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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Exodus 34

Verses 1-35

Exodus 34:1-28 J. The Covenant Words.— After removing Exodus 34:5-9 , the sublime account of the revelation of Yahweh’ s nature as “ mercy and truth” in their unity, which follows on Exodus 33:23, the remainder is the sequel of J’ s account of the descent upon Sinai in Exodus 19, and the clauses ( Exodus 34:1; Exodus 34:3) referring to “ the first (tables)” are glosses of the editor who displaced this section ( cf. p. 183). And it may be that originally, as in Deuteronomy 10:1-3, the construction of the Ark was included here. The announcement of the covenant in Exodus 34:10 leads up to its conclusion in Exodus 34:27 f., and the ratifying covenant- feast in J is described in Exodus 24:1 f., Exodus 24:9 f.* The Words have been, as in the case of the Decalogue and E’ s Covenant Book, freely glossed, Exodus 34:10 b – Exodus 34:13, Exodus 34:15 f., Exodus 34:18 b, Exodus 34:24, at least being additions. The several laws are parallel to others already given in E: i.e. Exodus 34:14 a || Exodus 20:3; Exodus 20:23 a; Exodus 34:17 || Exodus 20:4; Exodus 20:23 b; Exodus 34:18 || Exodus 23:15; Exodus 34:19-20 a || Exodus 22:30; Exodus 34:20 b || Exodus 22:29 b; Exodus 34:20 c || Exodus 23:15; Exodus 34:21 || Exodus 23:12; Exodus 34:22 ab || Exodus 23:16 ab; Exodus 34:23 || Exodus 23:17; Exodus 34:25 ab || Exodus 23:18 ab; Exodus 34:26 ab || Exodus 23:19 ab. It is probable that the original “ Ten Words” ( Exodus 34:28) have been increased by additions from E. The peculiarity of this code is that it is exclusively concerned with religion. As, however, morality rests on religion, and religion is weakened by disunion, the importance for morals of wise and generally accepted regulations for religious practice is obvious.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Exodus 34". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/exodus-34.html. 1919.