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He took the scroll of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken will we do, and be obedient.” Bible

“scroll of the covenant.” The scroll of the covenant, often called “the book of the covenant” was the initial part of what we today refer to as “the Old Covenant” or “Old Testament.” It included the Ten Commandments that God had spoken in a loud voice to the people (Exod. 20:1-17) and all the various laws God had Moses write down that God had spoken to Moses in Exodus 21-23. Thus the whole “scroll of the covenant” basically covered the laws in Exodus 20-23, or about 4 chapters. It was this scroll of the covenant that was read to the people of Israel, which they agreed to obey when they made the “Old Covenant” and were sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifices (Exod. 24:5-8).

The scroll of the covenant contains the very essence of the “Law,” which is torah in Hebrew (hence it is often referred to as the “Torah”). It is somewhat unfortunate that the Hebrew word torah became translated and generally understood as meaning “law,” because actually it means “instruction.” Anyone who has been to a legal library in the United States knows that it contains thousands of volumes of “laws.” There is no way that all the individual laws of a society could be written in so few pages as the Law of Moses. The “Law” of Moses is not actually all the “law” of Israel, it is only a small portion of laws, but they act as “instruction” for how to model the laws of a society. The Ten Commandments and Exodus 21-23 are a very solid basis for how to build a godly society.

Because the people agreed to obey the words of Yahweh, and because the other commandments in the Mosaic Law were based upon what was written in the scroll of the covenant, the other commandments in Law are also considered part of the Law and the Old Covenant. The Rabbis teach that the Mosaic Law has a total of 613 commandments.

It is worth noting that when Israel made the “Old Covenant” with God, the Ten Commandments had been spoken by God audibly and written down by Moses. Only after Israel made the Old Covenant with God did Moses go up Mount Sinai and get the Ten Commandments on stone (Exod. 31:18).


Commentary for: Exodus 24:7