(Exo 3:1 NASB) Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Exo 3:1: There is a controversy as to the location of Mt. Sinai. A fourth century tradition locates it on the Sinai Peninsula. But there is no archeological evidence whatsoever of Moses and ancient Israel being in that location.
The passage says that Horeb (Mt. Sinai) is located at the back of the desert (“west” NASB). The traditional location of the mountain does not fit that description at all. It is more likely that the location of Sinai to be in Arabia.
The name of Moses father-in-law here is Jethro, not Reuel (Ex. 2:18). Reuel is probably his given name. The name Jethro is probably associated with his title of priest (Ex. 18:1).
(Exo 3:2 NASB) And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
Exo 3:2: The Angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses in a blazing fire in the midst of a bush. The bush was burning, but it was not consumed. This is probably the same fire that Yahweh appeared as when He made His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:13-17).
(Exo 3:3 NASB) So Moses said, “I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
(Exo 3:4 NASB) When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
(Exo 3:5 NASB) Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Exo 3:5: Joshua has a similar experience years later (Joshua 5:14-15). Moses is on ground set-apart for service to Elohim. He is told to take his sandals off.
(Exo 3:6 NASB) He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Exo 3:6: This is the title of Elohim. He is the same Elohim we serve today. Yeshua used the same title in reference to His Father (Matt. 22:31-32). The Brit Hadasah (New Testament) does not attempt to start a new religion with a new Elohim.
Peter used this same title in referencing the Father and His love He showed us through Messiah Yeshua (Acts 3:13).
(Exo 3:7 NASB) And the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
(Exo 3:8 NASB) “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
Exo 3:8: The natural richness of Palestine, the variety and excellence of its productions, are attested by Scripture and also by other ancient writers. These ancient descriptions strongly contrast those of later travelers. But the expression flowing with milk and honey is used by ancient Greek poets in describing the land. There was obviously greater abundance in the time of Moses than there was in later times and today.
(Exo 3:9 NASB) “And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Exo 3:9: The cries of the sons of Israel have been heard by the Father. He is fully aware how badly the Egyptians are oppressing them.
(Exo 3:10 NASB) “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”
(Exo 3:11 NASB) But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
Exo 3:11: Moses is pointing out that he is nothing by himself. It is only through the power of Elohim that He is anything. It is through our weakness that His strength is made perfect (2 Cor. 12:9).
(Exo 3:12 NASB) And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
Exo 3:12: The sign that Elohim has sent Moses will be when they are delivered out of Egypt and they shall worship Him at Sinai.
(Exo 3:13 NASB) Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
(Exo 3:14 NASB) And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Exo 3:14: The literal translation of this phrase is very well stated as “I AM WHO I AM.” or “I am the One who Is.” This name expresses and absolute and unchanging eternal Being. He is unchanging throughout and beyond time. With that being the case, His Word must be the same way also (Psalm 103:17-18, 111:7-10, 119:89, 142, 144, 152, 160, Isa. 40:8, 51:7-8, Luke 16:17, John 10:35).
(Exo 3:15 NASB) And God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Exo 3:15: His name forever is the YHWH (Yahweh) (sp). In the Hebrew, it is essentially the same as the title mentioned in verse 13 as “I AM.”
(Exo 3:16 NASB) “Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.
(Exo 3:17 NASB) “So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘
Exo 3:17: Moses was to gather the elders of Israel. They were all to approach Pharaoh together.
(Exo 3:18 NASB) “And they will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt, and you will say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
Exo 3:18: Elohim had just said that He was going to deliver the people to the land flowing with milk and honey. But here He says to ask for a three days in order to give offerings to Elohim.
Elohim is not being deceptive here. He is going to demonstrate the true colors of Pharaoh. He was not going to even grant them a three days journey, much less a total release. Elohim wanted the elders and the people to realize the true heart of Pharaoh.
This is indicative of where the hate of Pharaoh is truly directed. He did not hate the people so much as he hates their Elohim.
(Exo 3:19 NASB) “But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion.
(Exo 3:20 NASB) “So I will stretch out My hand, and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.
Exo 3:20: Elohim is not guessing what will happen. He is giving Moses a description of what exactly will take place.
(Exo 3:21 NASB) “And I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.
Exo 3:21: When they left, they did not leave empty handed. As a matter of fact, they plundered the Egyptians before they left (Ex. 12:35-36).
(Exo 3:22 NASB) “But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exo 3:22: The Israelites are going to ask for back pay for 400 years of forced labor. The hearts of the Egyptians will be opened to the Israelites and they will give them everything they want.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas