J. N. Darby.

<41019E> 203

(Notes and Comments Vol. 1.)

Exodus 1

Genesis sets out all the ways of God, but does not touch the question of cleansing a conscience, nor a people called to be in connection with God in His house.

Exodus treats the relationship of a people with God, and of the cleansing of the conscience, in order to their being in it, and being able to be with Him.

It is evident that the affections, and whole condition of the people of God, must depend on their relationship with God, and the manner of their association with Him. Now in the case of the Patriarchs and, though differently, under the law, God was manifested down here on earth, and though they of course could say, "God is in heaven," and, as persecuted, had only there to look, yet their proper legitimate condition and sphere of affections was associated with these blessed visits of Jehovah to the Patriarchs, or His presence in the cloud, and the Shechinah of Glory. So will it again be in other circumstances in the millennial day - the sphere and place of their affections will (though there be higher) have an earthly centre and object.

But after the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, there was no longer any - the object of it had moved up there - the Son of God - and was hid, "our lives are hid with Christ in God"; so that the affections and whole condition of the Church is wholly connected with what is heavenly - as to the Centre and Object, it is hid in its life there. The Holy Ghost is come down, but it is as the power of bringing up, and centring its affections there; this evidently gives a peculiar and most special place to the saints now, in their relationship to God - their whole condition as regards Him.

NOTE. - Some people's affections take their value from the object on which they are set - some make their own, in the strength that is in them, the self-devotedness they exhibit. But I suspect that there is defect in both, and that the meeting of both - save, of course, divine affections in God - would have proved the inefficacy of either.

204 Exodus 2

Note here as regards Moses; although it is evident that he was put under a long humbling process to prepare him for the work, as nothing in himself, yet the thing that God notices of him in Hebrews 11 is, that energy of faith in which yet much of flesh was mixed up, at least energy which had not the known direction of God - he thought, but they understood not; Acts 7:25. Besides this, it is his independent action, not fearing the wrath of the king; this is full of practical instruction.

- 22. In Gershom (a stranger here), we are at once put in connection with the sentiment of Moses (the position of Christ as to Israel) as to the people, though in Egypt, in contrast with Ephraim (fruitful) and Manasseh (forgetting), where we have the exalted Christ connected, in a heavenly way, with Gentiles.

- 23. Za-ak, crying out; sha-va crying out more to some one.

- 24. This word vay-yiz'kor (remembered) is a touching word.

NOTE. - There is a difference between Moses and Joseph. Both are separated from their brethren, both represent Christ as so separated; but Joseph takes the Gentile glory and Church place, Moses the identification with his brethren. Moses descends to identify himself with them, Joseph is rejected and sold by them; it is their sin which separates from him, and they return to him exalted, through famine humbled before him. Joseph goes through their rejection of him, through death (so to speak) but into exaltation; and there, having received a Gentile wife, calls his son Manasseh (forgotten) because the Lord had made him to forget all his toil, and all his father's house. He receives in grace, but in his place of glory, the people that had rejected him.

Moses has a Jewish character; he sees, where God saw it, the affliction of His people - he leaves, for the time was not come to deliver, and though the heart of the wicked ones rejected him, he is in no way separated in heart from the misery of Israel. His son is not Manasseh, but Gershom (a stranger) - he was a stranger away from his people - he returns, as identified with them - to them he makes himself known, to deliver them, in spite of the resistance of the king, from another king who knew not Joseph. He is their head and deliverer. God is not, "God sent me before you to preserve life," but Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, demands the deliverance of His people, "Let my people go!" Sovereign, saving grace was before - delivering title and power now. We do not find Eliezer (my God is a help) till chapter 18:4, when Israel is delivered, and the Gentiles come to eat bread with the elders of Israel. We have then the double character of the Lord's relation with Israel - a Stranger with them when they are oppressed, and their Deliverer as the God of their fathers.

205 Exodus 3

- 2. Mittoch (out of the midst of); I suppose it blazed up above it, hence the bush was bo-er ba-esh (burned with fire) yet not consumed. Here we are in the full tide of Jehovah or Mal'ak' Jehovah.

- 4. Here He takes His title as nature - an additional proof of the way they (the expressions) are used. It was not merely a Person, but a Being who was such - God - hence Elohim in verse 6, "to look upon God"; but in verse 7 it is naturally Jehovah.

- 13. This shows that Israel had as much as forgotten any true God of their fathers, or did not know any God as their God.

- 14. The question then comes, what is eh'yeh (I am, or I shall be)? It is not ha-yah (he is), which has much more the sense of ginomai (has become), used for existence, but primarily of what did not exist (werden) before; eh'yeh is much more existence proceeding not from a beginning, a cause, but in, or from, self. It is not ho on (He who is) exactly, which is simple existence at present; whereas eh'yeh seems to me to imply self-derived existence - a term, I admit, inconsistent as all mere human terms must be (unless eh'yeh itself, given of God) but which will be understood. I, and being, are both in eh'yeh, not in ho on. It may be enquired if asher (that which) be "that which," and not an adverb "inasmuch as," so that "I am so that I am," or "I am because I am"; but of this, query.

He exists in the powers of His own existence - not caused - and in the will of His existence, not by it so as to make it a cause of His own existence, which is simply absurd, but in it, as we say self-existent, which happily hides the infirmity of human thought.

206 The Hebrew future [i.e., eh'yeh, I will be] is not simply future, but future to the thought in the mind, only "being" cannot here be separated from "I" as a consequence. "I" and "being" are coincident, yet morally "I" goes first; "am" is affirmed about "I," but also an immutable existence, but, as I said, this must be enquired into.

Jehovah is the name He takes with Israel, but this is the application of eh'yeh to continuance - existence relative to those in time.

- 11, 13, 14, 15. It is God, the Being who was such then absolutely "Eh'yeh"; and then Jehovah, the God of your fathers.

- 15. Eh'yeh (I am) had sent him, but it was Jehovah in personal relationship with them for ever, and l'dor dor (unto all generations). Jehovah was the God of their fathers, but not the name in which He was revealed to them.

- 22. "Borrow" is certainly an unhappy word - it is "ask." They were going out with a high hand, after terrible judgments.

Note the difference of Moses in his intercourse with God at the bush, and what he was in Egypt, i.e., how entirely, when God is working by him, all question is gone - he is possessed, and moves on in unhesitating energy every step, not so much thinking about the power, as animated by it, having a just sense of what God was. The power was acting in him - God willed that his own state should be exercised, brought in question, brought out into his own consciousness - in him (Moses) the power of the circumstances predominates over a present God as to Moses' heart; but God working by Moses, every trace of this disappears - not that Moses was changed in this way morally not necessarily so, but God had taken him up into His hand, and was now using him; before, He was showing him to himself, that he might know it was not himself - this is important to notice. I note it here, the long sojourn in the desert which occurred, was not the presence of God which revealed, and brought out humblingly in one's own sight, but here, between God and Moses - the latter may be often needed too - nor was this the Moses - work in Egypt, it had wholly disappeared.

At any given time, God may leave us to pass on in peace, or in regular duty, which requires absolutely His power and presence, without placing us in either of these cases. It is important, in all, to be fully before God, and to remember that the absence of the power of circumstances over us, and our power over them is not necessarily our state, if God is using us, though He may employ the vessel so as to use it, as is indeed His way. Elijah would hardly have fled, if his soul had been in the power which was ministerially exercised by him; and that, in general, is what ought to be - but Paul wrote an inspired letter, and for a time was sorry he wrote it.

207 Exodus 4

- 24. Pagash (he met) is more than karah (he met with) or kara (he met), something of paga (he touched, he met) but not so strong: even in verse 27 it is more, it is the active side, "he lit upon him."

- 26. Khathan (bridegroom, son-in-law) is remarkable I think here; it is not properly "husband."

Exodus 6

Evidently this is the beginning of God's proper relationship with and taking up of Israel; He gives Himself a covenant name of relationship. What goes before is preparatory, and God gives Himself then (chap. 3) a personal name, Eh'yeh, which is not repeated here. Then He reveals Himself, though for Israel, here His name by which He was to be known by them. We see also here the remains of unbelief in Moses; he is of uncircumcised lips, and cannot speak to Pharaoh. God uses this to bring about His own plans, and put Aaron in his place, and show where true power was. But was there nothing of the result (or of the effect of the same cause) of his going before waiting for the Lord's sending, and wisdom and power, in smiting the Egyptian, though his heart was right? Yet God uses our weakness, and puts all in its place through this; He that glories must glory in the Lord. There were forty years needed to cure him of Egyptian confidence in the flesh, when his heart was right. But he went in his own strength and will; the fear of Pharaoh was already in the act of human violence - such are we!

208 If God give us sunshine, let us not forget, still remember that Christ is the Sun.

The connection of this chapter with Deuteronomy 32, already noticed elsewhere, is exceedingly striking, as showing the place that these prophetic revelations hold; at the end they (the people) are returned and stand in the house, celebrating Jehovah who has blessed - that is the place of the Psalms.

- 3. It is no way said that Elohim had not this name - His name is His nature and character; but He did not appear to Abraham, etc., by it, but as Shaddai - did not make Himself known to them by His name Jehovah.

- 5. Note here the power of evil making God's people groan, recalls to God His covenant and promise, and He takes the name by which it is accomplished - which involves its accomplishment; it is not to be feared.

Exodus 7

The deliberate wilfulness and hardness of Pharaoh's heart is most evident, in spite of the Lord, but then Jehovah's hardening it in His government is equally plain. There are three words used for hardening, and it must be seen if there is any special use of them, for they are different; khazak, kaved and kashah - the second of these, kaved (is heavy) is chiefly used for Pharaoh's hardening his own heart; the first, khazak (he tied fast, made firm) is used intransitively, but also actively of Jehovah, and I suppose of Pharaoh also; the third, kashah (is heavy) is used actively for what God did. Thus in chapter 4:21 akhazzek (I will harden), in chapter 7:3, ak'sheh (I will harden), in both cases with ani (I), I suppose emphatic, like ego.

- 13. In this verse it is doubtful, as khazak has a neuter sense also, but in the next verse (14) kaved is used to describe the state, but my impression is that it is intransitive, as in chapter 8:15, 19; whereas, when actively Jehovah, it is always vaani … eth libbo (and I … his heart); hence verse 13 would be "and Pharaoh's heart was hard," i.e., firm, unmoved - kashah is more "obdurate." The form with kaved is the same I have supposed - neuter, with khazak, that is kaved lev Phar'oh (Pharaoh's heart was hardened, verse 14) and yekh'zak lev-Phar'oh (Pharaoh's heart was hardened, verse 22) - in the former, it is clearly the state, or it would be k'ved'ti (I hardened) or ani k'ved'ti (I hardened).

209  - 14. The English gives in the previous verse, "He hardened Pharaoh's heart," and here, in this verse, "Pharaoh's heart is hardened," for the same words; the sense is "remained firm and unmoved." Kaved is, I suppose, stupid, heavy obduracy; kashah is hard, bitter, severe, as in Genesis 42:7, Exodus 1:14 and chap. 6:9. It is a hard, embittered feeling against what one has no strength against, or is ill seen. Kaved is used actively (in hiphil) as to Pharaoh himself, but the form of phrase is, as the others supposed, active - eth-libbo (his heart), chapter 8:15, 19, was hardened (hard) is right, as elsewhere, save in chapter 7:13.

Exodus 8

- 22 (18 in the Hebrew) b'kerev haaretz (in the midst of the earth) is a remarkable expression, present government being there, and commanding all that is there, and note, this is not Israel. When evil comes from this, it is p'duth (redemption) for God's people, verse 23, margin.

- 32. Here again the active sense, with kaved, as before, Pharaoh did so, eth-libbo (his heart); in chapter 9:7, kaved, the state was, remained hard, or obdurate; in verse 12, it is actively with khazak and eth* and Jehovah; in verse 34, it is kaved, more active and positive I suppose than in verse 7; chapter 35 it is more general - the fact historically; in chapter 10:1 it is kaved with eth, Jehovah actively; and in verse 20 it is khasak, active, Jehovah hardened, with eth; so in verse 27, and so finally in chapter 11:10.

{*Particle put to mark direct object.}

Exodus 12

The character of the Passover sacrifice - for it is called ze-vakh (sacrifice) - is pretty plain. There was nothing burnt to the Lord; the holy character of the lamb was preserved by anything remaining over to be burnt, no bone to be broken, nor any part carried out of the house; but there was no sweet savour to the Lord, it had not that character of sacrifice - no altar or place of approach, neither hik-riv (brought near) nor hik-tir (burnt in sweet savour). It was not in character nor effect, coming to God; it was keeping God, as a righteous Judge, out, so that they escaped - keeping Him righteously out (we can say by glorifying gloriously His righteousness), but still as a needed means meeting the case, and excluding the Judge as having now no ground for entering. Deliverance by God (that is, the Red Sea), drawing near to God, a sweet savour to Him, or coming to Him in any way of worship or communion, are not found here.

210  - 8, 10. The fact that the Passover was to be eaten at night, and nothing left till the morning or burned, seems, I think, to intimate that it was entirely apart from the whole course and scene in which nature and sense are conversant - a matter between God and the soul abstractedly, in the full undistracted claim and holiness of the divine nature. No circumstances entered into it - no question of compassionate apprehension of seen misery. It was sin and the holy judgment of God met, where nothing else was; so, as a sign of this deep and infinite truth, all was darkness for three hours with Christ on the cross - nature hidden - all between God and Him. Then all was to be burnt - there was no mixing it with any thing common; Israel was sanctified by it, like the priests, so that they ate it, but it could not be mixed with other food.

Exodus 13

We have the unleavened bread, and the first-born consecrated, as the consequence and result of deliverance from Egypt, i.e., separation (consecration) to God in the double sense of purity, unfeignedness of heart, and complete devotedness. These are the fruit of having to say to God in the way of divine power in deliverance - the result of the sense of it - note this.

This is brought in, in testimony, before the Red Sea.

Note too, the connection of unleavened bread and consecration of first-born on common ground here; both as a memorial in the land - the double character of the moral result looked for (produced by grace) in those delivered.

211  - 18. I think the force of khamushim (harnessed) is evident enough - they did not fly away individually, though they went in haste - it was Jehovah b'yad khazakah (with a strong hand) did it.

Exodus 14

- 4, 8,17. Khazak, Jehovah directly hardens.

Exodus 15

There is an analogy in many of the results of the passage of the Red Sea and Jordan, which deserve attention; though one was deliverance out of Egypt into the wilderness, the other entrance into Canaan. After deliverance by the Sea (the death and resurrection of Christ) death is found - to drink the waters of Marah - but they are made sweet. Only here it was imposed, i.e., had to be drunk, though it was turned to sweetness, as it ever is. So after passing Jordan they are circumcised; but here, as it is death and resurrection with Christ, it is mortifying - they apply the power of death to flesh, for they are dead.

In the wilderness you have Christ as manna, the bread come down from heaven, suited to the wilderness - Christ humbling Himself; after Jordan, Christ as the old corn of the land, the heavenly Christ, He who is of heaven (the Lord from heaven), in nature and character - not that He is not a man, but His origin and being is of heaven itself.

After the Red Sea, they were coming out under the personal power of the Passover, so to speak, saved from judgment then by it; in Canaan it is the sweet remembrance of long known deliverance. They eat it with unleavened bread of the corn of the land within the place where resurrection has brought them; out of the Red Sea, in the wilderness, they find shade and refreshment, which God has provided. In the land, Christ appears as Captain in conflict spiritually, and looking for holiness for it, as in His presence in the bush for redemption. All this, and especially the difference of the last-mentioned, is extremely interesting, and instructive as to the way we receive and know Christ, as brought into the wilderness by redemption, or into heavenly places as risen with Christ.

212 Exodus 16

The manna comes down - there is no smiting anything; but, besides the general instruction elsewhere noted, in order to have the water the Rock must be smitten - so, the Spirit could not be given till Christ was smitten.

Exodus 19

NOTE. - We never (save the sanctifying the seventh day) get holiness brought out as an attribute of God, nor of anything in connection with Him in the book of Genesis. But it is a mistake to suppose that it is the law which makes the difference, as if it expressed God's personal character; in us holiness must be holiness to the Lord. God is holy because He abhors evil, and delights in good according to His nature, but we can be nothing but evil without being consecrated to God - all else is evil.

Adam was innocent (not consecrated to God, so as to follow good, and be far from evil when knowing good and evil) for he did not know good and evil. One day was consecrated to God - was sanctified; but redemption consecrates a people to God. Hence you find a holy nation before the law was given - a people purchased to Himself and set apart to Him - brought to Himself. And God was glorious in holiness in the Red Sea in judgment.

In this chapter holiness was put upon the ground of obedience, but that alters nothing. He had brought forth the people which He had redeemed - He had guided them by His strength to His holy habitation. The terms on which they foolishly put themselves (v. 8) did not alter the fact of the thought of consecration to God, see Leviticus 11:44, and chap. 19:7-8, 26, et seq. But this leaves the extremely interesting question: "what is the principle of relationship with God in Genesis?" which I here reserve, only remarking that the same principle applies to God's dwelling with man. It never took place till redemption gave occasion to it, this is also brought out in Exodus, chapter 15, where we first find the other, already noted.

I apprehend that the notion of redemption makes the difference, not simply in itself, but because, as by the work of God, it brings, according to its power, to Himself - "I have borne you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself" - so His dwelling among them.

213 Now Abraham, the brightest of saints (I do not of course speak of the ground of his everlasting hopes, as known to us, but of the principles of his history) of that time, did not stand on that ground. He was chosen - called - and the promises given to him - called to go out to a land which God would show him, but he is not presented to us as brought to God by redemption, and hence consecrated to Him. He was blessed - cared for by the Almighty - visited - made a friend of God, but God did not dwell with him. He quitted his country on a promise, and call, he was not redeemed, by a mighty hand, from the midst of enemies, blood being on the door to shelter him. Calling, promise, blessing, care was there (not redemption) walking before God as a stranger.

Abel's sacrifice might seem to present this (redemption), but Abel's sacrifice is an offering to God, not redemption by God; he could come with and by this, and be received by faith, and so it is used in Hebrews 11. It was Abel's offering, not God's redemption. All this as to the value of redemption, and its character and effect is full of interest.

Note, that the people really undertook (only that the communications were necessarily such as suited an earthly state) what Christ undertook in Psalm 40 but what a difference! He there is the real Servant, and that, as in everything, by previous title; though Israel came in to put man to the test by it. But in the volume of the Book, He was the real and willing Servant of God, glorious in this place, who had the true title to all glory. For the willingness was in divine and perfect love, as the competency to accomplish all equally perfect; the competency to obey as great as the willingness, the principle of obedience. As perfect, the coming and all He came for, was the divine will - yet as perfect in love in doing it; it had the stamp of what was divine upon it, although the manner of manifestation was human and subject. How different the undertaking of those who must be kept by a barrier from God, when undertaking to earn a title to be near; Christ went forth from God - they, outside, could not even be allowed to come near.

214 Exodus 20

In the giving of the Law we have clearly Elohim, God as such, and man in His presence. Moses went up to God, the people drew near to God, and God said, etc. But then in all that is given it is Jehovah thy God, and the whole character of the Law is this, "who brought thee out" - "thy God" - "visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children" - "the days long in the land." It is on the ground of a people in relationship, "I have borne you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself. Now therefore" - A law to Gentiles would own them not outcast, as a people whom God could guide, and give rules to, in connection with Himself; that law may contain a true rule for man in flesh, but must be given to man in relationship to God, as a rule for him in that place. The Gentiles were not yet revealed (see Simeon's song), and God winked, as to government in this world, at the times of ignorance - nor even finally will they be judged by it. Reasoning on the spirit of nomos (law) is something else, and goes further; the Pharisees had hopes of eternal life by it. Christ never says this: "This do and thou shalt live." As Scripture speaks: "He that doeth these things shall live in them." Man's natural longings and heart may go further - he thinks he can keep it, and seeks that fuller life he knows of by it. Not so faith, "if there had been a law given, which could have given life," for now life means more - then only by times, in longings.

Note the law was never in itself put into the hands of man. God spoke the ten commandments out of the midst of the fire on Mount Sinai to the people. Moses coming down from God, without direction from God, finding the golden calf made, breaks the Tables at the bottom of the mount - how introduce indeed the law of God into a camp where it was already broken and another god set up? When Moses goes up again, he is told to make a chest to put it in - God and His law are alike hidden, though given as a rule of life. That which has led me to this, is that when the throne of God was set up in the midst of Israel, the faces of the cherubim who constituted the throne - "He sitteth between the cherubim" - looked not to the ark, but to the mercy-seat which was over it, and covered it. The law was not slighted or enfeebled surely, it was placed in that holy receptacle, which indeed represented Christ, but it was hidden there. All that constituted the throne, the attributes of God, though perhaps governing men as a present judgment of conduct as to it, yet, as regards the covenant, looked at the mercy-seat. Now that was divine righteousness, the cover of pure gold - and the blood of atonement was sprinkled on and before it - with that, the faces of the cherubim were in connection, at that they looked. The law was deposited and honoured there, but the power of the throne dwelt with the mercy-seat. No doubt clearer blessings in unveiled light are for us, but this was not simply law; it was, as to government, a throne of grace according to the name proclaimed to Moses.

215  - 24. The altar here is for burnt-offerings and peaceofferings - sin-offerings are not contemplated. It was worship properly speaking; the commandments were given and breaches not yet supposed; so in these ordinances, they were all order for the land, nothing of sacrifices. In the enumeration of the three great feasts even, it is not the Passover which is the first, but the feast of unleavened bread - so when the sacrifices were offered to seal this command, burnt-offerings alone were offered. The sin-offerings, even in the sacrifices, constituted a distinct and separate head. Again, the altar on Mount Ebal was an altar to offer burnt and peace-offerings on, and rejoice, but the curse on failure only followed, Deut. 27:7; Joshua 8:30 et seq: and they stood there in the valley to bless; afterwards the responsibilities were read - yet when the altar was set up (Ebal), they stood to curse.

Exodus 23

- 27. "My fear." How true that is - this secret action of God which takes away courage, and produces dread, compare also chapter 15; see what Rahab says, Joshua 2, and compare the end of Philippians 1, verse 28, and what Peter says of women; 1 Peter 3:2.

Exodus 25

- 2. This, and the root rum (lift up) [in the word t'rumah, an offering] helps one to understand the heave-offering.

- 18-21. With regard to the cherubim; in Genesis 3, they are set to maintain, as instruments of holy, sovereign, guardian power, the way of the tree of life against sinful man. They are instruments of judicial holiness maintaining it against inroad; it is a known supposed power, eth hakk'ruvim (the cherubim). Next, the mercy-seat was the throne of God in the holiest - the blood made propitiation there, but it was the place of the throne - of divine righteousness. Gold, silver, brass were divine righteousness in its intrinsic qualities - its stability of purpose - so securing His place and people - and in spiritual acting, energy in accomplishments, in man, or in connection with what it had actually to deal with humanly, not as judging man, for then it must be gold, but as displayed in work in man.

216 The Cherubim were out of the gold of the mercy-seat, i.e., they were instruments to sustain the Majesty of divine righteousness - the throne. They were not that righteousness - that was marked by the mercy-seat itself - but they were the instruments to maintain the majesty and expression of it, when God dealt in it with the creature as such. We find further that in Ezekiel they had the faces of a man, an eagle, a lion, and a cherub, again a man, an eagle, a lion, and an ox; the living creatures had those of a man, an eagle, a lion and an ox; Rev. 4:7. But in 1 Kings 7:29, we have lions, oxen, and Cherubim; in Ezekiel 41:18-19, they have two faces - a young man, and a lion, but this was half on the door. In Ezekiel 1, they have four wings and straight feet like oxen's feet, and hands under their wings; here in this chapter (Exodus 25) we have the faces of the two cherubim looking to the mercy-seat, and wings joining at top; in 2 Chronicles 3 the faces towards the house, and wings stretched out touching the sides of the house and each other - here God sat, and will sit as on earth - from hence Moses heard a voice when he went in; Num. 7:89; 1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chron. 13:6; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1.

It is His place and throne of Majesty, where He allows nothing contrary to it (see Isaiah 37:16), but where He dwells among His people, in the place of glory, because He has set His throne there, and governs them, and speaks to them there - has His palace and throne there - though He may dwell in a tent, yet unchanged there, in the same Majesty. But on the cry of His people, He rides - comes, in the same Majesty, intolerant of evil, and in the Sovereign power of judgment; but that is deliverance, and hence, note, He puts blood on the door posts, He draws out of many waters - hence the very foundations of the earth are discovered - hence He hears, though it be Israel's deliverance, out of His holy temple, the place of His terrible, royal Majesty, "In his temple does every one speak of his honour" - what a wonderful thing that He should ride forth in majesty! No wonder redemption is such a thing! and that Christ must have gone so low, being under the blow and dealing, through grace, of this Majesty - for where should blood be found to put upon the door posts? But study this Psalm (2 Sam. 22) and see how far it is the deliverance of the Lord, under the power of death, the enemy, by the visitation of this Majesty. In 1 Chronicles 28:18, it is "the chariot of the Cherubim."

217 In Ezekiel 1, we learn that they "had the likeness of a man," "brightness," "coals of fire," "lightning" - we recognize the display of 2 Samuel 22.

- 22. This is the apostolic office of Christ, or rather prophetic - Christ is speaking from the Father, and ordering all things in the embodying of His Church; yet as risen and so speaking from heaven, which is the proper order of ministration in the mystically formed body. Our Lord was, in fact, speaking from heaven, when in the body, the words of God, from the Father within the veil; as the Jehovah of the Church, He did give forth His commandments, apostolically, by the hands of those whom He sent in this office. See chapter 29:42.

Exodus 26

I have some things to remark in the materials used in the tabernacle, etc. In the tabernacle itself, or tent of the tabernacle, there was linen, blue, purple, scarlet, cherubim, but no gold. The veil (v. 31), purple, scarlet, linen (only linen last here), and cherubim - no gold. The ephod was gold, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, and the curious girdle the same - no cherubim. The pomegranates were blue, purple, scarlet only; there were bells of gold.

Gold I apprehend, was divine righteousness.

Fine linen, perfectly pure nature - here man's.

Cherubim, as everywhere, judicial authority - but divine.

218 Blue - heavenly.

Purple - regal.

Scarlet - earthly honour and glory.

Now in the tent and veil there was no gold - it was Christ as Man; but all was gold inside either, and cherubim were on them - as Christ, as such, had the judicial authority, but wielding God's judgment committed to Him.

In the ephod and girdle, which is of course priesthood, there is not Aaronic or judicial throne, but there must be divine righteousness, though girded for service. In the heavenly character, which was under, and appeared below the ephod, there were the three colours, which give the triple character of the fruit, which belongs to the heavenly character - what was heavenly, royal, and glorious. These were manifested as belonging to the heavenly man; but the priesthood was really a higher character, it belonged to what went within - the righteousness of God - not merely what was the consequence for him who went in.

The hanging of the holy place had no cherubim, nor gold; it was simply what Christ was, manifested as a Man; Exodus 26:36; chap. 36:37.

The curtains were 40 cubits by 28, the tabernacle 30 long by 10 high and 9 wide. Thus the curtains not only hung down the sides, but the back; and only on the sides the ends were half a cubit from the ground. The goats' hair curtains reached a cubit beyond the lower end of them, and were half a cubit on the ground on either side, and as there were 11 curtains instead of 10, there was (v. 12) a superfluity, se-rakh ha-odeph (portion that remaineth), was divided between the back and front. Then I apprehend, not as once I thought, that the corners were doubled to strengthen them, not cut off so as to destroy the square inside, and make it 10 cubits wide, or more; but thus the six boards giving the breadth unchanged. GRAPHIC

NOTE. - There was gold in the high priest's ephod and girdle, but none in the veil, verse 31; chapter 28:6; chap. 39:1-3, and elsewhere; while there were cherubim on the veil, not on the ephod. The veil was Christ's flesh, behind which Godhead was hidden. The perfect effect was there in Man, divine grace in a pure human nature, but in going in the divine righteousness had its place, for He was before God. It was not merely efficacy of work, and so judicial. He is the propitiation for our sins; but Jesus Christ the righteous was there. It is in Him what perfectly meets God's mind, because it is divine - nothing else could be in itself. In John it is intrinsic in the way of nature, it is so spoken of, as 1 John 2:29; then it is the judicial question, as 1 John 4:17; but it is intrinsic in Him, in order to appear for us - the divine perfection in righteousness in itself. It is not that He is changed of course, but it had to appear before God in heaven; purity, and every grace to us outside. But then it is not merely He is our righteousness, but One is there who, having accomplished that work is Himself there - appears in the presence of God for us - and such that all God's positive delight from His very nature must go out towards Him. This is a blessed place to stand in - Jesus Christ the righteous is there.

219 Exodus 27

I know not where I have written on the typical meaning of the metals in the tabernacle; there are a few words, in some part, on the gold and brass, in the books of the Bible.

I have heretofore considered brass as judgment according to works, when in connection with responsibility, as gold properly righteousness in se - the eyes as a flame of fire, as the penetrating power of God's judgment (Rev. 2:18, 23), in the latter God "searches the reins and the heart," and gives to every one of them according to their works; Philippians 2:12-13, 15.

Gold is intrinsic righteousness in God's nature - that which we approach in; here I do not mean His essence, but what we approach in. Brass is the judgment of righteousness as applied to man; hence the altar of burnt-offering was of brass, the laver was of brass - one judged sin in a sacrifice, the other by the word. It marked the immutable nature of that judgment - God, who could not bear sin, must deal with it. What led me to it was, the sockets of the pillars of the court were of brass, and the fillets and hooks of them silver - what gave stability was judgment - was Gilgal work. The curtains separated the profane from the holy - God's people, as with Him, from the world at large - their hooks on the pillars were silver and their fillets.

220 I am apt to think this is grace as displayed in man - God's grace; as the brass was God's judgment - firm and immutable - so did grace secure, but it was the ornament; judgment in God's ways secures, but it is their stability, and as the foundation, God's immutableness; grace in fact is what all hangs on in its actual maintenance.

The moment the light was brought in, and the use of the olive oil, then the priesthood of Christ is introduced, and the priesthood of Christ and the Church looked at corporately - looked at as a service. Aaron and his sons were to trim the lamps, they were to ascend up always - the priesthood having been ordered in Aaron and his sons. Then came the daily burnt-offerings, and then the Lord met with the people to speak with Moses - that was the ordinary worship and communications (as with Moses for what he had to give to the people at the ark).

Then the altar of incense; this was to be before the veil, that is, by the ark of the testimony, "where I will meet, saith he, with thee." Aaron was to burn incense on this every morning, and so in the evening. It was without for use, but it belonged within, and was kodesh hakkadashim (holy of holies). When he dressed the lamps, and when he lit the lamps, he was to offer on it. This had nothing to do with burnt-offering, but was of priestly approach.

Note, though Aaron and his sons were only to order the lamps, it is now Aaron's office, and though the light was to burn always, yet it was de facto to be kept alight by night it appears. Then we have presented to us that connected with the manifestation of the Lord's presence in Israel. For the people as such, the remembrance of their existence involved the acknowledgment that they owed their life to the Lord, and His remembrance of them would make it forfeit, but for this acknowledgment which implied atonement.

For a priest as such, he washed his hands and feet merely for service, being already near to God - the two characters of the effect of God's presence in Israel. The whole chapter has its importance from this, that it is the account of the whole order of relationship, and its administrative power when the arrangements of God's presence were complete - what that presence involved in recognition or worship - there was not common use to the two altars of burnt-offering and incense. These things for the exercise of ministry were not mentioned before.

221 Exodus 28

- 6. There is gold in the ephod and girdle, not in the veil, see chapter 26:1 and 31; no cherubim. In chapter 26:1 and 31 there are linen, blue, purple, scarlet, no gold but cherubim. In verse 33 of this chapter we have only blue, purple, scarlet.

- 26. On the edge thereof, over against the ephod within.

- 27. Does it not look as though the kith'photh (sides) did not go down below the waist, not further than the girdle, or what is makh'bar't'to (its coupling)?

- 29. This historically he never did; he went in his linen garments only on the great day of atonement. All was sustained in mercy; but the system, as ordered, had wholly failed.

What were the garments used by the High Priest on the great day of atonement? When did he use the garments "for glory and beauty"? Was it at other time than on his consecration? see this verse and 30, also chapter 29:29-30, and chapter 39:41-43. Was the breastplate on Aaron, when he went in to the holy of holies on the day of atonement? Leviticus 8:7-8, seems to explain it, i.e., in consecration; all were upon him in that chapter, but they were separated in service, compare chapter 16:23-24. The whole subject should be considered in reference to Exodus 28:2 and 40, and Hebrews 9:7 et seq, also Romans 2:10.

- 30-38. As to the priesthood, there are three subjects besides the persons of the saints whose names He (Christ) bears on His shoulders and on His heart - their judgment in grace, and obtaining guidance for them in walk. Next, that His going in was to produce fruit, and testimony in us - the bells and pomegranates; thirdly He bears the iniquity of our holy things. All is thus thought of.

Exodus 29

- 2. For b'luloth (tempered) see note on Leviticus 2, and the second sense (to pour together) in Gesenius, and the force (to mix oneself, Hosea 7:8) of hithpolel.

- 4. Here first we find the expression "the door," etc. From verse 11 we learn that it was properly before they came to the altar, between the door of the court and the brazen altar. The laver is said to be between the tabernacle and the altar, see chapter 30:18.

222  - 6. The word here ne-xer (crown) is remarkable. It is his separation or consecration, the same as Nazarite as to the root.

- 9. The high priest's girdle was called (av'net) from its beautiful design in weaving; this only from girding. And note, this is quite a new scene, the dress of Aaron when he comes with his sons is, like theirs, quite different. His personal consecration was complete before.

Nothing can be more marked than the way Aaron and his sons are thrown together after verse 8; and then, as heretofore remarked, comes the sacrifice and offering. The previous part equally shows a living Christ anointed without blood; and see verse 21, also heretofore noticed all with him. But then this does show what is called mystical union - not real by the Holy Ghost, but all His people looked at in Christ, at any rate the children which God has given Him, He being a revealed Christ. But they are all washed together (for we are born of the life of which He lives, and purified with the purification with which He is pure), but He is anointed alone (vv. 5-7). His sons are not clothed as priests till after

But further he was anointed alone without sacrifice, as Christ received the Holy Ghost - witness of holiness and sonship; but He could not then be priest, nor is Aaron said to be consecrated by this - his hands were not yet filled. The first verse shows that for hallowing them to priesthood, the second ram was the ram of consecration (filling the hand); the sprinkling of blood hallowed them. Here seen all together (for without the sons He represented, there was no need of blood, but then there was no need of priesthood either, that involves others and blood) we must have the sons and of course necessarily Aaron with them, or there was nothing. Hence the ram is called the ram of Aaron's consecration (v. 26). His hands were filled, but in verse 24 his sons too with him, for if Christ goes with Himself as an offered gift, so do we thereupon (v. 24). Verses 19-25 give this consecrating part when they are all thus together (verse 26 is apart), hence in verse 27 we have the two mentioned - me-asher l 'Aharon ume-asher l'vanav (of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons).

223 What is called consecration is through death, as it is evident Christ's death must come in for His going to offer as priest in the sanctuary, appearing for us, but it is not the same as the hallowing, which is rather our idea of consecration. It was through death giving them somewhat to offer, as is said in Hebrews, filling their hands. Christ (Aaron) could be anointed on earth and sealed, because He was holy and the Son - but He could not be a Priest without something to offer, nor, as sin was come in, without blood, and so an offering to carry in. In one sense He was raised through the power of His bloodshedding, because having charged Himself with our sins, He must put them away to rise Himself - His resurrection is the witness of our being so, but then we are raised and consecrated with Him - "He hath quickened you together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." The anointing alone was the witness of Christ's personal absolute perfection as a Man taking us up in His work, of course then all that we bring into the partnership He has graciously taken up (our debts and sins) must be taken into account, and He, in blessed grace, took all the burden, but then we necessarily rise into the place with Him into which He enters as consecrated to God, i.e., as priests - as men walking in infirmity on the earth, He is priest for us - but as consecrated, our hands are filled to offer all the preciousness of that offering to God subordinately, and to our acceptance in coming as He does. Our gift is testified of, while we are accepted in approaching and worshipping. It is not offering in the sense of sacrifice - we do come, but as sinners, by that - but as offering the gift, our hands filled with that which has been sacrificed, death, and that is always the wages of sin, but not as a sin-offering, that was the first great thing, here the bullock, but as a perfect offering and sweet savour to God.

Verses 5-7 and 26 are the ones in which Aaron is alone (besides Christ being the Victim). In the second case we see Moses having his part - the distinct priestly part - what belonged to the offering priest. Christ of course was both Offerer and what was offered; but in the former, He was in living purity looked at apart, as consecrated to God as Priest, the heave breast, His own part, heaved up to God, not merely hatt'unphah (the wave-offering) but hatt'rumah (the heave-offering), but which as priest (Moses and so always afterwards) He ate, enjoying personally the intrinsic blessedness of the consecration and offering to God - worthy offering! This is true in general as far as we can go, verse 31 and following. But then He had His own apart (has) when Moses has the heave breast.

224 We must remember that the Lord Jesus (Acts 2) received the Spirit after His ascension, from the Father, which He shed forth on His disciples. In this case, in the figure, besides the blood on the ear, etc., the blood and oil were sprinkled on Aaron and his sons, and garments, etc., The introduction of Aaron here, I do not think a difficulty, because it is evidently on account of his sons, to give them their place which they could not have apart from him - and so it is said, "with him" - and we have our place with Christ, besides His personal dignity and excellence.

Notice here that in Leviticus 8 the tabernacle and altar were anointed, with Aaron, before the sin offering which is not in this chapter - this must be further inquired into.

- 36. As regards sprinkling the tabernacle, etc., with blood, we find that Moses offered a bullock for a sin-offering (see verse 12) and then here we have the altar sanctified khit-te-tha (thou shalt cleanse) not a-lav (it) but b'kap-per'kha a-lav (in making atonement for it), that is make an atonement for it - reconcile it. Hebrews 9 applies this to all. What I have to note here is that this was done after Aaron's sons were brought forward, and the anointing of the altar comes after this (v. 36), see verses 10, 12; compare Leviticus 16:14, 16. But we must again note that in Leviticus 8 the anointing of the tabernacle, and all in it was in connection with Aaron's anointing, before the sons and bullock and blood were brought in. This comes in in verses 13-15. The Lord taking possession of all things on the title of redemption, descending and ascending (Eph. 4) is plain, and their being reconciled and cleansed with blood, as in Leviticus 16; but this is in contrast with Messiah, for I doubt not it is when there, He descends and then ascends far above all heavens. All this is in a measure mature in my mind.

All things were created by Him and for Him, and so in result He takes them in point of fact, and so takes them with the redeemed as joint-heirs, though the title be evidently all His, and He, in this sense, is entered by His own blood. But He glorified not Himself to be a High Priest, but Him who said to Him: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." Now He was not set in the place of heavenly priesthood here, but His Person proclaimed as on earth, as personally qualified for it; and as such the Holy Ghost came upon Him - "I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God." But Christ thus as Son and Man was the Heir of all things; nor is His personal title as Man, divine love withal, the least difficult to comprehend, nor the consequent fact, already referred to, of His actually taking it (we being joint-heirs) in redemption - Aaron never went officially into the holy place in his garments of glory and beauty; and in this character of Son, it seems to me, Hebrews 1 introduces Him.

225 No doubt it shows Him sitting down, when He had by Himself purged our sins, but it shows a title of Son behind all this, and all things subsisting by Him; i.e., the Creation is looked at independent of its defilement by us (though it has been so), so He is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows - this was not receiving the Holy Ghost, as in Acts 2, after His ascension. His kingdom has a sceptre of righteousness - He has loved it and hated iniquity. It is what He is, not what He has acquired by redemption, for He acquired a title by redemption besides redeeming us; but here He is above Creation by inheritance, and I suppose the sanctifying the whole created scene to be the scene of the display of His Manhood glory in His own perfection (not as merely cleansing them because of us) is different from Creation - the anointed tabernacle was of course made - and from cleansing with blood, because of sinful creatures defiling them. All was, as the Son had created all, to be the scene of the Anointed Man's glory, who is the Son - and not as cleansed, though this was required and took place, but as the scene sanctified to God for that. The cleansing was a subsequent affair, and connected with need brought in by others; but this comes in in Hebrews 2 - and query if this does not show that in verse 9 we should read "everything" (pantos). Verses 6-8 give the title and purpose, and verse 9 brings in the way He had to take it up as things were; verse 10, in respect of the glory of God as Supreme, and as bringing in many sons to glory; verse 14, as destroying the adverse power; verses 17, 18 putting Him in the place of the efficient High Priest and the tempted Man. Hence man never entered into the Creation rest, though the works were finished; into God's rest through Christ's work, he (the believer) will.

226 And this fully explains Hebrews 5; it is calling (kaloumenos), in verse 5, "Thou art my son" - then verse 6, actual priesthood after Melchizedec, as to personal title too - and office, I righteousness and peace. The sufferings come in as to this "though" (v. 8), and then He is de facto prosagoreutheis (saluted) as such, so that now it goes within the veil. This leads on, of course, to the Aaronic pattern of priesthood in practice now (though in contrast) which supposes death, and blood to carry in; which, interesting as it is, is not our subject. But note we are in Him, and worship too, as above the Creation (Hebrews 7:26). What follows is application to conscience, and cleansing, and the blood needed for both us, and the heavenly things represented in the tabernacle; Hebrews 9:14, 23. So of eternal redemption, and eternal inheritance; and here consequently we have the passage referred to (v. 21), to which only Exodus 29:12, 36 refer as far as I know - these verses do. This opens out some fresh apprehensions of the place of the blessed Lord in His title, and also the epistle to the Hebrews. In this aspect also we may say every creature of God is good, being sanctified by the word of God and prayer. In this respect, to Christ, every creature - the whole creation to Him - must have been sanctified. That which we do in detail, was completely so with Him.

- 42. We learn thus what the door of the tabernacle is. The altar of burnt-offering was at it, and when the people came into the court before the brazen altar, they were at it, see note to verse 4 - just as Christ's cross was lifting up from the earth, but not in heaven, compare chap. 25:22. From this it would appear that we are warranted in looking continually for fresh supplies of direction as a constituted people, not merely as constituted to be a people, from the Apostolic office of Christ the Lord. It was iv-va-ed la-kem (I will meet you), I'dab-ber e-Zey-ka (to speak to thee) - hence it was at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation (as the other from the mercy-seat), and He met them. This is a most important point, and though set without where the people came, it was sanctified - a sanctified place of meeting - and hence the occasion of the notice. There was the continual burnt-offering; this was offered in the place of resort, without the holy place, whereby, though not the holy place into which the priests (believers) alone enter, access to the holy place is the way to the holy place of the world. Christ's offering-place was the world - sacrifice-place was the world - not the church; none but believers go in with incense, or eat the shewbread with frankincense, or trim the lamps within; but the meeting-place was sanctified, it was a place where God acted and met - it was cleansed on the day of atonement, and upon the footing of this, the Lord meets us Apostolically in every necessity of direction which our wants may give occasion to; I do not say this leads us out of Scripture, but, though not inconsistent with it, it is not a mere abstract original constitution, but a spiritually-afforded direction to them, not by the priestly, but by the Apostolic office of Christ.

227 The Spirit of God guides us, but we must remember, has guided the Apostles into all truth. In Matthew 28:20, we have the whole of this truth, and the comparison of the passages throws wonderful light on it. It is subjection - for this is the force of the Apostle's office, "for the obedience of faith" - but instruction withal and light for conduct by which we act vigorously. It is only so far as we are made partakers of the Apostolic spirit, that we can act really on Apostolic directions, yet it is obedience, "I will meet with you, to speak there unto thee." But then these were communications not within, not by Urim and Thummim, according to bloodshedding and cleansing in respect of responsibility and according to God, but not in the sanctuary. Manifested glory however sanctified it; it was God displayed without, not our going within - God also dwelt amongst them. Thus far it went, and it is a very important principle - never took place, not even with Adam, but by redemption - but it is not yet dwelling with Him, as Christ is entered as Man, and the disciples feared when men entered into the cloud.

I think, from an examination of the passages in which heave and wave-offerings are found, it will be seen that heave-offerings are a more absolute and entire giving up to God. Wave-offerings are presented to Him, sanctified by being thus presented, and He owned in them, but their need for the service of man, i.e., for the Church. When Aaron and his sons are consecrated, the heave-shoulder, the offering priests' part in peace-offerings, is burned; Moses eats the wave-breast, the part of Aaron and his sons, the priests in general. The general fact confirms it, the heave-shoulder was eaten by the priest who offered the blood, the breast by the others. The heave-offerings of the children of Israel were what were offered up to God - consecrated to Him. Note also Aaron is consecrated by the blood of an offering of sweet savour; the leper is cleansed by the blood of a sacrifice for sin.

228  - 45, 46. Note there is a reason why, as often observed God's dwelling with man is the effect of redemption only. All that God is, in the most glorious way morally, is revealed and made good in redemption. In sovereign grace and counsels, love, active love, righteousness, holiness, and man the redeemed, is brought to Him in redemption, to know what He is as so revealed, but to know it as in Himself. For as it is revealed in what is done for them, so they know it in Him who has made Himself known in doing it - they are brought to God, capable withal of knowing Him thus. They must therefore have Him with them, or the real full effect is not there - neither the glorifying of God in it, nor the necessary result in us - neither objectively, for the object is not present, nor the consequent effect subjectively in us. Compare Ephesians 1:4.

- 46. The first thought of one moved by the Spirit, being delivered, is: "I will prepare him an habitation"; and so is God's purpose in deliverance, though man may set wrong about it - at least He makes of His people an habitation, "They shall know that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God." But this thought is not the first accomplished. The Lord, walking all the while in a tent as to His formal house among men, and, even before this be well pitched, can say as to His work in grace: "Thou hast guided them by thy strength to thy holy habitation." The promise comes afterwards: "Thou wilt bring them in, Thou wilt plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established." Thus the people, wanderers as they were, dwelt in the habitation of His holiness; God walked in a tent, for we also are moving to and fro, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." David also proposes to build a house for the Lord; then another truth comes out - the Lord builds his house. But in effect Solomon - Christ, King in peace and Priest in glory - builds a house, whereof the pattern was revealed to David in spirit; "I have built thee an house." We also desire to build an house for God - God is minded to dwell among us, and that we should dwell in the habitation of His holiness; we dwell in Him, and He in us, and we are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. But in result Christ is Son over His own house, the true Solomon of whom it is written: "I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son." He will have to say, "but I have built thee a house" - this, as every other glory, is reserved for Him; we are that house, holding till that day our position through grace, for the house is built in Spirit now, as then in glory. For us what is important is to be builded together for a house, not to build a house for God, though the desire be good - and meanwhile to dwell in the house of His holiness in Him, for that is our house in the desert.

229  - 41, 42. I go back to these verses to note this only, to lead to the train of passages, for the thought which gave rise to it was not at the time of writing; note particularly, the sweet savour of burnt-offering continually, where God meets with Israel outside - though He speaks with Moses.

Exodus 30

The competency to minister actually, being settled in chapters 28 and 29, after the place and its arrangements and furniture were ordered, we have the place of God's meeting and presence with Moses and with the people, to speak to Him, as it was said: "I will dwell among the children of Israel, etc … that I may dwell among them." All these were for the actual ministration; the priest was so entirely looked at as a priest, that anointing him was not looked at as contained in the expression "man's flesh." This chapter just takes in all, consequent and hanging upon the end of chapter 29; i.e., the presence of God in the midst of the people, and the opening of the chapter is very sweet in that respect, incense, ransom, feet-washing, and the priest's service as to incense and light, and the savour of the incense to God, and the anointing for man.

- 10. The altar of incense belonged, though without, to the Most Holy Place - it had not any connection with what was done as approaching for acceptance. It was ko-desh kodashim (holy of holies) to the Lord.

- 12. How jealous God is of anything like glorying in the flesh!

- 18. Note the laver was made after all the rest, nor is this all; in the directions given, it comes after the incense (consequent on Aaron's consecration), and the ransom-money of the children of Israel; and it was used only for the priests to wash their hands and feet, when they were to be occupied with any service, and then comes the anointing oil. It was wholly a priestly instrument of service; they were washed at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, but it is not said in the laver, nor is any way intimated. The door of the tabernacle of the congregation was properly the entrance before they came to the altar - so, note, the disciples - "Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" - that was during Christ's life; but it was as having all things delivered unto Him of His Father, and come from God and going to God - as going on High after the sacrifice of Himself - that He washes His disciples' feet. And He was clean according to the word Himself - Ten archen o, ti kai lalo umin - so by the word He had cleansed and quickened them, as Aaron and his sons were washed together. This however in its nature, hence it will be true of Israel in the millennium, for we know the value of water as death - it came with the blood out of Christ's side. Still in essential nature it is the new divine life, though not so in death to sin which we count ourselves to have passed through; but the washing of hands and feet was within the Altar - the washing of feet by Christ as having gone out of the world to the Father, having passed through death.

230  - 32. Note the phrase "holy is it, holy shall it be to you."

The sweet incense is offered when he dresses the lamps in the morning and when he lights them at even. It is in connection, that is, with the lamps, i.e., we have the advantage of it when our light is in question - it is not in connection with sacrifice this. Query: how is common individual atonement brought in here? It is in connection with the service, no doubt. Perhaps they had their share as much in the priestly service, i.e., the fruit of it - the actual partaking was by washing; now it is not cleansed, but redeemed by a price. It is a memorial; the exercise of priesthood must be by practical cleansing and in the power of the searching word by the Holy Ghost. The Israelites are always before the Lord as objects in the service, the cleansed ones as in the service as priests - for light we have the comfort of intercession.

231 Exodus 32

- 2. Aaron was sadly ready - he feared the people.

- 5. "Mine eye affecteth my heart." His conscience would save itself but accredit the calf; it went on to long ages in Dan and Bethel. Whenever we give in to the flesh in divine things, it is always naturally so, for power only can deliver from nature.

- 10. How beautiful han-ni-khah (leave alone). He expected Moses to love the people, and interfere, but it was a terrible word "leave me to my righteous anger."

- 11-14. Jehovah says "thy" according to the people's unbelief - Moses says "thy," according to faith; and so here, in the relation by the Spirit he says "His." See also chapter 34:27, "with thee and with Israel"; they had a place by a mediator in (governmental) mercy.

- 31. Moses goes up specially to God here.

The character of Moses is certainly one of the most blessed in the word of God; still all man's conduct in the Scriptures is given us to judge by - to judge ourselves by - and I think I see in the breaking of the tables, man's righteousness it is true, but not a divine act - not that I think he could have done anything else then - it was surely righteous. How could he bring the precious open law of God into a camp which had already violated it, and was naked to their shame before their enemies? But I do not see that he had consulted God, in lowliness of spirit with Him, about the law, and "what am I now to do with thy law?" broken-hearted as to its honour and this result. Christ was in a different position - in the same as to Israel - but what a position He took, Himself the victim of all this! It is true He alone could, that is clear, but one feels the difference, and what a place as to the law and the condition of the people under it, He takes as victim. How, accomplishing righteousness, it sets aside the whole condition of the people by taking it in grace - this set aside all necessity of vindicating God's honour in acting as to the people - He did it gloriously, perfectly, in suffering, and accomplished all, and magnified the law and made it honourable.

I was led partly to these thoughts by the manner in which the Lord speaks always of it "which thou brakest"; He takes pains to make it the act of Moses, and it is a serious thing to break what God Himself has hewn out - the tables were the work of God. He had not consulted the Lord, though he had interceded for the people. God did not make the tables over again - Moses was now to hew them out, there was something lost; I think I see something of the same spirit in his intercession at the end of this chapter, most blessed devotedness, that which in a certain point of view the spirit of Christ must produce in us in its root and principle, that is the entire preference of God's people to self - but not the same nearness to the Lord as when he was up alone with Him, before the sin had been seen, and had excited his indignation. The effect of his hot anger seems still to cling about him in his intercession, and the Lord answers His blessed servant abruptly and shortly, according to His majesty; even in this (and not otherwise, because this blessed man was very near God) with the "froward he will use frowardness," for it was a hardy speech of Moses. Christ did it as sent - being come to do the will of God - the prince of this world had nothing in Him, but as the Father had given Him commandment, so He did; this was perfectness, divine in character, and man's place where, nothing but divine perfectness acted in Him - He alone could hold that place, but then we should hold none but obedience; thus the Lord returns, in His answer to Moses, to every man's own responsibility: "He that sins I will blot out; do thou go and lead the people according to the forgiveness I have already accorded" - for this intercession came after the forgiveness accorded on an intercession, entirely founded on God's glory and promise, not on a proposal to put himself into a place of vicarious responsibility.

232 In truth we have here a most important point. It was impossible to bring the law into camp - it would have been to put the law of God under the patronage of and beside a golden calf - to degrade it violated in the dust, and Him who gave it, with it. But being on earth, he cannot get out of the position of law and sin. The tables are broken, and all relation impossible - he judges the people in anger, and leaves the camp afterwards. This was not God acting, after the violation of the law, according to His counsels in Christ - Christ, so to speak, when this counsel of everlasting covenant was to be accomplished, was broken - and not the tables - to make an inseparable union because founded on accomplished righteousness, and not the impossibility of association because of accomplished sin, with which the law of God could have no community. And then see the other side of this truth - the time for the accomplishment of this counsel of grace was not yet come, and therefore God does not put it into the heart of Moses on the mountain to ask: "And what am I to do now with the violated law?" but, after having broken the tables of the violated law (having received in virtue of the promise to Abraham, etc., a pardon as to God's acts of government, and afterwards in hot anger broken the tables) he says: "Ye have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up to the Lord; peradventure I shall make propitiation for your sin." But the answer of God sets aside entirely the work of expiation, and casts each sinner on his own responsibility in this breaking of the tables, and proposed but rejected expiation - leaves entirely out the work of Christ, which places the Church on the ground of accomplished justice - God's justice - after a violated law.

233 Here God shews all grace in government - sovereignty which enables Him to spare whom He will, so that He is not forced to destroy the whole nation, but He governs, imputing to children, etc., and not holding the guilty for innocent, but He places them again under the law, which He writes anew - the commandments on tables which Moses had to make; and note here that it is this ministration which is the ministry of death and condemnation, for now it was that the veil was put on the face of Moses, to which the Apostle alludes in 2 Corinthians 3.

The whole of Christ's path was the inverse of Moses'; He comes down to make the expiation according to God's positive will, and presents on high the expiation accomplished, and goes up to intercede, fasts to have his extraordinary view with Satan, as Moses with the Lord.

After God has been with Moses face to face, in personal faithfulness in abandoning the camp, a nearness he never had before, he has all boldness in respect of governmental association with the Lord - but this nearness is exactly what the people cannot look at at all, his nearness in intercourse with God Himself, touching all that regarded them, for they were substantially under a violated law. Moses goes up, in a word, with a "Peradventure," which cannot be realized; each one that sins is to bear the consequence. Christ comes down to do God's will, and His offering is the accomplishment of it, Hebrews 10 (as well as keeping the law), and He goes up to present an expiation accomplished. The Church sets out on this ground; often men seek now to make grace carry on law as a rule - this was the ministration of death - grace but added to guilt, if the individual responsibility remained according to the law; and what is a rule violated? The comparison then of 2 Corinthians 3 and this chapter, etc., sets this point in a most clear and striking light.

234 Then grace as the ground of government and actual relationship, based on mediation (for Moses had found grace as mediator, and Israel was "His" people) is most lovely. First God will come up into the midst of the people to destroy them in their humiliation and taking off their ornaments, for they were gay on leaving God. God has time, so to speak, to consider, instead of having an insult before His face, and then He will not go up with them, for their stiff-neckedness would break out again, and He would be forced to consume them - but, on grace being fully revealed - Moses demands that He should go up because they had a stiff neck, for how should he carry them up else? The only means was that God should take them entirely to Himself and possess them.

As to the act of Moses, he was in it necessarily incapable of any possibility of taking the place of Christ; as man, his devotedness to God's glory and the people was magnificent, but it was man, and absolutely impotent in the circumstances, and that is the lesson - they rest therefore, each one under his own responsibility, unhelped. God can love His people, shew His grace, and those that were really saints bear, in view of the sacrifice to be offered, but there was no putting men on this ground now. Grace in government, precious as it was in the way, and understood by the saint to his heart's comfort, left the people in responsibility where they were. There is government for the saint, and responsibility for the saint, but founded on justification also - the government of God perfects life, and clears it from extraneous evil; then government, i.e., of the people, was to prove there was no justification even when that government was in grace, as all must be on God's part, seeing man is a sinner.

Exodus 33

- 7. Here Moses is down below, outside the camp to the end of chapter 34:1, when he goes up again. His own intercourse with Jehovah, of the highest character, was here.

235 It is to be noted here that the word for tabernacle of the congregation is not the same as the tabernacle - it is O-hel (tent) not misch'kan (habitation). Mish'kan is the dwelling-place, chapter 29:46, I'shak'ni (that I may dwell). O-hel is a tent, but the regular tabernacle was an O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation) as Moses' tent, was before it (the tabernacle) was made - a tent of appointed meeting. We have in chapters 39:32 and 40:2, the Mish'kan o-hel Mo-ed (tabernacle of the tent of the congregation). See Exodus 35:11, Mish'kan, eth o-ha-lo, etc. (tabernacle, his tent, etc.), see also chapter 36:13-14. The tabernacle of the tent of meeting, chapter 40:34-35; the cloud covers the O-hel (tent), and the glory of the Lord filled the Mish'kan (habitation), and Moses could not enter into the O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation), for the cloud abode on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mish'kan (habitation). Moses could not enter, because the cloud sha-kan (abode) upon the O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation).

We have ka-hal (congregation), Mo-ed (assembly), and E-dah (appointed gathering). The first called together ekklesia; the next, meeting with God in an appointed place, see the first mention of it in this verse - hence a feast. The last more an appointed assembly of the people. The two last are from ya-ad (to appoint).

- 12, 13. Compare Colossians 1:9-10, "Thy way," etc.

Exodus 34

- 7. Note the same account of the ways of God, is given originally in the second commandment in chapter 20:5-6.

- 9. Note in the history of the golden calf, the stiff-neckedness is noted already in chapter 32:9. Moses does not speak of governmental mercy, but goes above to God's own glory, and to the unconditional promises of His own purpose; but he associates, as often remarked, the people with it, which is faith as to this. But there is progress - his intercession at the door of the tabernacle is upon the general ground that they are God's people. Faith and the Lord's thoughts meet - God retreats into His own sovereignty, does not go on the ground yet of governmental mercy, for indeed they had cast Him off. But when God has revealed His goodness - Himself, as far as was possible - then Moses goes further, and begs God to go amongst them - puts himself as one of the whole company in God's revealed presence, and prays Jehovah as Adonai to go amongst them, because it is a stiff-necked people; he is amongst the people, but this is very holy boldness - and we know we need God's doing so, or how should we get through - and very beautiful, but founded on revealed grace. But in all this Moses shines greatly through grace; he is there - God revealing Himself - yet not confounded, or as dumb before Him; there is a just demand suited to God's glory - suited to the people's state and want. In God's threatenings, it was Moses separating from the rest, and making the tabernacle outside the camp, which brought God down to speak face to face with him, but it is a dreadful sorrow and burden of heart, when the people cannot be with God, but it is only one who has His mind for them; I say "one," for in such a case the heart is always isolated, God only knoweth its sorrows. In the energy of the master-builder, Paul "could travail a second time in birth" for them - this Moses' faith did not know; we have not "Peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin." The Lord give us his zeal for God's glory, and the holy boldness of His interests as intimate with Him, and to know how to travail in birth too, in the power of grace!

236  - 33. I apprehend that the sense given in English to this is right. See also the Dutch translation and Meyer. The force of this verse would be, "and Moses finished speaking with them having (or, when he had) put a covering over his face."

- 35. This would, I think, imply that at any rate, as long as he was getting these divine communications he kept the mas'veh (veil) over his face, except when he went into the Sanctuary. Even 2 Corinthians 3 which has been alleged for the opposite view, proves this - for it alludes so beautifully to the fact, in speaking of the veil on Israel's heart, that when it turned to the Lord, it should be taken off.

Exodus 36

- 35. Note again here, there is no gold in the veil.

- 37. Note the purple and scarlet here.

237 Exodus 38

1 - 18. Nor was any gold here.

- 25. There was silver offered, see chapter 35:24; but here only the redemption-money is noticed.

I think the position of the brazen altar and the laver, show the order of presentation to men of sacrifice and sanctification, of which repentance is the first form; the coming by sacrifice is another thing, yet that shows the adequate sense of sin. But then the character of sacrifice attached to it gives that of the repentance. It is not Christ's Person which characterises repentance (though that be necessary if in His name), but the sacrifice - if Gospel repentance - that is, the judgment of sin according to the responsibility of man, but of man having to say to God, for it is not the gold on the mercy-seat; only Christ, being presented in grace, His rejection becomes the measure of sin. But this is, I think, more the judgment of sin, not sins, not failure as man, and I doubt it is so properly called repentance.

The altar referred to the responsibility of man - to putting away guilt according to that measure; the laver, consecration in the way of regeneration, and sanctifying to God.

Then the ark, the coming to God, in the holiest.

In Ephesians, we have only the latter, the portion of a new creature.

Exodus 39

- 2. Here there is gold.

- 22. "The robe of the ephod" - this confirms the thought that the ephod came only as far as the Girdle, joined under it to the blue skirt, though the robe itself may (v. 23) have reached up to the neck, but it is doubtful. See chapter 28:31.

- 37. Of this only it is said to be set in order.

Exodus 40

- 9. As regards the facts of the Old Testament, of the holy places and vessels, they are these. When the tabernacle was set up, all was anointed. The altar of burnt-offering was daily sprinkled with blood, when Aaron and his sons were consecrated; see chapter 29:36. Blood was put upon the mercy-seat the day of atonement, but this was not to cleanse it, but it was also put on the altar of incense. But an atonement was made - a ka-phar - for the Holy Place by the former, and for the altar of incense, i.e., the places of approach, by the latter - there is nothing said of candlestick or shewbread - it is the place of priests (saints) approaching. The place without, and altar, was for sinners to come to God by - there God must act in His ways to bring them to Himself; that was another thing.

238  - 15. Note in this sanctifying no blood is used as to any, or anything - it is the sanctifying in itself.

- 35. Yet he was in the cloud on the top of Sinai. How the relationship with God is of His own grace and way!