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Exodus 3:1

Context

3:1 Now Moses 1  was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert 2  and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 3 

Exodus 3:5

Context
3:5 God 4  said, “Do not approach any closer! 5  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy 6  ground.” 7 

1 sn The vav (ו) disjunctive with the name “Moses” introduces a new and important starting point. The Lord’s dealing with Moses will fill the next two chapters.

2 tn Or “west of the desert,” taking אַחַר (’akhar, “behind”) as the opposite of עַל־פְּנֵי (’al-pÿne, “on the face of, east of”; cf. Gen 16:12; 25:18).

3 sn “Horeb” is another name for Mount Sinai. There is a good deal of foreshadowing in this verse, for later Moses would shepherd the people of Israel and lead them to Mount Sinai to receive the Law. See D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42.

4 tn Heb “And he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 sn Even though the Lord was drawing near to Moses, Moses could not casually approach him. There still was a barrier between God and human, and God had to remind Moses of this with instructions. The removal of sandals was, and still is in the East, a sign of humility and reverence in the presence of the Holy One. It was a way of excluding the dust and dirt of the world. But it also took away personal comfort and convenience and brought the person more closely in contact with the earth.

6 sn The word קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh, “holy”) indicates “set apart, distinct, unique.” What made a mountain or other place holy was the fact that God chose that place to reveal himself or to reside among his people. Because God was in this place, the ground was different – it was holy.

7 tn The causal clause includes within it a typical relative clause, which is made up of the relative pronoun, then the independent personal pronoun with the participle, and then the preposition with the resumptive pronoun. It would literally be “which you are standing on it,” but the relative pronoun and the resumptive pronoun are combined and rendered, “on which you are standing.”



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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