Home / Commentary / Exodus / Exodus Chapter 34
The two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments are restored. Moses prepares the two tablets and then takes them to the top of Mount Sinai to meet the LORD.
The LORD appears to Moses in preparation for the renewal of the covenant. He appeared in the cloud, passed before Moses, and proclaimed His character. Moses in turn bowed down in worship before the LORD. He then petitioned the LORD once again to remain among His people in spite of their unfaithfulness.
The LORD declared that He was renewing the covenant with Israel and that He would do miraculous things on their behalf, including driving out those who currently were living in the Promised Land.
The LORD warns the Israelites against engaging in idolatry when entering the Promised Land. Not only are they not to ally themselves with the idolatry that existed in the land, but they are to eradicate every trace of it from the land.
Having stated the types of worship the Israelites were to stay away from, the LORD outlines the requirements of proper worship. They are a restatement of some of the items given in the Law of the Covenant in Chapter 23.
After dictating the principles of the renewed covenant, the LORD commanded Moses to write down everything He had said concerning the renewed covenant. Moses did not eat or drink during the forty days and nights in the LORD’s presence. The tablets were also inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
After being in the LORD’s presence for such a long time, Moses returned to the Israelites with the two tablets in hand. When the Israelites saw him, they were afraid because his face radiated light.
The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.
In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.
Exodus 34 contains the account of the renewal of the LORD’s covenant with Israel. Through their sin with the golden calf in chapter 32, the people of Israel had broken the covenant made in chapters 20 – 23. Because of Moses’ intercession in chapter 33, the LORD promised His continued presence with them as they journeyed to the Promised Land. To restore this unique relationship, the covenant was renewed. Moses’ face glowed as a result of being in the presence of the LORD.