Exodus 19:23 MEANING

Exodus 19:23
(23) The people cannot come up.--Moses probably means that they cannot do so unwittingly; he

Does not contemplate the case of an intentional trespass. But it was this which God knew to be contemplated, and was desirous of preventing.

Verse 23. - The people cannot come up. Moses can only have meant, that the people could not approach the mount unwittingly, since the fence commanded (ver. 12) was made. But to scale the fence, or break through it, was of course possible. (See ver 13.)

19:16-25 Never was there such a sermon preached, before or since, as this which was preached to the church in the wilderness. It might be supposed that the terrors would have checked presumption and curiosity in the people; but the hard heart of an unawakened sinner can trifle with the most terrible threatenings and judgments. In drawing near to God, we must never forget his holiness and greatness, nor our own meanness and pollution. We cannot stand in judgment before him according to his righteous law. The convinced transgressor asks, What must I do to be saved? and he hears the voice, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The Holy Ghost, who made the law to convince of sin, now takes of the things of Christ, and shows them to us. In the gospel we read, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Through him we are justified from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses. But the Divine law is binding as a rule of life. The Son of God came down from heaven, and suffered poverty, shame, agony, and death, not only to redeem us from its curse, but to bind us more closely to keep its commands.And Moses said unto the Lord,.... Upon his giving such strict orders both with respect to the people and the priests:

the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; suggesting as if there was no need for him to go down on that account, to give them a charge not to break through and gaze; since, as he thought, there was no probability that they ever would attempt it, seeing such a solemn charge had been given, nor any possibility of it, since such a fence was made:

for thou chargedst us, saying, set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it; and accordingly bounds have been set, that the people may not go up it, and the place has been declared sacred, that so none will presume to do it, according to the solemn charge that has been given: some (a) read the preceding clause by way of interrogation, "may not the people come up to Mount Sinai?" may not any of them? or, if any of them, who may? and there was the greater reason for asking such a question, since the priests that drew near to God might not, and so the next words are conceived to be an answer to it.

(a) So some in Vatablus.

Courtesy of Open Bible