Exodus 24:18

24:18 Moses went into the cloud when he went up the mountain, and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 34:28

34:28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.


tn The verb is a preterite with vav (ו) consecutive; here, the second clause, is subordinated to the first preterite, because it seems that the entering into the cloud is the dominant point in this section of the chapter.

sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 750) offers this description of some of the mystery involved in Moses’ ascending into the cloud: Moses ascended into the presence of God, but remained on earth. He did not rise to heaven – the ground remained firmly under his feet. But he clearly was brought into God’s presence; he was like a heavenly servant before God’s throne, like the angels, and he consumed neither bread nor water. The purpose of his being there was to become familiar with all God’s demands and purposes. He would receive the tablets of stone and all the instructions for the tabernacle that was to be built (beginning in chap. 25). He would not descend until the sin of the golden calf.

tn These too are adverbial in relation to the main clause, telling how long Moses was with Yahweh on the mountain.

tn Heb “the ten words,” though “commandments” is traditional.