19:21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and solemnly warn 1 the people, lest they force their way through to the Lord to look, and many of them perish. 2
24:10 and they saw 3 the God of Israel. Under his feet 4 there was something like a pavement 5 made of sapphire, clear like the sky itself. 6
1 tn The imperative הָעֵד (ha’ed) means “charge” them – put them under oath, or solemnly warn them. God wished to ensure that the people would not force their way past the barriers that had been set out.
2 tn Heb “and fall”; NAB “be struck down.”
3 sn S. R. Driver (Exodus, 254) wishes to safeguard the traditional idea that God could not be seen by reading “they saw the place where the God of Israel stood” so as not to say they saw God. But according to U. Cassuto there is not a great deal of difference between “and they saw the God” and “the
4 sn S. R. Driver suggests that they saw the divine Glory, not directly, but as they looked up from below, through what appeared to be a transparent blue sapphire pavement (Exodus, 254).
5 tn Or “tiles.”
6 tn Heb “and like the body of heaven for clearness.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven” or “sky” depending on the context; here, where sapphire is mentioned (a blue stone) “sky” seems more appropriate, since the transparent blueness of the sapphire would appear like the blueness of the cloudless sky.