orphans. People of Israel were not allowed to take advantage of these outsiders and helpless people.

Strangers/Foriegners Don’t know the language, don’t know the rules, don’t have connections to people The Israelites knew what it was like to be in a strange land and suffer mistreatement during their experience as slaves in Egypt
Widows Don’t have someone to support them, not only the loss of a lover, but the loss of their livelyhood
Orphans (children without fathers) No one to protect them from injustice except God.

God established laws to protect and provide for these vulnerable people

“It makes God very angry when widows and orphans are neglected” -Ryken

Practical application: “If we claim to follow God, then we must show his compassion by caring for strangers, widows, and orphans” (Ryken)

Ideas of practical ways to help foriegners: friendship, housing, shopping, transportation, local customs, the local language, welcoming them into church, etc.



Ratification of the Law (24)

Israel Affirms the Covenant

(24:1) Now He said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. (2) And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him.” (3) So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.” (4) And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. (5) Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. (6) And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. (7) Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” (8) And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.”

ObservationIn verse 24, who is speaking? In the previous verse in Ch 23, an angel of God was speaking.

Who was to worship from afar? Aaron, his two oldest sons, and the 70 leaders of Isreal. Why? Out of respect forhis holiness and magesty (BKC). Under the law, distance must be maintained between the sinner and God (BBC). In constrast we may today draw near because we are under the covenant of Grace instead of the law, and we may have “boldness to ender the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19). Why would Moses alone come near the Lord? “Moses was allowed special access to God, so God would speak to Moses and Moses could speak to the nation.” (Guzik)


On the Mountain with God

(24:9) Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, (10) and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. (11) But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank. (12) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” (13) So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. (14) And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed, Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them.” (15) Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. (16) Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. (17) The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. (18) So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.




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