Chapter 10


A New Copy of the Covenant

        • Then the Lord told Moses to make two stone tablets just like the first ones, a wooden ark to place them in, and bring them back up the mountain where He would write the same words on these that had been written on the tablets he broke. Afterwards, the new tablets were to be placed in the ark. Moses obeyed and the Lord wrote the same words on these tablets that He had written on the first tablets while the Israelites had been gathered together at the mountain when the Lord spoke to them from the fire. Moses said, “I came back down the mountain, put the tablets in the ark I made, and they have remained there just as the Lord commanded.”

          • NLT Illustrated Study Bible reminds us that, “The ark was a gold-plated wooden chest that contained the stone tablets; it was kept in the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle or Temple (Exodus 25:10)… The Ark was the throne upon which the invisible Lord sat on earth among His people.”

        • (The Israelites left from Beeroth Bene-jaaktan (* or the wells of the people of Jaaktan) and traveled to Moserah where Aaron died and was buried. This is where his son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. From there, they traveled to Gudgodah, then on to Jotbathah, which is a land with many streams of water. It was at this point that the Lord set the tribe of Levi apart to carry the Ark containing the Lord’s covenant, and to serve the Lord as His ministers and pronounce blessings in His name, which they still do today. This is why the Levites don’t receive a land inheritance like the other tribes. Instead, as the Lord your God told them, He is their inheritance.)

          • On this parenthetical insertion Guzik writes, “This parenthesis speaking about the priesthood demonstrated the need for priestly sacrifice and intercession in getting right with God after a time of rebellion. Israel needed the sacrifice, intercession, and blessing that the Levites would bring to the nation…The need for a priesthood shouted to Israel: ‘You can’t do it on your own. You need to come to God through a mediator, who will atone for your sin, pray for you, and bless you. If you refuse your priestly mediator, and trust in your own ability to do these things, you will perish.’”

          • Some skeptics claim that this passage contradicts the Numbers 20:28 passage which implies that Aaron was buried on Mount Hor. However, the following two sources provide these answers:

            • HCSB notes, “This passage locates the burial place at Moserah, but since the modern site has not been identified it is impossible to prove a contradiction. Quite likely Hor was located in a region called Moserah.”

          • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible writes, “Its location [Moserah] is still uncertain; it is likely near to or the same as Mount Hor.”

        • Moses said that he remained on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights just as he did the first time and the once again the Lord listened to his pleas not to destroy them. Then the Lord told him to resume his journey leading the Israelites to the land that He swore to give their fathers.

A Call to Love and Obedience

        • Israel, what does the Lord require of you? Only that you fear the Lord your God by living in a way that pleases Him, love Him, and worship Him with all your heart and soul. You must obey His commands and statutes that I’m giving to you today for your own good.

          • Guzik writes, “God requires from us a reverential honor towards Him; not a fear that would make us shrink back, but a heart that so honors God that we would be hesitant to offend Him…God requires us to live our lives after the pattern He has set for us; to walk on His road not on our own…God requires us to love Him. This means the love He expects isn’t a love that just happens, but it is a love that comes from a decision to set our affection upon Him…God requires us to serve Him, to see all that we do as service unto Him, and to do all that we do as if doing it unto Him…God requires us to not only know His word, but to keep it – in the sense of possessing it in ourselves, and in the sense of protecting it…every command of God is given for our good. They are never given so He can exercise His power, or so He can feel important. Every command He makes is with our best interest in mind, even if we cannot sense it or understand it.”

        • The heavens, even the highest of the heavens, as well as the earth and everything in it belong to the Lord your God. Yet, He selected your fathers to be the particular objects of His love, devoting Himself to them, and choosing their descendants out of all the other nations, as is apparent today. For this reason, circumcise your hearts and stop being stubborn. Because the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. The great, mighty, and awesome God who shows no partiality and can’t be bribed. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, loves the foreigners living among you, providing them with food and clothing. You must also love the foreigners because you were once foreigners yourselves living in Egypt. You must fear and worship the Lord your God, remaining faithful to Him. The oaths you take must only be in His name. He alone is your God and the only one worthy of your praise- the one who has performed all of these incredible miracles which you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went into Egypt there were only 70 of them, but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

          • What does Moses mean that their hearts must be “circumcised”? The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes, “To circumcise one’s heart in order to become one of the Lord’s covenant people was the internal equivalent of covenantal commitment to the Lord, observable by God, not a human being. Circumcised Israelites loved God from the inside and out, and God sustained their trust in him.” Guzik adds, “Israel is said to have uncircumcised hearts in Leviticus 26:41, Jeremiah 9:26, and Ezekiel 44:7 and 9.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible also notes, “The phrase God of gods does not affirm the existence of other gods; rather, it affirms God’s absolute sovereignty over all powers in heaven and earth.”

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