New Defender's Study Bible Notes
24:1 seventy of the elders. No explanation is offered as to how these were chosen, along with Aaron and his two sons. Possibly they were among those appointed to Moses to help in the work of judging (Exodus 18:25). The number seventy may have been significant in commemorating the seventy founders who had migrated to Israel with Jacob (Genesis 46:27).
24:3, 7 will we do. This affirmation in effect sealed the promise made by the people in anticipation of God’s revealed law (Exodus 19:8), placing them firmly in the Sinaitic covenant.
24:10 saw. How these men could “see God” and yet live (contrast Exodus 33:20), is perhaps resolved by the reference to this event in Deuteronomy 4:12: “And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude: only ye heard a voice.” No man has seen God in His triune essence at any time (John 1:18). Thus no man can–or should ever attempt–to make an image of the Godhead. This supper in the presence of God, as the great covenant of the law had been accepted by the people and sealed with a blood sacrifice on the twelve-pillared altar, is a type of the coming “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:6-9).
24:10 the God of Israel. This appearance of God to the elders was a theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Note John 1:18; I Timothy 6:16.
24:16 abode. The Hebrew for “abode” is shakan. It was from this word, and the concept of God’s glory–here seen abiding, or resting, on the mount of the law, and later resting on the tabernacle–that the term shekinah originated for the glory cloud (Exodus 40:34).
24:18 forty days and forty nights. It is noteworthy how often this particular time is mentioned in Scripture. It was also the period of maximum rainfall during the great Flood (Genesis 7:4) the period of Elijah’s travel to Mt. Sinai (I Kings 19:8), and the period of Satan’s tempting Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2). Forty days was the period God gave Nineveh to repent under the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:4).