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of stone, like unto the first : and I will write upon these tables, the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount: neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that inount.
And Moses hewed two tables of stone like unto the first : and he rose up early in the morning, and went up into mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, Jongsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, aird that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the chil. dren, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation,
And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
And he said, if now I have found grace in thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray tho, go amongst us ; (for it is a stiff necked people :) and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take' us for thine inheritance.
And he said, Behold, I make a covenant : before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation : and all the people amongst which thou art, shall see the work of the LORD, for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Observe thou that which I command thce this day
12 behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
Take heed to thyself lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, whither chou goest, lest it be for å snare in the midst of thee.
But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves.
For thou shalt worship no other God: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words ; for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights : he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And God wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. · And it came
to pass when Moses came down from mount Sinai (with the two tables of testimony in Moses's hand, when he came down from the mount) that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone, While God talked with hini.
And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone ; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned him: and Moses talked with them.
And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and be gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
But whca Moses went in before the Lord to speak wil him, he took the rail off, until he came out, And
, he came out and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses that the skin of Moses' face shone ; and Moses put the vail upon his face again, urtil he went in to speak with him.
And it came to pass that every one who sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation that was without the camp.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The Lord (as we read in the last section) graciously accepted the intercession of Moses for the Israelitish nation, but in respect to individuals, their being saved or blotted out still depended upon the will of the LORD, who alone had the power of discriminating fit objects of his justice or his mercy.
No greater misfortune could bef:l the Israelites, than that of God's withdrawing his Presence from them. It was very proper that they should be made sensible of the danger to which their rebellion had exposed them; and that, before they received pardon, each person should humble himself in the sight of the Great Being, whom they had offended.
It seems that though the Tabernacle in which the Law was to be deposited was not yet made, there was a temporary one, to which they resorted for public worship ; this they had now no right to enter, as they were no longer God's people, but consigned to Moses.
To signify that the PRESENCE of the Lord would not abide in the midst of them, Moses removed this taberDacle to a distance from the camp, while the people, not daring to approach, remained at their tent doors. Joshua alone entered the tabernacle; he had not been a partaker of the people's sin. With Moses, as the mediator, the LORD condescended to hold a conference. The words which God spake upon this occasion are not recorded ; but we may judge of their import, by the reply which Moses made.. It seems that Moses was in a state of great perplexity; the Lord had given him assurances of his favor to himself, and had com. manded him to conduct the people towards Canaan ; but having declared, that whosoever had sinned again Him, He would blot out of his book, Moses did not understand whether all the people were to go, or whether some were first to be cut off by Divine vengeance : he therefore wished to have the way of the Lord made plain to him, that he might know how to please Him, To calm his apprehensions, the LORD assured him that his Presence should go with him, &c. The expression, I know thee by name, signifies, that the LORD admitted him to an extraordinary degree of familarity with Him. Moses's wish to see the glory of the Lord seems to have included a desire to understand the Di. vire nature, and to know the LORD as He is. In this particular, Moses aspired to a degree of kpowledge above the reach of his faculties ; but as he was actuated, not by curiosity, but by a sincere desire of paying due honour to Him, the LORD was not displeased, but promised to make such a display of his perfections, as should convince Moses that He is of a kind and beneficent nature ; and lest Moses should suppose that he had a right to the information he requested, the LORD taught him to consider the revelation He was going to make as an act of His free grace and favour.
Whether Moses went into a clift of the rock, or was contented with a milder display of the glory of the LOK D, is not related, but he was certainly convinced, that it was God himself that talked with him; and we
may understand, that the beauty, splendour, and magnificence, with which the LORD God makes His presence visible, in Heaven, to superior beings, is such as human nature, with its present infirmities, cannot behold and live,
By the Face of God, I think we may understand, the DIVINE IMAGE in the resplendency of Heavenly glory, as He appears to the angelic host; by His back parts this glory moderated; by God's covering Moses with His hand, perhaps is meant, that He fortified him against those fatal effects of astonishment, which, without Divine support, such a vision would have produced.
By froclaiming His name, we may understand, that the LORD youch safed to make known His nature and attributes, From this proclamation we learn, that the God of Israel is the SUPREME BEING, the Lord of the whole creation. The same who was known in His Divine Image as the Lord God; that He is by nature merciful, &c. but at the same time just ; and that He is a jealous Goo; that is, He requires to be honoured by His creatures above all Beings, and will not suffer any thing to stand in competition with Him, to assume those titles, or receive that homage, which is due to Him alone.
As soon as Moses was assured that the LORD would pardon transgression and sin, he intreated Him to forgive the iniquity of the Israelites; which, in consideration of Moses's intercession, and the penitence they had lately expressed, God of His infinite mercy did ; and received them again into favour, on conditions consistent with His honour, and their duty,
Without doubt, Moses was joyfully received by the repentant Israelites, when he returned from the Mount with the Testimony of the Covenant in his hands. As the Mediator of this Covenant, the LORD distinguished