Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said, “Look! This is the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you concerning all these words.” Bible see other translations

sprinkled it on the people.” “The people” here refers to the representatives of the people, not all the millions of Israelites, but nevertheless there would have been lots of people involved. This was the blood part of the blood covenant that we know as the “Old Covenant,” usually, but less accurately, known as the “Old Testament.” God expected the people to know and follow the covenant that they had agreed to, and here we can see one reason why. When the people agreed to obey God, and entered into a covenant with Him, animals were killed, and their blood was sprinkled on both God and the people (Exod. 24:6, 8). This would have been a very memorable event, and it is likely that the bloodstains of that covenant were on the clothes of many people for a long time. Furthermore, this event was then to be spoken of from generation to generation, which is why, many hundreds of years later, the prophets were still reminding the Israelites about the covenant (cp. Isa. 24:5; Jer. 11:10; Ezek. 44:7; Hos. 8:1).

“This is the blood of the covenant.” There are times in the Old Testament when this covenant, which is commonly known as “the Old Covenant” is implied to be a marriage covenant. That shows up in different ways in the Old Testament. For example, in Jeremiah 31:32, God says that because He made that covenant with Israel, He was a “husband” to them. Also, Israel’s worship of other gods besides Yahweh is referred to as adultery (cp. Jer. 3:8; Hos. 1:2), and when God finally leaves Israel, He speaks of giving her a bill of divorce (Isa. 50:1; Jer. 3:8). Also, there seems to be a parallel between Exodus 32:20 and Numbers 5:11-31. In Numbers 5, a wife suspected of being unfaithful has to drink water mixed with dust from the floor of the Tabernacle, and in Exodus 32, Moses ground the golden calf to powder, mixed it with water, and made Israel drink it.

Commentary for: Exodus 24:8