But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
1. "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious"
a. glorious [1391 * doxa] [Zodhiates: honor, splendor, dignityIn 2 Corinthians 3:7 speaking of Moses face of an external appearance as luster, brightness, dazzling light.]
b. Although the next group of Scriptures includes the first set of Commandments before the golden calf and the second set of Commandments after the golden calf, they both comprise the giving of the Law at Sinai. The splendor honor and dignity of the giving of the Law was a series of events that must be looked at. I was truly a glorious eye popping event.
c. The LORD God comes down on Sinai.
1). Exodus 19:16-20 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
2). This incident is touched upon by the writer of Hebrews [Paul].
a). Hebrews 12:18-21 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
b). An interesting sidelight concerns Hebrews 12:21, i.e., when did Moses say this? There is no record of it in Exodus. Some writers believe that the writer of Hebrews was combining Deuteronomy 9:14-19 to convey Moses healthy fear of the Lord. Though I believe that Moses had a healthy fear of God, I don't believe that this incident is trying to convey it. I believe that this statement was actually spoken by Moses, but in the text of Exodus it says only that he spoke, and leaves off the content.
d. The actual writing of the Commandments was a fiery incident, written with the finger of God, perhaps a fiery finger.
1). Exodus 31:18 "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
2). Deuteronomy 33:2 "And he said, The LORD fame from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them."
e. Included in the giving of the law was the little known involvement of angels in the dispensation.
1). Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;
a). This part of the verse will require a little bit of indulgence. As to what it says we have another witness that establishes it as fact, in Acts 7:53. "Who have received the law by the disposition of angels," And a probable reference to it in Galatians 3:19, that says, "the lawwas ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." [In Scripture, a word must be established by two or three witnesses. Cp. 2 Corinthians 13:1.]
2. "so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance"
a. Exodus 34:29-35 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
3. "which glory was to be done away:"
a. The glory of the law is the glory of the Mosaic Covenant. As we shall see, it appears that the insistence of the people for Moses to put a veil over his face seems to have put them under a spiritual curse.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.