Aug 6 – 9 Pentecost
The Shinning Face of Moses
Background: This passage falls near the end of Exodus; specifically at the end of a section entitled The Breaking and Renewal of the Covenant. In this passage Moses returns from Mount Sinai with a new set of the laws of the Covenant between God and Israel. This passage sets the stage for the orthodoxy of Judaism.
Theme: Moses has led the Israelites out of bondage into the Promise land. Moses has gone up on Mount Sinai to receive the Covenant between God and Israel. On Moses’ first endeavor up the mountain Israel turned away from God and worshiped the golden calf. This account is Moses’ second attempt at obtaining the law of the covenant.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Exodus 34:29-35. In addition, please read Exodus 31:18-34:28 for context.
* What is the setting for this passage? What has occurred in Israel’s past that has led them to this location and situation?
* How did Moses come by the tablets in this account? How does this differ from the previous account of Moses receiving the law?
* How might you explain the differences between the account in Chapter 31 and Chapter 34?
* In the first account of Moses receiving the law there was no indication that there was a change in Moses’ appearance. In this, the second receipt of the law, Moses face shines. Why might this difference occur in the two accounts?
* What might Moses’ shining face signify? Why might Moses’ shining face cause the Israelites, especially the elders, to be in fear?
* Why would the leaders turn (or return) to Moses once he speaks to them? How does Moses speaking allay the fears of the leaders of Israel?
* What was the function of the tent of meeting?
* Why would the Israelites want Moses to cover his face?
* Why would Moses be compelled to uncover his face when he goes in before God?
* What do you think Moses’ function is between God and Israel, as demonstrated in this passage?
* What is the significance of this passage to us today?
* Do you think people’s faces shine today? Or do you think Moses’ face was the only face to shine, since he is the only person who has seen God in person?
* How does this passage fit into the life and ministry of our faith today?