The Covenant Confirmed (Exodus 23:20-24:9)

Chuck CainOn May 31, 2015 the Adult Sunday School reviewed Exodus 23:20-24:9.

In Exodus 23:20-33 God provides reassurance to Israel and closes the suzerain/vassal treaty begun in Chapter 19. Warnings are given for disobedience, but blessings and promises also abound evidenced by the repeated use of the Lord’s phrase “I will.”

In Chapter 24 the covenant is confirmed and ratified by means of the first worship service in Israel’s history. Worship elements of a call to worship, reading the word, confession of faith, and sharing a sacramental meal are all present. Verses 1-9 are provided in a chiastic format. Seventy-four of Israel’s leaders are called to approach for worship. Moses tells the people the Ten Commandments and the Covenantal Code. Then he writes both down. Then he reads them to the people for their second hearing. The people respond twice with a commitment of compliance.

An altar is built, and burnt offerings and peace offerings of oxen are given to the LORD. The blood drained from these offerings is collected. Half is thrown on the altar and half is thrown on the people signifying the confirmation of the covenant in blood by both parties. This action anticipates the future covenant in blood by Jesus Christ for his people.

The study is closed with a reading of Luke 22:20 and Hebrews 9:11-28.

Listen to “The Covenant Confirmed” (Exodus 23:20-24:9) at

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