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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Exodus 34



Verse 1

And. Moses must have descended for the fifth time. See note on Exodus 19:3.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

the LORD said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and compare note on Exodus 6:10.

Hew thee. Moses makes these second tables; Jehovah made the first. See on Exodus 31:18.

write. See note on Exodus 17:14 and App-47.

Verse 3

man. Heb, "ish. See App-14.

Verse 4

went up. Moses" sixth and last ascent. See note on Exodus 19:3.

as = according as.

Verse 5

proclaimed. As promised in Exodus 33:19.

Verse 6

GOD. Hebrew. EL See App-4.

longsuffering = slow to anger.

goodness = lovingkindness, or grace.

truth = faithfulness.

Verse 7

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.

forgiving = bearing away.

iniquity = perverseness. Hebrew. avah, App-44.

transgression = rebellion. Heb, pasha. App-44.

sin. Hebrew. chat"a. See App-44.

by no means clear the guilty. Not even Christ, when our sins were imputed to Him: therefore, all now in Him are "cleared", Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6). Hebrew "clearing will not clear", emphasis on "by no means". unto the third and to the fourth generation. This refrain recurs in whole or in part in Ex. Exodus 20:5. Compare also Numbers 14:18. Deuteronomy 5:9. Nehemiah 9:17. Psalms 103:8. Jeremiah 9:24; Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28; Daniel 9:4. Nahum 1:3. The visiting spread over in mercy, not extended in wrath.

Verse 8

worshipped. This is ever the effect of the manifestation of Jehovah in grace. Compare 2 Samuel 7:18.

Verse 9

Lord . . . my Lord. Hebrew. Adonai, Adonai. But this is one of the 134 places where Jehovah was altered to Adonai by the Sopherim. See App-32.

for, &c. The moment Jehovah speaks of grace, Moses turns the very charge of Jehovah, in Exodus 33:5, . into a plea and ground for His presence.

Verse 10

He [Jehovah] said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and Compare Exodus 6:10.

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6) for emphasis.

covenant of marvels. This covenant finds its complete fulfilment in the Apocalypse.

Verse 12

it = they.

Verse 13

images = sacred pillars. Compare Exodus 23:24; Exodus 24:4, and note on Leviticus 26:1.

groves = Hebrew. "asherah. First occurrence out of forty: always rendered "groves", but denotes a phallic image, worshipped by libidinous rites and lascivious practices See. App-42.

Verse 14

is = "he [is]".

GOD = Hebrew El. App-4.

Verse 15

sacrifice. Hebrew. zabah. App-43.

Verse 18

as. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Onkelos, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "according as".

time = appointed time.

Abib. See note on Exodus 13:4, and App-51.

Verse 20

redeem. Hebrew. padah. See note on Exodus 6:6, and Exodus 13:13.

appear before Me. This is an alteration (in pointing) made by the Sopherim to soften the Figure of speech Anthropopatheia (App-6) of the primitive text, which was "see My face". See note on Exodus 23:15, and compare the other passages where this change is made, viz. Exodus 34:20, Exodus 34:23, Exodus 34:24. Deuteronomy 16:16; Deuteronomy 31:11. Psalms 11:7; Psalms 17:15; Psalms 42:2. Isaiah 1:12; Isaiah 38:1, Isaiah 38:1. In this, therefore, there is no contradiction of Exodus 33:20.

empty = empty-handed.

Verse 21

earing = ploughing. From A. S. erian, Latin. arare.

Verse 23

Thrice = the number of Divine perfection. (App-10.) Lord GOD, the God. Hebrew. the "Adon, Jehovah Elohim. App-4.

Verse 24

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

Verse 25

offer = slay. Hebrew. zabach. Supply Ellipsis (App-6), "slay [and pour out]". See App-43.

Verse 27

Write thou. See note on Exodus 17:14 and App-47.

Verse 28

He = Jehovah. See Exodus 34:1.

tables. See on Exodus 31:18.

Two episodes, concluding the ascents and descents preparatory to the other great event of this section (Exodus 15:22 - Exodus 40:38), viz. the setting up of the Tabernacle, and the command that none of the work was to be done on the Sabbath.

Verse 29

came down. Moses" sixth and last descent. Compare Exodus 19:3.

wist not = knew not. Compare Moses: unconscious moral strength for testimony.

Samson: unconscious weakness for unfaithfulness (Judges 16:20).

Peter: unconscious deliverance for service (Acts 12:9).

shone = radiated, or was glorious, i.e. reflected as a mirror the Divine glory, see 2 Corinthians 3:7; and compare 1 Corinthians 15:41. Revelation 18:1. Matthew 17:2. Acts 6:15.
The Vulgate mistook the Hebrew word
karan = to radiate, for keren, a beam or horn of light (see Habakkuk 3:4 and note on the subscription to Psa 21). Hence the traditional paintings of Moses with two horns.

while, &c. = through his having spoken with him. This interprets 1 John 3:2. Compare Matthew 17:2, and the "till " of Exodus 34:33, and the "until" of Exodus 34:35.

Verse 30

children = sons. afraid. See Exodus 20:18-21.

Verse 32

gave them, &c. Charged them with.

Verse 34

went in: i.e. into the tent.

he took the vail off. And, when Israel turns thus to Jehovah, He will take the vail from their heart, as Moses did from his face, 2 Corinthians 3:16. We, now, are "not as Moses", Exodus 34:13.

Verse 35

again. So 2 Corinthians 3:13. Greek = kept putting a vail on his face" (imperfect tense). They could not see "the end of the Law", which is Christ. Romans 10:4.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Exodus 34:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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