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Exodus 24:2-3

Context
24:2 Moses alone may come 1  near the Lord, but the others 2  must not come near, 3  nor may the people go up with him.”

24:3 Moses came 4  and told the people all the Lord’s words 5  and all the decisions. All the people answered together, 6  “We are willing to do 7  all the words that the Lord has said,”

1 tn The verb is a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive; it and the preceding perfect tense follow the imperative, and so have either a force of instruction, or, as taken here, are the equivalent of an imperfect tense (of permission).

2 tn Heb “they.”

3 tn Now the imperfect tense negated is used; here the prohibition would fit (“they will not come near”), or the obligatory (“they must not”) in which the subjects are obliged to act – or not act in this case.

4 sn The general consensus among commentators is that this refers to Moses’ coming from the mountain after he made the ascent in 20:21. Here he came and told them the laws (written in 20:22-23:33), and of the call to come up to Yahweh.

5 sn The Decalogue may not be included here because the people had heard those commands themselves earlier.

6 tn The text simply has “one voice” (קוֹל אֶחָד, qolekhad); this is an adverbial accusative of manner, telling how the people answered – “in one voice,” or unanimously (see GKC 375 §118.q).

7 tn The verb is the imperfect tense (נַעֲשֶׂה, naaseh), although the form could be classified as a cohortative. If the latter, they would be saying that they are resolved to do what God said. If it is an imperfect, then the desiderative would make the most sense: “we are willing to do.” They are not presumptuously saying they are going to do all these things.



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