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word to any, that he will be their God, it can mean no less than that he will give to them, and be unto them, and do for them, all that he has warranted them to expect from him. To consider this well, and thoroughly to believe and digest it, is life to the soul born of God.
What is in the chapter before us, was transacted the next day after the giving of the law, on the seventh day of Sivan, except the command given by the Lord to Moses in the first and second verses, which must have been spoken before he came down from the mount, and he made it known to the people on the seventh day of the month Sivan.
The subject matter before ùs, concerns the ratification of the Sinai covenant, by Moses building an altar, erecting twelve pillars, reading the book of the covenant; which being assented to by the people, he sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, "Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you, concerning all these words." The chapter begins thus: ver. 1. "And he said unto Moses, come up unto the Lord, thou and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders, and worship ye afar off." The command is addressed to Moses, he being the typical mediator; Aaron and his two eldest sons, were by this honour conferred upon them, prepared for the high office to which they were afterwards to be called, the one
to be high priest, the others to be priests in God's house, the church. The seventy elders were persons selected by Moses out of those rulers, chosen and mentioned in Exod. xviii. Though these were to come up into the mount farther than the people, yet the Lord requires that they should all keep their distance; hence he says, "And worship ye afar off:" what worship thou, or they shall offer to me, shall be afar off from the top of the mount, whither thou only shalt be admitted, and that not to pray to me, but to receive laws and ordinances from me." Ver. 2. "And Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but they shall not come nigh, neither shall the people go up with him." The elders, with Aaron, and his two eldest sons, were to go halfway up the mount: Moses, the typical mediator, was to go up to the top of it: the people of Israel were to remain at the foot of it: the law was to be delivered by the Lord to Moses, and he was to deliver it unto the people.
Moses having received those laws from God, already mentioned, came down from the mount, and most clearly, faithfully, and fully relates unto the people, all that the Lord commanded; to which they replied, "All the words which the Lord hath spoken we will do." Thus the covenant between God, and the people of Israel, was established by mutual and willing assent and consent. Hereupon Moses wrote all the words
of the Lord, as recorded in the 21st. 22d. and 23d. chapters of Exodus, in a book; and prepared for the ratification of the covenant, by building an altar, erecting twelve pillars, ap pointing some of the first-born of Israel to offer burnt-offerings, and peace-offerings, the blood of which he sprinkled on the altar, pillars, book, and people.
Ver. 3., "And Moses came and told the peo ple all the words of the Lord, and all the judg ments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken, or all the words which the Lord hath said, we will do." The words of the law of the Lord being written in a book, an altar built, and pillars erected, sacrifices were offered, the blood of which is half of it sprinkled on the altar, and the other half preserved in basons, and sprinkled on the people. The altar was of earth; it prefigured Christ: the twelve pillars were to repre sent the twelve tribes of Israel: the burnt-offerings were symbolical of the sufferings, passion, and death of Christ: the peace-offerings were expressive of reconciliation, by the most precious blood-shedding of the Messiah, the Prince of
By these typical sacrifices, and sprinklings of blood, the people of Israel were brought into national covenant with God; he was their King, they were his church and people. Their first-born
were typical of Christ, "the first-born among many brethren." Their laws were peculiarly suited to answer the Lord's end and design upon them. Their ordinances, high priests, sacrifices, services, festivals, kings, and prophets, with the order of nazariteship, with all enjoined them, fully proved that they were separated unto the Lord, in a peculiar way and manner, for him in due season to bring forth the Messiah, who was to be "a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel."
We are informed, verse 3. "And Moses came, and told all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, all the words which the Lord hath said, will we do." Ver. 4. " And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel." Ver. 5. "And he sent young men of the first-born of Israel, which offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen, unto the Lord." These young men were the first-born of Israel, which were priests, and offered sacrifices, until the levites were taken in, instead of the first-born of Israel, see Numb. iii. 41. Ver. 6. " And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar." Ver. 7. " And he took the book of the covenant, and read it in
the audience of the people, and they said, All that the Lord hath said, will we do, and be obedient." Thus a solemn covenant, union, andcommunion between God and the people took place.
The seventy elders were answerable to the seventy souls of Israel, that came out of Canaan, with Jacob, into Egypt; and to the seventy, that afterwards made the grand senate of the commonwealth of Israel: and thus I am brought to my text, which reads thus, "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you, concerning all these words. Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet, as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel, he laid not his hands; also they saw God, and did eat and drink." I will endeavour to explain and set before you, what is contained in these words, under the three following heads, or particular sections.
First. I will speak of the confirmation of this Sinai covenant, which was by the bloodshedding and death of sacrifices, with the sprinkling of blood upon the people. This will cast light on these words, "And Moses took the