This chapter is about God confirming his covenant with the Israelites. This time it’s with Moses, Aaron, & 2 of Aaron’s sons, Nadab & Abihu. Nadab is the oldest son of Aaron. Abihu is the 2nd oldest son of Aaron. This chapter may be shorter than most. It’s something that’s not under my control. What are ya gonna do?! Anywho, I hope you enjoy the read!
God says to Moses to come to Him with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, 70 elders of Israel, & himself. God continues to tell Moses: “Y’all gonna worship me at a distance! (Why would you want to be worshipped at a distance?!) But Moses, alone, is to approach me, the others aren’t. This includes the general public too.”
Moses went & told the people (the Israelites) what God had said. They all responded, in stereo, in unison, everybody now, that they’d do everything God had commanded. Moses then wrote down EVERYTHING from chapters 20 (the 10 commandments chapter) to chapter 23, all of the laws, rules, etc.
Moses go up early the next day. He built an altar at the foot of the Mount Sinai. He set up 12 pillars obviously representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Then he sent some young Israelite men to offer up burnt offerings. They sacrificed young bulls as a fellowship offerings to God. Moses took 1/2 of the blood & put into bowls. The other 1/2 he sprinkled on the altar. Moses then took “the Book of the Covenant” (I’m lost on this one, y’all. But if I’m making an educated guess, (And this might be a reach for some but bear with me.) the Israelites composed a book of the covenant (& other words, sayings, etc.) of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob/Israel. If anyone knows what this book is, please leave a comment. We’ll be more than happy to update this post & give credit where credit is due!) & read it to the Israelites. The people said that they would do whatever God says.
Moses then took the blood & sprinkled it on the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has made with us.” (Check out Hebrews 9:20.) Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, & the 70 elders went up & actually say the God of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire (or lapis lazuli), as clear as the sky itself. God didn’t raise his hand against all of these Israelite leaders. They saw God, like actually saw saw him! They ate & drank.
God told Moses to go with him on Mount Sinai & to stay there. God then told Moses that He’d give him (Moses) the infamous stone tablets that the 10 commandments are/were on. But in the text it says that the stone tablets had a little more than just the 10 commandments on them, it says “with the law & commands.”
Then Moses set out with Joshua. (At this point, Joshua is called Moses’ aide. So you know that right away that Joshua is gonna be somebody important. Spoiler alert: Joshua becomes Moses’ heir. After Moses dies, Joshua takes Moses’ place as leader of the Israelites.) Moses went up “on the mountain of God.”
Moses then told the elders to wait where they were until they (Moses & Joshua) came back. Aaron & Hur (don’t know who Hur is) stay with the elders. Moses tells them that anyone involved in a dispute can go to them (Aaron & Hur).
Moses went up the mountain & the cloud covered it (the mountain). The mountain had the glory of God settle on it. On the 7th day, God called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of God looked like a consuming fire on top of Mount Sinai. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain. Moses stayed Mount Sinai for 40 days & nights. (40 is a important number in the bible. 40 shows up for Noah & the flood, etc.)