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Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 19

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


This Chapter contains the record of that memorable event to which all the subsequent acts of the Church have reference; the giving of the Law upon Mount Sinai, amidst the glorious manifestation of the Divine Presence. Israel, being now arrived at the holy mount, after a journey of between forty and fifty days, from their departure from Egypt, are gathered together to receive the law of God. The preparations for this, together with the awful signs which accompanied it, are related in this Chapter.

Exodus 19:1

Sinai is so called from the vast number of thorny bushes growing upon it. Some have computed this journey of Israel from Egypt to Sinai, and made it 50 days. And hence have drawn somewhat of a parallel between the feast of Pentecost, which Isaiah 50:0 days from the passover, and that of Israel after the Passover arriving in 50 days to Mount Sinai. And indeed without doing violence to the subject, it is worthy of remark, that as in the one instance God came down in the presence of his people, and revealed himself on Mount Sinai, 50 days after their deliverance from the graves of Egypt; so in the other, God the Holy Ghost came down 50 days after the Lord Jesus arose from the grave, and manifested himself by speaking to their hearts. Reader! do not overlook the spiritual sense of all that refers to this history. Galatians 4:24-25 .

Verse 2

Reader! have you left Rephidim, the place of murmuring? And are you come to the Mount of God? If so, how sweet will you read that scripture of the Apostle's, compared with this of Moses! Hebrews 12:18-24 .

Verse 3

Acts 7:32 . Observe how often Moses went up into the Mount, and returned to the people; nine or ten times in this chapter!

Verse 4

Deuteronomy 33:11-12 ; Isaiah 40:31 . Eagles are said not only to feed and protect their young, but to teach them to fly. And it is said that while other birds carry their young with their claws, eagles bear them on their wings. So that nothing from beneath can hurt the young, but the old bird must first be destroyed. Reader! apply this similitude as it is here intended, to the Lord's carrying his people on eagle's wings: and what a sweet representation doth it convey of the Lord's care of theme. See also another precious similitude of the hen, in her covering the chicken under her wings. Luke 13:34 .

Verses 5-6

Deuteronomy 32:9 . See under the gospel state more of the same precious tokens. 1 Peter 2:9 ; Revelation 1:6 .

Verse 7

Reader! keep in view in all this, him whom Moses represented, and for whom he acted as Mediator. Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 8:6 .

Verse 8

Again and again, remember in all this Him whom Moses typified. Oh! how sweet to behold Jesus in his goings and returns, in this unceasing character of his priestly office. Hebrews 7:26 ; Revelation 19:13-16 .

Verse 9

2 Chronicles 6:1 . So again, David, Psalms 18:11 . While we behold with awe and reverence this appearance of God, and his speaking with Moses in the hearing of the people, let the Reader take the wing of meditation, and flee to the river Jordan, and see, and hear, the milder dispensation which Jehovah made in his threefold character of persons; the Holy Ghost descending, and the Father speaking, in the presence and audience of the people, while Jesus, our Moses, stood in the river. Matthew 3:16-17 .

Verse 10

To sanctify, means in this place to set apart. Job did so concerning his sons. Job 1:5 . Washing the clothes, signifying by an outward sign, somewhat intended of an inward effect. Reader! may you and I have that washing spoken of, Titus 3:5-6 .

Verse 11

There is somewhat particularly striking in the appointment of the third day. Genesis 22:4 ; Leviticus 7:17 .

Verse 12

How awful must it be to rush unthinkingly into God's presence, when bounds are so marked to keep back. Hebrews 12:29 . How precious the privilege of a Mediator! Hebrews 10:19-22 . How beautiful doth the Apostle draw the comparison between the state of the church of old, and believers now. Hebrews 12:18-24 .

Verse 13

Deuteronomy 33:2-3 . The trumpet perhaps was by the ministry of angels. Revelation 8:6 . Hence the law is spoken of as given by the disposition of angels. Acts 7:53 .

Verse 14

See Exodus 19:10 .

Verse 15

1 Samuel 21:3; 1 Samuel 21:3 , compared with 1 Corinthians 7:5 .

Verse 16

Here opens that solemn event, to which the Church, in after ages, frequently refers; of Israel's hearing the voice of the Lord speaking to them. Deuteronomy 4:33 . If we spiritualize this passage, may we not compare the thunders and lightnings to those alarms and terrors which beset the soul, when the heart is roused to a sense of having broken the divine law?

Verse 17

The law places the sinner at the nether part indeed, awfully alarmed: and is, as the apostle speaks, the ministration of death, 2 Corinthians 3:6-7 .

Verse 18

Judges 5:5 ; Habakkuk 3:3-10 .

Verse 19

The apostle says, that Moses trembled also: Hebrews 12:21 . The best and holiest of men need the same salvation. How precious here again is the Lord Jesus, in his mediatorial character! 1 Timothy 2:5-6 .

Verse 20

This is spoken after the manner of men; but it means, that there were the manifested signs of the divine presence. Numbers 12:8 .

Verse 21

1 Samuel 6:19 .

Verse 22

2 Samuel 6:6-7 .

Verse 23

Is there not a lesson here, of living by faith, and not by sight? Deuteronomy 29:29 .

Verse 25


Pause, my soul, over the perusal of this Chapter, and while duly meditating the vast and infinite importance of God's righteous law, delivered with such awful solemnity on Mount Sinai; learn here from to contemplate with increasing joy and thankfulness, that precious, blessed, holy, law-fulfilling, law-satisfying surety; the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath answered all its demands, and is thereby become the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. And under all the deep convictions of the mind, which wound in the recollection of the manifold transgressions committed by thought, and word, and deed, against the law of God; learn to bless God with increasing praise, at every renewed view of him, who hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. And oh! thou dear Redeemer, do thou by the sweet influences of thy grace in my heart, teach me to prize those inestimable privileges which, by thy great undertaking, both in doing and in dying, thou hast procured me, of always drawing nigh to my God and Father, in thy blood and righteousness. Blessed be God, the boundary which kept back the people, is removed. Our God manifests no longer his presence in the awful signs of the sound of the trumpet and the voice of words. We are not come to the mount which burned with fire: nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest. But we are come to Jesus, even our Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant; and to his precious blood of sprinkling. Oh! for the constant leadings of God the Holy Ghost, that we may have a constant, stated, daily, hourly, drawing nigh, in this new and living way, until we shall arrive at the fountain head of mercies, to the throne of God and the Lamb, to serve him in his temple night and day.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 19". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/exodus-19.html. 1828.
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