Exodus 19

Review & Remarks: This chapter begins the covenant between YHWH, the superior, and Israel, the inferior (Ex. 19-24) … YHWH issues orders, Israel promises to comply … Both promise loyalty … Because of this agreement, Israel becomes “God’s chosen people” … The precise location of Mount Sinai is unknown (vv. 1-2), possibly Jebel Musa pictured above … YHWH reminds Moses of Israel’s enslaved Egyptian past – how they have gotten to this point (vv. 3-4) … This Mosaic Covenant is specifically addressed to Israel, to which they totally agree with no reservations (vv. 5-8) … Israel was afforded the freedom not to accept (v. 5) … From this example, one might infer God to some degree accepts corporate or individual liberty for or against Himself … YHWH will manifest on Sinai to Moses in a ceremony (v. 9) … For this, Israel is to prepare their hearts, wash themselves and their clothes, and steer clear of Sinai until the sound of trumpeting is heard (vv. 9-13) … After three days of thick clouds, thunder, lightening, smoke, fire, and earthquakes from and on Sinai, a blast of trumpets is sounded (vv. 14-19) … Moses meets YHWH on top of Mount Sinai (v. 20), telling him to warn the priests and any from Israel not to ascend the mountain (vv. 21-22) … Moses’ reply is “they won’t” (v. 23) … Aaron is to accompany Moses, no priests or anyone else, on their next ascent to the summit of Sinai … The overall tone here is one of respect and reverence towards YHWH and His temporal enclave atop Sinai … One’s approach towards YHWH is on His terms, not one’s own … How could the created approach to the Creator be otherwise?