The discovery God was pleased to make of his glory to Moses at
the bush, ver. 1 - 5.
A general declaration of God's goodwill to his people, who were
beloved for the Father's sake, ver. 6.
A particular notification of God's purpose concerning the
deliverance of Israel out of Egypt.
He assures Moses it should now be done, ver. 7 - 9.
He gives him a commission to act in it as his ambassador both to
Pharaoh, ver. 10, and to Israel, ver. 16.
He answers the objection Moses made of his own unworthiness,
ver. 11, 12.
He gives him full instructions what to say, both to Pharaoh and
to Israel, ver. 13 - 18.
He tells him before - hand what the issue would be, ver. 14 - 22.
1: Now Moses - The years of Moses's life are remarkably divided
into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh's
court, the second a shepherd in Midian, the third a king in
Jeshurun. He had now finished his second forty when he received his
commission to bring Israel out of Egypt. Sometimes it is long
before God calls his servants out to that work which of old he designed them
for. Moses was born to be Israel's deliverer, and yet not a word is
said of it to him till he is eighty years of age. Even to Horeb
- Horeb and Sinai were two tops of the same mountain.
2: And the angel of the Lord appeared to him - It was an
extraordinary manifestation of the divine glory; what was visible was
produced by the ministry of an angel, but he heard God in it speaking to
him. In a flame of fire - To shew that God was about to bring terror and
destruction to his enemies, light and heat to his people, and to display
his glory before all. And the bush burned, and yet was not consumed - An
emblem of the church now in bondage in Egypt, burning in the
brick - kilns, yet not consumed; cast down, but not destroyed.
3: I will turn aside and see - He speaks as one inquisitive, and bold
in his inquiry; whatever it was, he would if possible know the meaning of
4: When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see it, God called to
him - If he had carelessly neglected it, it is likely God had departed and
said nothing to him. God called and said, Moses, Moses - This which he
heard could not but surprise him much more than what he saw. Divine calls
are then effectual, when the spirit of God makes them particular, and calls
us as by name. The Word calls, Ho, every one; the Spirit, by the
application of that, calls, Ho, such a one; I know thee by name.
Here am I - Not only to hear what is said, but to do what I am bidden.
5: Put off thy shoes from off thy feet - The putting off the shoe was
then what the putting off the hat is now, a token of respect and submission.
The ground is holy ground, made so by this special manifestation of the
divine presence. We ought to approach to God with a solemn pause and
preparation; and to express our inward reverence, by a grave and reverent
behaviour in the worship of God, carefully avoiding every thing that looks
light, or rude.
6: I am the God of thy father - He lets him know it is God that
speaks to him, to engage his reverence, faith and obedience. Thy
father, thy pious father Amram, and the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, thy ancestors. Engaged to them by solemn covenant, which I
am now come to perform. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to
look upon God - The more we see of God, the more cause we shall see to
worship him with reverence and godly fear. And even the manifestations of
God's grace should increase our humble reverence of him.
8: I am come down to deliver them - When God doth something very
extraordinary, he is said to come down to do it, as (Isa 64:1).
This deliverance was typical of our redemption by Christ, and in that the
eternal Word did indeed come down from heaven to deliver us. A
large land - So it was, according to its true and ancient bounds, as they
are described, (Ge 15:18), and not according to those narrow limits, to
which they were afterwards confined for their unbelief and impiety. A
land flowing with milk and honey - A proverbial expression, abounding with
the choicest fruits, both for necessity and delight.
10: I will send thee - And the same hand that now fetched a shepherd
out of a desert to be the planter of the Jewish church, afterwards
fetched fishermen from their ships to be the planters of the Christian
church, that the excellency of the power might be of God.
11: Who am I? - He thinks himself unworthy of the honour and unable
for the work. He thinks he wants courage, and therefore cannot go to
Pharaoh: he thinks he wants conduct, and therefore cannot bring
forth the children of Israel out of Egypt; they are unarmed,
undisciplined, quite dispirited, utterly unable to help themselves,
Moses was incomparably the fittest of any man living for this work,
eminent for learning, wisdom, experience, valour, faith, holiness, and yet
Who am I? The more fit any person is for service, commonly the less
opinion he has of himself.
12: Certainly I will be with thee - Those that are weak in
themselves, yet may do wonders being strong in the Lord, and in the power
of his might. God's presence puts wisdom and strength into the weak and
foolish, and is enough to answer all objections.
13: When they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say
unto them? - What name shall I use, whereby thou mayest be distinguished
from false gods, and thy people may be encouraged to expect deliverance
14: And God said - Two names God would now be known by.
A name that speaks what he is in himself, I am that I am - This
explains his name Jehovah, and signifies,
1st, That he is self - existent; he has his being of himself, and
has no dependence upon any other. And being self - existent he cannot
but be self - sufficient, and therefore all - sufficient, and the
inexhaustible fountain of being and bliss.
2dly, That he is eternal and unchangeable, always the same,
yesterday to - day, and for ever: he will be what he will be,
and what he is.
3dly. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in
his word as well as in his nature, and not a man that he should lie.
Let Israel know this, I am hath sent me unto you.
A name that speaks what he is to his people. Lest that name I am
should puzzle them, he is farther directed to make use of another name of
God, more familiar.
15: The Lord God of our fathers hath sent me unto you - Thus God made
himself known, that he might revive among them the religion of their
fathers, which was much decayed, and almost lost. And that he might
raise their expectations of the speedy performance of the promises made unto
their fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are particularly named,
because with Abraham the covenant was first made, and with Isaac and
Jacob oft expressly renewed, and these three were distinguished from
their brethren, and chosen to be the trustees of the covenant. This God
will have to be his name for ever, and it has been, is, and will be his
name, by which his worshippers know him, and distinguish him from all false
18: Hath met with us - Hath appeared to us, declaring his will, that
we should do what follows.
19: I am sure he will not let you go - God sends his messengers to
those whose obstinacy he foresees, that it may appear he would have them
turn and live.
22: Everywoman shall ask (not borrow!) jewels. And I will
give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians - God sometimes
makes the enemies of his people not only to be at peace with them, but to be
kind to them. And he has many ways of balancing accounts between the
injured and the injurious, of righting the oppressed, and compelling
those that have done wrong to make restitution.