This is a transitional chapter from the judgments (those things to regulate righteousness, justice and society) into instructions concerning worship.
v1: Notice how G-d’s revelation goes in a specific order.
· Nadab and Abihu were recipients of great revelation. This should have produced faithfulness in their lives.
· Worship from afar – these men were brought into the presence of G-d. They saw G-d but did not die. Even though they had this wonderful worship experience at Mount Sinai it was still from a distance – this means that there is a better worship experience to be had than what they experienced.
v2: G-d makes a distinction between Moses and the others.
v3: G-d’s words are revelation, and they should produce righteous judgments. They teach us how to behave (we are not saved by what we do – salvation is a free gift. If we have had a genuine salvation experience, though, it is going to be manifested by what we do, our deeds. We are going to live changed lives)
· One voice – great unity. When people follow the instructions of G-d there is great unity. This is what G-d desires for us.
v4: An altar is related to sacrifice ie worship. There is an inherent relationship between sacrifice
· The 12 pillars were a monument/memorial. The number 12 is repeated, so emphasised. Israel’s role in the Kingdom is emphasised, it is significant.
v5: When a bull (ox) was offered up it showed that the people were faithfully sacrificing their very best.
v6: Blood is once again emphasised. This should not surprise us. OT and NT worship emphasise blood.
· The Hebrew word used here is not the word “sprinkled” but is the word “throw”. To throw would be more lavish/abundant than a sprinkle.
v7: Now the emphasis of their worship shifts to the Word of G-d. If we don’t follow the Word then we are not worshipping. As we obey the Word of G-d we will hear more – doing the Word of G-d causes us to be a recipient of revelation.
v8: Moses lavishly threw the blood on the people. Why? Because blood is related to redemption, purification, sanctification and for preparation for service (Matt 27:25).
v9: 74 people +G-d = 75. The number 75 is a redemptive number (Acts 7:14 etc).
v10: Clarity would be more correctly translated “purity”.
v11: The nobles would refer to the seventy-four. They saw G-d but didn’t die. Why? The emphasis of this passage has been on redemption (they lived because of the blood)
· Ate and drank – fellowshipped. Food is associated with worship and with greater intimacy. When Yeshua healed He said: “Give her something to eat”(Lk 9:55 etc) – after eating people worship (Deut 8:10, Matt 14:16)
v12-13: The mountain of G-d -Mount Sinai. We learn the names of two of those 70 elders – Joshua and Hur.
· If there were any conflicts among these men while Moses and Joshua were away then the disputes would be settled by Aaron and Hur.
v15-16: Most scholars see this cloud as the Shekinah – the glorious, dwelling presence of G-d.
· This verse reemphasises that the seventh day is important to G-d.
v17: People saw things happening before their eyes. Moses had seen the burning bush on this same mountain, and now the people saw this consuming fire.
v18: The cloud covered the whole mountain, but Moses went further in. He was called into a greater experience with G-d.
· The number 40, Biblically, always relates to a change/a transition. From this chapter we can conclude that redemption brings about a change – a change in our worship.