Exodus 34

Exodus 34


The LordI saidII to Moses,III

Notes on verse 1a

I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “said” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.

“CutIV twoV tabletsVI of stoneVII like the formerVIII ones,

Notes on verse 1b

IV “cut” = pasal. 6x in OT. This is to hew or carve. It can refer to either wood or stone.
V “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
VI “tablets” = luach. Root likely means glistening, so this would refer to a tablet as being polished in some sense, whether it’s made of stone, wood, or metal.
VII “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
VIII “former” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.

and I will writeIX on the tablets the wordsX that wereXI on the former tablets, which you broke.XII 

Notes on verse 1c

IX “write” = kathab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.
X “words” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
XI “were” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XII “broke” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.

Be readyXIII in the morningXIV and come upXV in the morning

Notes on verse 2a

XIII “ready” = kun. Properly, this means in a perpendicular position. So, it is set up in a literal sense – establish, fix, fasten, prepare. In a figurative sense, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous.
XIV “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
XV “come up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.

to MountXVI SinaiXVII and presentXVIII yourself there to me on the topXIX of the mountain.XX 

Notes on verse 2b

XVI “Mount” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
XVII “Sinai” = Sinay. Probably from the same as Sin (Sin, a city meaning “clay” or “bush);{perhaps from asam (to gather, store) OR from seneh (thorn bush) OR related to Aramaic siyn (a god called Sin) OR perhaps Hebrew siyn (related to mud or clay)}. This is Sinai – a place whose name may mean “bush of the Lord” or “muddy.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Sinai.html
XVIII “present” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
XIX “top” = rosh. Related to “former” in v1. See note VIII above.
XX “mountain” = har. Same as “Mount” in v2. See note XVI above.

No oneXXI shall come up with you, and do not let anyoneXXII be seenXXIII throughoutXXIV all the mountain,

Notes on verse 3a

XXI “one” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XXII “anyone” = ish. Same as “one” in v3. See note XXI above.
XXIII “be seen” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XXIV “throughout” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.

and do not let flocksXXV or herdsXXVI grazeXXVII in front ofXXVIII that mountain.” 

Notes on verse 3b

XXV “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
XXVI “herds” = baqar. Related to “morning” in v2. From baqar (see note XIV above). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
XXVII “graze” = ra’ah. This is to tend a flock, pasture, or graze. It can mean to rule or to associate with someone. Figuratively, it can be ruler or teacher.
XXVIII “in front of” = el + mul. Mul is perhaps from mul (to cut short, circumcise, blunt, destroy). This is in front of, opposite, with, abrupt. Literally, it refers to some kind of precipice.

So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and he rose earlyXXIX in the morning and went upXXX on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commandedXXXI him, and tookXXXII in his handXXXIII the two tablets of stone. 

Notes on verse 4

XXIX “rose early” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
XXX “went up” = alah. Same as “come up” in v2. See note XV above.
XXXI “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XXXII “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XXXIII “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

The Lord descendedXXXIV in the cloudXXXV and stoodXXXVI with him there and proclaimedXXXVII the name,XXXVIII “The Lord.” 

Notes on verse 5

XXXIV “descended” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
XXXV “cloud” = anan. May be from anan (cover, cloud over; figuratively, acting in a secret way, practicing magic or soothsaying). This is a cloud as something that covers the sky.
XXXVI “stood” = yatsab. This is to set oneself, take a stand, remain, continue, to station or set something in place.
XXXVII “proclaimed” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
XXXVIII “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

The Lord passedXXXIX beforeXL him and proclaimed,

“The Lord, the Lord,
a GodXLI mercifulXLII and gracious,XLIII

Notes on verse 6a

XXXIX “passed” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
XL “before” = al + paneh. Paneh is from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XLI “God” = El.
XLII “merciful” = rachum. 13x in OT. From the same as rechem (womb); from racham (to love, have compassion, have mercy); from racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is compassionate or merciful.
XLIII “gracious” = channun. 13x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is gracious, compassionate, merciful, having pity on.

slowXLIV to anger,XLV
and aboundingXLVI in steadfast loveXLVII and faithfulness,XLVIII

Notes on verse 6b

XLIV “slow” = arek. 15x in OT. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out, endure, delay). This is long, patience, or slow.
XLV “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
XLVI “abounding” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
XLVII “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
XLVIII “faithfulness” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.

keepingXLIX steadfast love for the thousandthL generation,
forgivingLI iniquityLII and transgressionLIII and sin,LIV

Notes on verse 7a

XLIX “keeping” = natsar. This is to watch, guard, protect. It can be positive – preserve or obey. It can be negative as conceal.
L “thousandth” = eleph. Perhaps from the same as eleph (herd, cattle); from alaph (to learn, speak, associate with). This is thousand.
LI “forgiving” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
LII “iniquity” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
LIII “transgression” = pesha. From pasha (to rebel, offend, quarrel; making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate). This is transgression, rebellion, or sin. It could be a revolt on a national scale or an individual moral one.
LIV “sin” = chatta’ah. From chata’ (to miss or go wrong and so to sin, bear the blame; it can also include the sense of forfeiting or lacking). This is sin itself as well as punishment for sin. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to sin that is habitual.

yet by no means clearing the guilty,LV
but visitingLVI the iniquity of the parentsLVII
upon the childrenLVIII
and the children’s children
to the thirdLIX and the fourthLX generation.”

Notes on verse 7b

LV “by no means clearing the guilty” = naqah + lo + naqah. Naqah is to be empty, cleanse, acquit, blameless, immune, innocent. It is to be clean or to make clean in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be bare in a negative sense, destroyed. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LVI “visiting” = paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge.
LVII “parents” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
LVIII “children” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
LIX “third” = shillesh. 5x in OT. From the same as shalosh (three, fork, triad). This is third or relating to the third. Here, it refers to a great-grandchild.
LX “fourth” = ribbea. 4x in OT. From the same as arba (four); from raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is fourth or related to the fourth. Here, it would be a great, great grandchild.

And Moses quicklyLXI bowed downLXII to the groundLXIII and worshiped.LXIV 

Notes on verse 8

LXI “quickly” = mahar. This is being liquid, which implies flowing. So, this word implies hurrying forward, whether in a positive or negative sense.
LXII “bowed down” = qadad. 15x in OT. Properly, this means to shrivel up. So it is used for bowing one’s head, bowing down, or stooping. It can be used to show deference.
LXIII “ground” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
LXIV “worshiped” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.

He said, “If nowLXV I have foundLXVI favorLXVII in your sight,LXVIII my Lord,LXIX I pray,LXX

Notes on verse 9a

LXV “now” = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
LXVI “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
LXVII “favor” = chen. Related to “gracious” in v6. From chanan (see note XLIII above). This is grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious.
LXVIII “sight” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
LXIX “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
LXX “pray” = na. Same as “now” in v9. See note LXV above.

let my LordLXXI goLXXII withLXXIII us.

Notes on verse 9b

LXXI “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v9. See note LXIX above.
LXXII “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
LXXIII “with” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.

Although this is a stiff-neckedLXXIV people,LXXV pardonLXXVI our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”LXXVII

Notes on verse 9c

LXXIV “stiff-necked” = qasheh + oreph. Qasheh is from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is hard, severe, heavy, obstinate, hard-hearted. Oreph is the back of the neck – also used for stiff-necked. It is also used for the back more generally in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXV “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
LXXVI “pardon” = salach. This is to forgive or spare.
LXXVII “take…for…inheritance” = nachal. From nachalah (properly something that was inherited; can mean occupancy generally or, more particularly, an heirloom or an estate; can be an inheritance, gift, possession, or portion). This is to gain as a possession, divide for inheritance. Also, to occupy for any reason.

10 He said, “LXXVIIII hereby makeLXXIX a covenant.LXXX BeforeLXXXI allLXXXII your people

Notes on verse 10a

LXXVIII {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXXIX “make” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
LXXX “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
LXXXI “before” = neged. From nagad (to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.
LXXXII “all” = kol. Same as “throughout” in v3. See note XXIV above.

I will performLXXXIII marvels,LXXXIV such as have not been doneLXXXV in all the earthLXXXVI or in anyLXXXVII nation,LXXXVIII

Notes on verse 10b

LXXXIII “perform” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXXXIV “marvels” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
LXXXV “done” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.
LXXXVI “earth” = erets. Same as “ground” in v8. See note LXIII above.
LXXXVII “any” = kol. Same as “throughout” in v3. See note XXIV above.
LXXXVIII “nation” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

and all the people amongLXXXIX whom you live shall see the workXC of the Lord,XCI for it is an awesome thingXCII that I will doXCIII with you.

Notes on verse 10c

LXXXIX “among” = qereb. Same as “with” in v9. See note LXXIII above.
XC “work” = maaseh. Related to “perform” in v10. From asah (see note LXXXIII above). This is a work – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
XCI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XCII “is an awesome thing” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
XCIII “do” = asah. Same as “perform” in v10. See note LXXXIII above.

11 “ObserveXCIV what I command you today.XCV See,XCVI I will drive outXCVII beforeXCVIII you

Notes on verse 11a

XCIV “observe” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
XCV “today” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XCVI “see” = hen. Related to {untranslated} in v10. See note LXXVIII above.
XCVII “drive out” = garash. This is to cast out or expel. It can be to exile someone or to divorce them.
XCVIII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.

the Amorites,XCIX the Canaanites,C the Hittites,CI

Notes on verse 11b

XCIX “Amorites” = Emori. Related to “said” in v1. From amar (see note II above). This is Amorite or Emori, perhaps meaning talkers.
C “Canaanites” = Knaaniy. From Kanaan (Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled; perhaps meaning lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt); from kana (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaanite, which in some instances would imply a peddler or sometimes used in place of Ishmaelite. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan
CI “Hittites” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hittite.html#.XyMgpp5KhPY

the Perizzites,CII the Hivites,CIII and the Jebusites.CIV 

Notes on verse 11c

CII “Perizzites” = Perizzi. Perhaps from perazi (rural area, unwalled land); from the same as perazah (rural, village without walls, open country); from the same as paraz (root may mean to separate; perhaps warriors, chieftan, or throng). This is Perizzite, perhaps meaning rural or wild one.
CIII “Hivites” = Chivvi. Probably from the same as chavyah (life-giving, which implies the place where one lives like a village or place where one camps); probably from the same as Chavvah (Eve, life-giver); from chavah (show, tell, live, declare). This is Hivite, perhaps meaning villagers or tent villagers.
CIV “Jebusites” = Yebusi. From yebus (threshing place; one of the former names of Jerusalem); from bus (to trample down, tread in a literal or figurative sense; to loathe, pollute, squirm). This is Jebusite, meaning treaders or threshers.

12 Take careCV notCVI to make a covenant with the inhabitantsCVII of the landCVIII

Notes on verse 12a

CV “take care” = shamar. Same as “observe” in v11. See note XCIV above.
CVI “not” = pen. Related to “before” in v6. Perhaps from panah (see note XL above). This is lest, if, or.
CVII “inhabitants” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
CVIII “land” = erets. Same as “ground” in v8. See note LXIII above.

to which you are going,CIX orCX it will becomeCXI a snareCXII among you. 

Notes on verse 12b

CIX “going” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
CX “or” = pen. Same as “not” in v12. See note CVI above.
CXI “become” = hayah. Same as “were” in v1. See note XI above.
CXII “snare” = moqesh. From yaqosh (ensnare, lay bait, lure, trapper; to snare literally or figuratively). This is bait, barb, snare, trap; a noose or hook to trap animals in a literal or figurative sense.

13 Rather, you shall tear downCXIII their altars,CXIV break their pillars,CXV and cut downCXVI their sacred poles,CXVII 

Notes on verse 13

CXIII “tear down” = nathats. This is to pull down, demolish, break down, raze, overthrow.
CXIV “altars” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
CXV “pillars” = matstsebah. Related to “present” in v2. From natsab (see note XVIII above). This is literally something that is stationed. So, it could refer to a column, a stump, some kind of image or idol, or a garrison.
CXVI “cut down” = karat. Same as “make” in v10. See note LXXIX above.
CXVII “sacred poles” = asherah. Perhaps from Ugaritic atrt (Athirat, Asherah, goddess who is wife of El) OR from Phoenician sattar (Astarte) OR from asher (to go straight). This is asherah – sacred pole or goddess Asherah or Astarte. It may mean “progression” or “happiness” or “fortuna.” See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%94#Hebrew & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Asherah.html

14 for you shall worship no otherCXVIII god,CXIX because the Lord,CXX whose name is Jealous,CXXI is a jealous God. 

Notes on verse 14

CXVIII “other” = acher. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is following, next, strange, other.
CXIX “god” = el. Same as “God” in v6. See note XLI above.
CXX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CXXI “Jealous” = qanna. 6x in OT– all in the Torah, all referring to God as a jealous God. From the same as qinah (zeal, jealousy, envy, anger, rivalry) OR from qana (to be jealous, zealous, envious). This is jealous.

15 You shall notCXXII make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostituteCXXIII themselves toCXXIV their godsCXXV

Notes on verse 15a

CXXII “not” = pen. Same as “not” in v12. See note CVI above.
CXXIII “prostitute” = zanah. This is being or playing a prostitute. Figuratively, it can also mean fornicating.
CXXIV “to” = achar. Related to “other” in v14. From achar (see note CXVIII above). This is after or the last part, following.
CXXV “gods” = elohim. Related to “God” in v6. From eloah (God, a god); from el (see note XLI above). This is most commonly used as a name for God. Technically, it’s in the plural, i.e. gods. It can also mean great, mighty, judge, or ruler.

and sacrificeCXXVI to their gods, someone among them will inviteCXXVII you, and you will eatCXXVIII of the sacrifice,CXXIX 

Notes on verse 15b

CXXVI “sacrifice” = zabach. Related to “altars” in v13. See note CXIV above.
CXXVII “invite” = qara. Same as “proclaimed” in v5. See note XXXVII above.
CXXVIII “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXIX “sacrifice” = zebach. Related to “altars” in v13 & “sacrifice” in v15. From zabach (see note CXIV above). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.

16 and you will take wives from among their daughtersCXXX for your sons,CXXXI and their daughters who prostitute themselves toCXXXII their gods will make your sons also prostitute themselves toCXXXIII their gods.

17 “You shall not makeCXXXIV castCXXXV idols.CXXXVI

Notes on verses 16-17

CXXX “daughters” = bat. Related to “children” in v7. From ben (see note LVIII above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXXI “sons” = ben. Same as “children” in v7. See note LVIII above.
CXXXII “to” = achar. Same as “to” in v15. See note CXXIV above.
CXXXIII “to” = achar. Same as “to” in v15. See note CXXIV above.
CXXXIV “make” = asah. Same as “perform” in v10. See note LXXXIII above.
CXXXV “cast” = massekah. From nasak (to cover, pour out, offer; by analogy anointing a king). This is a pouring out or over. So it could be pouring molten metal to cast an image, making a libation (pouring out a drink offering), or otherwise covering.
CXXXVI “idols” = elohim. Same as “gods” in v15. See note CXXV above.

18 “You shall keepCXXXVII the FestivalCXXXVIII of Unleavened Bread.CXXXIX SevenCXL daysCXLI you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you,

Notes on verse 18a

CXXXVII “keep” = shamar. Same as “observe” in v11. See note XCIV above.
CXXXVIII “Festival” = chag. From chagag (feast, celebrating a festival, making a pilgrimage; properly, going in a circle or marching in sacred procession; implies giddiness and dancing; reeling to and fro). This is a feast, a sacrifice as part of a festival, or the gathering of the festival.
CXXXIX “Unleavened Bread” = matstsah. From matsats (to drain out). This is unleavened bread – bread that is sweet rather than becoming sour with the flavor of yeast. Can also be used to refer to the festival of Passover, the staple food of which is commonly transliterate matzoh from this word.
CXL “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
CXLI “days” = yom. Same as “today” in v11. See note XCV above.

at the time appointedCXLII in the monthCXLIII of Abib,CXLIV for in the month of Abib you came outCXLV from Egypt.CXLVI

Notes on verse 18b

CXLII “time appointed” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
CXLIII “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.
CXLIV “Abib” = Abib. 8x in OT. This is a young ear or green head of grain. It is also the name of a month – Abib.
CXLV “came out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
CXLVI “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

19 “All that first opensCXLVII the wombCXLVIII is mine, all your maleCXLIX livestock,CL the firstbornCLI of cowCLII and sheep.CLIII 

Notes on verse 19

CXLVII “opens” = peter. 12x in OT. From patar (to separate, free, open, shoot out, emit, remove; this is to open up in a literal or figurative way). This is a firstling, firstborn, or opening. It is the thing that is the first to open.
CXLVIII “womb” = rechem. Related to “merciful” in v6. See note XLII above.
CXLIX “male” = zakar. From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is male. Properly, perhaps, it means one who is remembered, which is to say a male.
CL “livestock” = miqneh. From qanah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is something that is bought, which implies property or possession. However, it is generally used of livestock – cattle, flock, herds.
CLI “firstborn” = peter. Same as “opens” in v19. See note CXLVII above.
CLII “cow” = shor. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant). This is bull, ox, head of cattle, cow.
CLIII “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.

20 The firstborn of a donkeyCLIV you shall redeemCLV with a lamb,CLVI or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck.CLVII All the firstbornCLVIII of your sons you shall redeem.

Notes on verse 20a

CLIV “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
CLV “redeem” = padah. This is to sever, which is to say to ransom. To secure someone’s release (by paying their debt to free them from slavery) and thus redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve. Can also be the redemption price.
CLVI “lamb” = seh. Same as “sheep” in v19. See note CLIII above.
CLVII “break…neck” = araph. Related to “stiff-necked” in v9. 6x in OT. From oreph (see note LXXIV above). This is to bend down, break, cut off, destroy, behead.
CLVIII “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.

“No one shall appearCLIX beforeCLX me empty-handed.CLXI

21 “SixCLXII days you shall work,CLXIII but on the seventhCLXIV day

Notes on verses 20b-21a

CLIX “appear” = raah. Same as “be seen” in v3. See note XXIII above.
CLX “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.
CLXI “empty-handed” = reqam. 16x in OT. From riq (this is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthily, in vain); from ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is emptily, empty-handed, without cause, in vain, ineffectually, or undeservedly.
CLXII “six” = shesh. This is six. Figuratively, it can be a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand.
CLXIII “work” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
CLXIV “seventh” = shebii. Related to “seven” in v18. From sheba (see note CXL above). This is seventh.

you shall rest;CLXV even in plowing timeCLXVI and in harvest timeCLXVII you shall rest. 

Notes on verse 21b

CLXV “rest” = shabat. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. By implication, it is to celebrate.
CLXVI “plowing time” = charish. 3x in OT. From charash (to scratch, which implies etching or plowing; to manufacture regardless of materials used; figuratively, to devise or conceal; a sense of secrecy so being silent or left alone or speechless). This is plowing or the season in which one plows. It can also refer to the ground.
CLXVII “harvest time” = qatsiyr. From qatsar (to cut down, be short, reap, curtail; used especially for harvesting grass or grain; figuratively, to be discouraged or grieve). This is branch, harvest, one who harvests. Properly, this means severed, reaped. It is the crop being harvested, the time of harvest or the one who harvests. It can also be a bough.

22 You shall observeCLXVIII the Festival of Weeks,CLXIX the first fruitsCLXX of wheatCLXXI harvest, and the Festival of IngatheringCLXXII at the turnCLXXIII of the year.CLXXIV 

Notes on verse 22

CLXVIII “observe” = asah. Same as “perform” in v10. See note LXXXIII above.
CLXIX “Weeks” = shabua. Related to “seven” in v18 & “seventh” in v21. From sheba see note (CXL above). This is a week or a period of seven years.
CLXX “first fruits” = bikkurim. Related to “firstborn” in v20. 18x in OT. From bakar (see note CLVIII above). This is first fruits – fruit that ripens earliest.
CLXXI “wheat” = chittah. Perhaps from chanat (to spice, ripen, embalm). This is wheat, referring to the plant or its product.
CLXXII “Ingathering” = asiph. 2x in OT. From asaph (to gather, assemble, or bring; to take away, destroy, or remove). This is harvest, a time of gathering crops.
CLXXIII “turn” = tequphah. 4x in OT. Perhaps from naqaph (to strike, cut down, surround, destroy, corrode, knock together, or enclose; to surround as a guard or like the sea; coming to the end of a festival time or enclosing in a net or trap). This is a revolution, circuit, end, a passage of time.
CLXXIV “year” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.

23 ThreeCLXXV timesCLXXVI in the year all your malesCLXXVII shall appear beforeCLXXVIII

Notes on verse 23a

CLXXV “three” = shalosh. Related to “third” in v7. See note LIX above.
CLXXVI “times” = paam. From paam (to move, trouble; to tap in a regular rhythm; to agitate). This is a beat, stroke, footstep, or occurrence.
CLXXVII “males” = zakur. Related to “male” in v19. 4x in OT. From zakar (see note CXLIX above). This is male – human or animal.
CLXXVIII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.

the LordCLXXIX God,CLXXX the GodCLXXXI of Israel.CLXXXII 

Notes on verse 23b

CLXXIX “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v9. See note LXIX above.
CLXXX “God” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CLXXXI “God” = Elohim. Same as “gods” in v15. See note CXXV above.
CLXXXII “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “God” in v6 & “gods” in v15. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note XLI above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

24 For I will cast outCLXXXIII nations beforeCLXXXIV you and enlargeCLXXXV your borders;CLXXXVI

Notes on verse 24a

CLXXXIII “cast out” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.
CLXXXIV “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.
CLXXXV “enlarge” = rachab. This is to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly. This is the verb that Rahab comes from. 
CLXXXVI “borders” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.

no one shall covetCLXXXVII your land when you go up to appear beforeCLXXXVIII the LordCLXXXIX your GodCXC three times in the year.

Notes on verse 24b

CLXXXVII “covet” = chamad. This is to desire, covet, see something as precious, lust.
CLXXXVIII “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.
CLXXXIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CXC “God” = Elohim. Same as “gods” in v15. See note CXXV above.

25 “You shall not offerCXCI the bloodCXCII of my sacrifice with leaven,CXCIII and the sacrifice of the festival of the PassoverCXCIV shall not be leftCXCV until the morning.

Notes on verse 25

CXCI “offer” = shachat. This is to slaughter, slay, or beat. It can be slaying for a sacrifice or in a massacre.
CXCII “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
CXCIII “leaven” = chamets. 13x in OT. From chamets (be or taste sour, fermented, harsh; dyed or of a dazzling color; cruelty). This is leaven or something leavened. It can refer to bread or extortion.
CXCIV “Passover” = pesach. From pasach (to stop, pass over, skip over, to spare). This is Passover – used for the feast, the lamb of sacrifice, the day, and the festival itself. It means exemption.
CXCV “be left” = luwn. This is to stay somewhere, usually for the night. It can mean abide, dwell, or endure. By implication, it can mean staying somewhere permanently. Taken in a negative sense, this would mean obstinance, particularly verbal. So, it can also mean murmur, grudge, or complaining.

26 “The bestCXCVI of the first fruits of your groundCXCVII you shall bringCXCVIII to the houseCXCIX of the LordCC your God.CCI

Notes on verse 26a

CXCVI “best” = reshith. Related to “former” in v1 & “top” in v2. From rosh (see note VIII above). This is beginning, first place, highest rank, chief thing.
CXCVII “ground” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
CXCVIII “bring” = bo. Same as “going” in v12. See note CIX above.
CXCIX “house” = bayit. Related to “children” in v7 & “daughters” in v16. Probably from banah (see note LVIII above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
CC “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CCI “God” = Elohim. Same as “gods” in v15. See note CXXV above.

“You shall not boilCCII a kidCCIII in its mother’sCCIV milk.”CCV

Notes on verse 26b

CCII “boil” = bashal. This is to boil up, roast, or bake. It can also mean ripen, produce, or seethe.
CCIII “kid” = gedi. 16x in OT. From the same as gadah (a bank or border of a river or stream). This is a young goat.
CCIV “mother’s” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
CCV “milk” = chalab. Perhaps from the same as cheleb (fat, finest, marrow; fat in a literal or figurative sense; the richest or best part). This is milk or cheese or suckling.

27 The LordCCVI said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance withCCVII these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 He was there with the LordCCVIII fortyCCIX days and forty nights;CCX

Notes on verses 27-28a

CCVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CCVII {untranslated} = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CCVIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CCIX “forty” = arbaim. Related to “fourth” in v7. From the same as arba (see note LX above). This is forty.
CCX “nights” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.

he neither ate breadCCXI nor drankCCXII water.CCXIII And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the tenCCXIV commandments.CCXV

Notes on verse 28b

CCXI “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CCXII “drank” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
CCXIII “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
CCXIV “ten” = eser. Perhaps from asar (to tithe, render a tenth of). This is ten or -teen. While 7 is symbolically the number of perfection, ten is also symbolically a number of perfection (but to a lesser degree than 7 is).
CCXV “commandments” = dabar. Same as “words” in v1. See note X above.

29 CCXVIMoses came downCCXVII from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenantCCXVIII in his hand,

Notes on verse 29a

CCXVI {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “were” in v1. See note XI above.
CCXVII “came down” = yarad. Same as “descended” in v5. See note XXXIV above.
CCXVIII “covenant” = eduth. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony, ordinance, decree, warning, or witness.

Moses did not knowCCXIX that the skinCCXX of his faceCCXXI shoneCCXXII because he had been talkingCCXXIII with God. 

Notes on verse 29b

CCXIX “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CCXX “skin” = or. Perhaps from ur (to be made naked, exposed, or bare). This is skin, hide, or leather. It can also refer to a body.
CCXXI “face” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.
CCXXII “shone” = qaran. 4x in OT– used 3x of Moses’s face shining upon coming from the presence of God. From qeren (horn or hill; a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power). This is something that gives off rays – it could be to shine or refer to horns. As horns, it could mean to gore.
CCXXIII “talking” = dabar. Related to “words” in v1. See note X above.

30 When AaronCCXXIV and all the IsraelitesCCXXV saw Moses,CCXXVI the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraidCCXXVII to comeCCXXVIII near him. 

Notes on verse 30

CCXXIV “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aaron
CCXXV “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is the same as “children” in v7. See note LVIII above. Yisrael is the same as “Israel” in v23. See note CLXXXII above.
CCXXVI {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v10. See note LXXVIII above.
CCXXVII “were afraid” = yare. Same as “is an awesome thing” in v10. See note XCII above.
CCXXVIII “come” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.

31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leadersCCXXIX of the congregationCCXXX returnedCCXXXI to him, and Moses spoke with them. 

Notes on verse 31

CCXXIX “leaders” = nasi. Related to “forgiving” in v7. From nasa (see note LI above). This is one lifted up or exalter. So, it could be prince, chief, ruler, captain, king, or vapor.
CCXXX “congregation” = edah. Related to “covenant” in v29. From yaad (see note CXLII above) OR from ed (see note CCXVIII above). This is a congregation, assembly, or company. It could be a family, crowd, or fixture.
CCXXXI “returned” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

32 AfterwardCCXXXII all the Israelites came near,CCXXXIII and he gave them in commandmentCCXXXIV all that the LordCCXXXV had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses had finishedCCXXXVI speaking with them, he putCCXXXVII a veilCCXXXVIII on his face, 

Notes on verses 32-33

CCXXXII “afterward” = achar + ken. Achar is the same as “to” in v15. See note CXXIV above. Ken is related to “ready” in v2. Perhaps from kun (see note XIII above). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
CCXXXIII “came near” = nagash. Same as “come” in v30. See note CCXXVIII above.
CCXXXIV “gave…in commandment” = tsavah. Same as “commanded” in v4. See note XXXI above.
CCXXXV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CCXXXVI “finished” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
CCXXXVII “put” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
CCXXXVIII “veil” = masveh. 3x in OT– all in this passage. From the same as suth (clothes, covering) or a word meaning to cover.  This is a veil.

34 but whenever Moses went in beforeCCXXXIX the LordCCXL to speak with him, he would take the veil offCCXLI until he came out,CCXLII and when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining, and Moses would putCCXLIII the veil on his face again until he went in to speak with him.

Notes on verses 34-35

CCXXXIX “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v6. See note XL above.
CCXL “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CCXLI “take…off” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
CCXLII “came out” = yatsa. Same as “came out” in v18. See note CXLV above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CCXLIII “put” = shub. Same as “returned” in v31. See note CCXXXI above.

Image credit: “Mount Sinai” by Audrey AK, 2010.

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