The Lord Ratifies the Covenant
24:1 1 But to Moses the Lord2 said, “Come up3 to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from a distance.4
sn Exod 24 is the high point of the book in many ways, but most importantly, here Yahweh makes a covenant with the people—the Sinaitic Covenant. The unit not only serves to record the event in Israel’s becoming a nation, but it provides a paradigm of the worship of God’s covenant people—entering into the presence of the glory of Yahweh. See additionally W. A. Maier, “The Analysis of Exodus 24 According to Modern Literary, Form, and Redaction Critical Methodology,” Springfielder 37 (1973): 35–52. The passage may be divided into four parts for exposition: vv. 1–2, the call for worship; vv. 3–8, the consecration of the worshipers; vv. 9–11, the confirmation of the covenant; and vv. 12–18, the communication with Yahweh.
tn Heb “And he;” the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn These seventy-four people were to go up the mountain to a certain point. Then they were to prostrate themselves and worship Yahweh as Moses went further up into the presence of Yahweh. Moses occupies the lofty position of mediator (as Christ in the NT), for he alone ascends “to Yahweh” while everyone waits for his return. The emphasis of “bowing down” and that from “far off” stresses again the ominous presence that was on the mountain. This was the holy God—only the designated mediator could draw near to him.