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1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto Yahweh, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
2 And Moses alone shall come near Yahweh: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
Moses was alone to draw near (Exod. 24:2); the others were to accompany him so far and to "worship afar off", but all were to see the God of Israel...
In Moses we see Christ, who alone has been admitted to the Father's presence. Who are the others, who stand afar off? In the absence of precise information we can but surmise. Elijah did not see death, and Moses was with him on the Mount of Transfiguration, speaking with Christ of
"the decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem",
Enoch also was translated; and at the resurrection of Christ
"many of the bodies of the saints which slept arose" (Matt. 27:52).
It is possible that all these may have accompanied Christ in his ascension, but stopped short at an ordained point, while he alone penetrated to the "Secret place"--the throne of the Eternal---embosomed in Light unapproachable in the star-gemmed recesses of the Universe.
... We know that Christ ascended to the Right Hand of Power - to the Father of all: and the Mosaic type would seem to hint that he was accompanied so far by select companions. There is something pleasing to our social nature in such an idea.
Law of Moses Ch 11.
3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which Yahweh hath said will we do.
Their official representatives stood meanwhile worshipping God "afar off", they not having authority to draw near like Moses (verses 1-2).
The ratification of the Covenant need now no longer be delayed.
They knew perfectly well to what they were committing themselves by entering into it, so Moses recorded the words for permanent reference (verse 4)· On the morrow he built an altar according to the specifications he had received, specifications which had the design of making the altar in every way representative of God and in no sense of man (Exod. 20 : 24-26).
Beside it he reared twelve pillars, these being representative of man, and, as their number indicated, of the twelve tribes in particular. Here, in symbol, God and man stood in proximity. Burnt Offerings and Peace Offerings were then sacrificed.*
Thus it was that the Covenant came to be ratified on the morrow, when Israel undertook to be God's People with full knowledge of the manner of life which was demanded of them. as a result of their participation in it.
Law and Grace Ch 6
4 And Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and 12 pillars, according to the 12 tribes of Israel.
The twelve tribes of Israel are typified by twelve pillars surrounding the altar.
5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto Yahweh.
THE PEACE OFFERING.
This was voluntary. It was never commanded specifically, except on the occasion of Pentecost.
And this exception is fitting, for the Pentecost symbolizes the Firstfruits of Christ's coming: the marriage supper of the Lamb -- the great consummation of the communion of God with His people taken out of all the previous ages of the world.
In the Peace Offering the offerer himself partook. The Peace Offering was the culminating offering, the joyous offering, the partaking of holy food belonging to God, in His house, as His guest and companion. In this offering, God and the priest and the worshipper all shared. There was a portion for each. Here is the perfect union and fellowship of the believer with God through Christ: the covenant meal of friendship and loving intimacy, foreshadowing the great fruition and fulfilment of the eternal divine plan.
But though this was a voluntary offering of the offerer's spontaneous freewill and thanksgiving, still there were many specific details of procedure that had to be followed exactly for the offering to be a blessing and not an abomination. Here is vividly emphasized the lesson that we must be taught of God in everything. Of ourselves we know nothing of eternal truth, and we can do nothing right, even our thanksgiving, without divine instruction.
This offering must be completely eaten the same day it was offered (or, in some cases, by the following day). If any part was left any longer, it was an abomination. There are several lessons here. First, the general one of obedience: It must be God's way, even though the offering was voluntary. Then hoarding was discouraged. This is the lesson of the manna. The blessings of God must, in faith, be put to current use in His service. Hoarding is faithlessness and idolatry. Then the related virtue of generosity. To get it all eaten, the offerer was expected to share the feast with others, with the poor, especially the poor among the Levites who were devoted to the service of God and dependent on the offerings of the faithful Israelites for their sustenance.
There is another regulation concerning the Peace Offering that is solemnly thought-provoking. Though it was a joyful and freewill offering to God, yet if any ate of it while unclean by reason of contact with death or unclean objects, he was to be put to death. God is a consuming fire to the careless and unheeding. By being given to God, this food became holy, bringing great responsibility to any who partook of it. The eater must be made and kept clean in the God-appointed way, or he would be cut off from life.
What a sobering consideration! -- right In the midst of the most joyous and God-directed activity. Israel was called to holiness. They were to be a pure nation of priests to dwell in the presence of God. Tremendous blessings were theirs if faithful, but also tremendous responsibilities. Even in this joyful Peace Offering, there could be no carelessness or thoughtlessness or forgetting of the duties of the divine relationship; no heedless or casual contact or association with the unclean. We are told that all this was for lessons and warnings to us:
"Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that blood"
(1 Cor. 11:28).
In the memorial feast, we fellowship at God's table, as did the partaker of the Peace Offering. This bread and wine mean joyful eternal life, if we partake worthily, few realize and live up to our great responsibilities; if we are faithful and sincere in our solemn covenant of the complete dedication of our lives to the work and service of God -- to separation from the world and all its uncleanness.
Bro Growcott - Living Sacrifice
6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Thus God, as represented by the altar, entered into the Covenant on His part, and that, significantly, first. The recorded laws were then read. *
Paul, commenting on these things, says that
" almost all things are by the law purged with blood",
The reason he gives is that no covenant is of force while the covenant-victim liveth. Blood poured out is the symbol of death, and the sprinkling with this blood on altar, book, and people, was an intimation that no covenant of everlasting force, could be made without the death of the men to whom it was offered.
If it be asked why, the answer is, that death was due. Death had passed upon all men through Adam, and it reigned over them, although they
"had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression",
on account of "the many offences" from which no man is exempt. The multitude to whom God offered the covenant of His favour by Moses was a multitude in this position. Consequently it was not compatible with the greatness of God that any advance could be made to them without the ritual illustration and enforcement of their true position.
This is the explanation of the fact that the first covenant was "not dedicated without blood", The Mosaic patterns were all purified thus. Blood proclaimed the infliction of death. It was an infliction of death on animals, and therefore not efficacious for final results, yet, as a shadow, it commanded assent to the principle.
Blood, as the symbol of death, typically purged the death defilement. Death is always treated in the Mosaic system as a defiling thing. To touch a dead body, or a grave, or a bone was to contract defilement. The whole congregation, as they stood there before Moses, were in the antitypically defiled state. They had not only touched death through descent from the condemned of Eden; but they were in contact with its defiling power in their own bodies. There was therefore nothing but that which was just and seemly in the shedding of blood being made accessory to the establishment of a covenant of peace between God and them.
Paul notes that without the shedding of blood there is no remission--that is, there is no putting aside of sin with a view to friendship, without the fullest recognition of its nature and its unreserved repudiation. This is the reasonable requirement of the wisdom of God in type and antitype.
Law of Moses Ch 11.
7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that Yahweh hath said will we do, and be obedient.
The people having thus for the third time pledged obedience...*
They had said this in response to the first general proposal submitted to them on their arrival from Egypt before the ten commandments were delivered, but they were called upon, now, to make a more deliberate and formal declaration of their submission. The first was before the Lord had made known His mind; the second was after He had declared to Moses the laws by which He desired them to be guided as a nation. The second response was a full and hearty and unanimous consent on their part to do as God willed.
It was no doubt perfectly sincere for the time being. They were not only under the gratifying influences of the deliverances they had experienced, both at the Red Sea, and on the journey from thence; but they were under the powerful impression produced by the visible demonstration from the summit of Sinai of God's existence and purpose toward them, an exhibition so impressive, that all the people trembled and withdrew to a distance from the sight.
Moses having received the consent of the people, wrote all the laws which he had rehearsed to them, and later on, read what he had written.
Law of Moses Ch 11.
8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh hath made with you concerning all these words.
At once the situation changed fundamentally. No longer did their appointed representatives stand afar off as a token that the people were estranged from God. The fence around the mount was now down.*
He then went through a ceremony of ratification, which is the subject of comment in the apostolic writing, as possessing a meaning which could not be obvious at the time.
Hebrews 9 -
19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Nothing indeed is more remarkable in the Mosaic narrative than its entire silence with regard to the meaning of all that was commanded to be done.
There is no attempt to convey even a hint of concealed significance...
...The type is before us; the antitype is in Christ. He is the altar, the book of the law, and the other things that come after. The sprinkling of the typical blood on both by Moses prefigured the operation of divine love and wisdom in Christ's own sacrifice. It was a sacrifice operative on himself first of all: for he is the beginning of the new creation, the firstfruits of the new harvest, the foundation of the new temple. He was the nucleus of a new and healthy life developed among men, for the healing of all who should become incorporate with it.
As such, it was needful that he should himself be the subject of the process and the reaper of the results. Hence the testimony that
"the God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb. 113:20),
and that by his own blood, entering into the holy place, he obtained (middle, or self-subjective, state of the verb) eternal redemption (" for us" is interpolated) (9:12). The Father saved him from death for his obedience unto death (Heb. 5:7-9; Phil. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:19).
Law of Moses Ch 11.
9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel:
10 And they saw the Elohim of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
Moses tells us -- at least the Common Version does that he and seventy-three others "saw the God of Israel." We should err, however, if we supposed that he meant they saw Ail, the Uncreated Spirit, "no man can see Him and live."
He says they saw "the Elohim of Israel" depositories and embodiments of the Eternal Spirit, who shone out in glory in the presence of the Elders.
The appearance under the feet of the Elohim, whose feet were also the feet of the Spirit, and, therefore, styled
"His feet, was, as it were, a paved work of sapphire stone,
and as it were the body of heaven for clearness."
The whole was a Spirit-manifestation, and illustrative of what is yet to appear in the midst of Israel, when the Elohim of Abraham, constituting the name of Ehyeh, shall be apocalypsed on Mount Zion.
Let our Jewish readers make a note of this, that the Memorial Name exhibited in Moses' writing, is not simply a word of four letters given to an abstraction for a name, as men give names to their children; but a name memorial of a future manifestation of the Eternal Spirit; which manifestation will not be of One through One Only; but of One in and through ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: that the name covers them all; and that consequently, the thousands of thousands are but "One Yahweh."
Phanerosis - The Memorial Name
Ex.24 previews the Tabernacle glory with the Pavement of Sapphire and visions of Mighty Ones (Elohim), this from base materials out of Egypt. After the wilderness wanderings, the tabernacle was established by Joshua at Shiloh (bringer of peace, tranquility) (Gen.49.10).
Shiloh represents Christ, the true tabernacle which God pitched, who will bring peace to the earth (15.9.6, Pslm 72), through whom God was manifest to his people as the true Shekinah glory (Jhn.1.14, I8).
But Shiloh was destroyed by Yahweh, through the Philistines, because of Israel's Apostasy (I Sam.5-7). Jeremiah tells the apostate ecclesia in his day Go look at Shiloh see what Yahweh did to it, don't think Solomon's glorious Temple will save you, unless you amend you ways (Jer.7.3,12, 2 Kgs 25).
Bro Richard Lister
11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw Elohim, and did eat and drink...
Approach to God was possible at last,
... The people having thus pledged themselves to total dedication to God's service (symbolized by the Burnt Offerings), there followed a sacrificial meal of fellowship enjoyed on the basis of the Covenant (symbolized by the Peace Offerings):
"also they saw God and did eat and drink" (verse II).
Thus Israel nationally became in a full sense the Covenant People so that Moses could say,
"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth"
(Deut. 7 : 6).
In telling them this, Moses was careful to stress that this was not on account of right or merit (Deut. 7 : 7-8), but solely on account of the faithfulness of God (verse 9). They had promised to be likewise faithful: they were to realize then what disobedience would mean (verse 10). God would not spare those who played fast and loose with His Covenant.
"Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments" (verse I I).
Law and Grace Ch 4
12 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of Elohim.
14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
16 And the glory of Yahweh abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it 6 days: and the 7th day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Six days cloud and silence, and on the seventh divine speech. This is striking. We are not told it means anything; but it is impossible not to think of the long six days of a thousand years each day in which God hides His face, and the seventh on which
"the tabernacle of God is with men... and his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face".
This was the mount of judgment Heb.l2, Ex.19.l6-19) in contrast to Mount Zion -.the mount of God's mercy for the Israelitish household. Here is the judgment seat of Christ - in the mountain fastnesses of Sinai.
Here the saints are assembled as Israel of old, brought out of the darkness of Egypt of the world, to give account, the dross purged out. Then follows the glorious ascent to the Holy, through the wilderness of Paran, Seir, Bozrah, shining forth as the sun with his beams (Deut.33, Pslm.68, Hbk.3), a glorious mighty throng,
"fair as the moon, clear 'as the sun, terrible as an army with banners"
led by the Commander of chieftans, a company of warrior priests, to dispel the Dark ages and fill the earth with light.
Bro Richard Lister
As the Throne of glory is a throne of judgement it would seem the throne of glory is first at Sinai and then moves to Jerusalem where it is established Matt 25: 31-34. The typical 1st judgment given from Sinai was also referred to as the 'sight of the glory of Yahweh' Ex 24:17.
17 And the sight of the glory of Yahweh was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount 40 and 40 nights.
In this narration the distinction is maintained between Yahweh and the Elohim; Yahweh referring to the Eternal and Invisible Spirit; the Elohim to the individualized, or embodied, manifestations of power.
The Elohim were visible; for Moses says the nobles of Israel saw them, and ate and drank in their presence. The Elohim had spread for them an entertainment of good things, and welcomed them to eat and drink without alarm: for "upon the nobles of the children of Israel HE (the invisible Yahweh) laid not His hand."
Moses does not say that they saw Yahweh. He and Joshua alone were permitted to ascend to the mountain top; but even there, they did not see Yahweh; for "no man could see Him and live." They heard, but saw not.
In this scene, Moses and Joshua are types of Messiah in his approach to the Father; while Aaron, Hur, and their associates in company with the Elohim, are types of the saints, the immortal nobles of Israel, in the setting up of the Gospel-Kingdom. The Elohim were the representatives of the personages to be manifested from the seed of Abraham in the Age of glory; the same Eternal Spirit being the substratum, or hypostasis of the representatives, and of those whom they represented; for which cause "He" and "His" are affirmed of them.
The Elohim and the Devouring Fire on the top of the mount were the typical manifestation of Yahweh's glory; which finds its antitype in glorious display of the things represented also in Ezek. 1:10; 43:4; Rev. 4:5; 15:2.
Phanerosis 'Elohim Developed From The Seed of Abraham'.