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These small group studies of Exodus 24 contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Exodus 24 Inductive Bible Study – God’s Covenant With Israel


  1. God calls a meeting between Him and Moses (1-2)
  2. The people agree to obey the words of the Lord (3)

III. The people sacrifice to the Lord and agree again to obey the covenant (4-8)

  1. Moses and the elders see God (9-11)
  2. Moses goes up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments (12-18)
  3. Verses 1-2

Why do you think God said only Moses was to go close?

  1. Moses was God’s representative to the people. In a way, he was a type of Christ because he acted like a kind of mediator to go between God and man. These special privileges showed God’s appointment of Moses as leader to all the people. It helped to ensure that the people would respect and obey his leadership. God gave Moses frequent divine revelation to lead the people.
  2. Verse 3

What was the people’s response to all of the laws we have been reading about in the last couple of chapters?

Was this response good? Did they actually do what they said they would do?

  1. This was Moses’ job. He took God’s message to the people. Remember that the people were too scared (probably because of their own sin combined with God’s awesome power) to listen to God’s voice themselves. They wanted Moses to be the messenger.
  2. To their credit, the people agreed whole heartedly to do what God said. This was likely partly because of positive “peer pressure.” You wouldn’t want to be the only one refusing to obey God. But it is also because generally speaking it is easy to say that you will obey God. Let’s have a test now. Do you guys all agree to obey the principles from God we have learned in the last few chapters? Yeah, I expected all of us would commit to doing it. But question, are we all and will we will all continue to do it? The Israelites twice in this chapter affirmed their commitment to obey, yet only weeks later were committing horrific idolatry and revelry.

We would do well to remember the parable in Matthew 21:29-31.

III. Verses 4-8

Discussion Questions

Why did Moses write down what God said since he had already recounted it to the people? What is the advantage of written Scripture as opposed to just oral?

What was the purpose of the altar? How about the purpose of the 12 pillars?

Why was it not yet the Levites who were offering the sacrifices?

What was the purpose of these sacrifices? Aren’t they brutal?

What does it mean the “blood of the covenant?” Why sprinkle the people with blood?

Verse by Verse Commentary

  1. Verse 4 likely refers to Moses writing down part of the Bible. At the very least it shows he has a habit of writing down God’s words, making him a perfect candidate for God choosing him to write part of the Scripture. (If extra time I can say a sentence in one person’s ear and then go around the table and see if it will change.) There are many advantages of written Scripture, including an objective standard everybody can come to and an unchanging word. Oral traditions change over time (take for example the story of the flood which has bene passed down orally in many cultures.) But we can still compare the Bible to very old copies and find that it hasn’t changed. Also it means anyone and everyone can learn from it themselves. That places the burden to study on every individual believer and prevents one person from having too much power. That was one of the main causes of the Reformation. The Catholic church only allowed Latin Bibles, meaning only a few educated people could understand it. It gave all the power (power which was abused) to these select few. There was no accountability like we see in Acts 17:11. Even in the modern day cult leaders (like Daniel Jung mentioned in Texas) make use of this to control their cults.
  2. Moses got an early start on worshiping God. It is a small point, but one more place where we see that faithful believes worshiped God in the morning.
  3. These rocks next to the alter seemed to be a testament of the twelve tribe’s unity in agreeing to the covenant to worship God. Every tribe and family was represented. It was a national decision.
  4. At this point, the Levitical priesthood had not yet been established, meaning offering sacrifices for the nation was open to those whom Moses chose.
  5. Discuss the purpose of sacrifices again and why they were necessary. The blood of these sacrifices was a testament to the importance of this event, the people’s own sinful nature and unworthiness, God’s holiness, and a reminder that the people were inadequate to come to God based on their own merits.
  6. Verses 9-11

Why could the elders/Moses now go up to meet with God? What was the purpose of this event?

What does it mean that they saw God? Wouldn’t that mean instant death? What can we derive from the fact that only the footstool God stood on is described? Why would God stretch out His hand against them (and what does that mean?) Why did He choose not to this time?

  1. This was like the banquet meal to affirm the covenant between the two parties. The elders and Moses took this meal as representatives for the people. Do believer’s do anything similar? The Lord’s Supper and especially the Marriage Supper of the Lamb seem to be similar. This meal, kind of like a wedding feast, celebrated a new unity, agreement, and covenant between the two sides.
  2. Exodus 33:20 makes it clear that no one can see God’s face and live. Yet we do see some examples in Scripture where people see God, such as Moses in that very chapter, the elders and Moses here, and the three disciples at the Transfiguration. The most likely explanation as to how this can be is that they only saw a partial manifestation. God’s glory was veiled. Seeing His face likely would mean seeing the most intense aspect of His glory. The comment about what He was standing on may imply that they only saw this part or that they were afraid to raise their eyes higher than His feet. Either way, this was a great honor and reminded them of God’s holiness and their own sinfulness.
  3. God did not stretch out His hand against them (kill them immediately). God would be perfectly just to do this since they were sinners in His presence. However, He mercifully and patiently restrains Himself. The sacrifices and cleansing taking place in the preceding verses prepared them spiritually for this great encounter.
  4. Verses 12-18

Who went up on the mountain? Who was left in charge while Moses was on the mountain?

Why did a cloud cover the mountain?

What do you think Moses was doing during the first 6 days? What is this glory of God called? When and why does it appear? Why is fire so closely related with the Shekinah glory?

Verse by Verse Commentary

  1. The ten commandments were to be written on stone, likely to show their permanent and unchanging nature.
  2. Joshua went with Moses onto the mountain, a preview that he would be Moses’ successor.
  3. Moses left Aaron and Hur in charge. These leaders would later turn in a very disappointing substitute performance. They ended up giving in to pressure, which is perhaps one reason why God didn’t choose them for the head leadership role. The seem to do well when Moses is there, but clearly didn’t when he wasn’t.
  4. The Shekinah glory descended on the mountain. This denotes God’s presence and His holiness. It is clearly an impressive site and contains a holy fire, further demonstrating God’s glory and holiness. It shows that God is present with His people. But even when He is present He must come in a cloud to shroud His own intense glory.
  5. Moses likely spent the first 6 days preparing his heart spiritually for this 40 day long encounter.

Next Lesson:

Exodus 25-27. Read it ahead of time to understand the basic features of the tabernacle and its purpose. Write down thoughts and questions. We will hit the high points of these chapters next week.

Comment – What did you think of this Bible study on Exodus 24? We would love to hear your thoughts. Share below in the comment section.