Then Moses went down and told the people all the words of Yahweh and all the ordinances. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that Yahweh has spoken will we do.” Bible see other translations

“Then Moses went down.” Exodus 24:3 is Moses’ fourth time down Mount Sinai. Moses came down Mount Sinai to the camp of Israel at the foot of the mountain and told all the people what God said, which was all the laws and commandments God had given from Exodus 20:21, when he had gone up Mount Sinai to speak with God (his fourth time up Mount Sinai) until this fourth time down the mountain (Exod. 24:3). Moses wrote down all the things that God had said during his fourth time on the mountain, (Exod. 24:4), and that scroll of laws that God gave to Moses was called “The Book of the Covenant” (Exod. 24:7).

“and told the people all the words of Yahweh and all the ordinances.” God had said a lot in the 40 days that Moses was up on Mount Sinai for the fourth time (Exod. 20:21-24:3). Moses wrote down the laws and ordinances that God had spoken (Exod. 24:4), and called that scroll, “The Book of the Covenant” (Exod. 24:7) because those laws were the ones the Israelites agreed to keep when they made the covenant with God that we refer to as the “Old Covenant” (or, the “Old Testament”).

The laws in the Book of the Covenant, which was what God had said from Exodus 20:22-23:33, are very valuable moral and legal directives on many different aspects of life, and if followed would keep any nation and its people holy before Yahweh and well-positioned to have rewards in the next life. There are parts of it that seem very harsh to us today, but we must remember that on the Day of Judgment, we humans will not make the laws by which we will be judged, God made those laws. There is a spiritual war going on between Good and Evil, and the Devil’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people (John 10:10). Most ungodly people today conveniently don’t believe in the Devil and his agenda to make people and nations unholy to God, but their unbelief does not make the Devil disappear, it only distorts their perception of how life really works and what is important. What people believe will not change what God will do on the Day of Judgment. Also, although we may not have to enforce every one of the laws in the Book of the Covenant today, we must realize that only a few of the people of Israel had God’s gift of spirit (cp. Num. 11:16-17, 24-29). Therefore, the most reliable way to keep Israel holy before Yahweh was to give people clear laws on how to live holy before God and get the truly unholy people out of Israel because their evil influence would make it unholy to God and also jeopardize the everlasting life and rewards that people could have in the future. Any Israelite who did not like God’s laws was free to leave Israel and go to another country, but if they were stubborn and stayed in Israel they would be subject to God’s laws, just as any foreigner who wanted to live in Israel became subject to God’s laws (Num. 15:15-16).

[For more information on Moses’ seven trips up Mount Sinai, see commentary on Exodus 19:3.]

Commentary for: Exodus 24:3