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Exodus 19:23-25

Context

19:23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people are not able to come up to Mount Sinai, because you solemnly warned us, 1  ‘Set boundaries for the mountain and set it apart.’” 2  19:24 The Lord said to him, “Go, get down, and come up, and Aaron with you, but do not let the priests and the people force their way through to come up to the Lord, lest he break through against them.” 19:25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them. 3 

1 tn The construction is emphatic: “because you – you solemnly warned us.” Moses’ response to God is to ask how they would break through when God had already charged them not to. God knew them better than Moses did.

2 tn Heb “sanctify it.”

3 sn The passage has many themes and emphases that could be developed in exposition. It could serve for meditation: the theology drawn from the three parts could be subordinated to the theme of holiness: God is holy, therefore adhere to his word for service, approach him through a mediator, and adore him in purity and fearful reverence. A developed outline for the exposition could be: I. If the people of God will obey him, they will be privileged to serve in a unique way (1-8); II. If the people of God are to obey, they must be convinced of the divine source of their commands (9); and finally, III. If the people of God are convinced of the divine approval of their mediator, and the divine source of their instructions, they must sanctify themselves before him (vv. 10-25). In sum, the manifestation of the holiness of Yahweh is the reason for sanctification and worship. The correlation is to be made through 1 Peter 2 to the church. The Church is a kingdom of priests; it is to obey the Word of God. What is the motivation for this? Their mediator is Jesus Christ; he has the approval of the Father and manifests the glory of God to his own; and he declares the purpose of their calling is to display his glory. God’s people are to abstain from sin so that pagans can see their good works and glorify God.



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