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Bible: What Does Exodus 3 Teach Us About The Burning Bush?

Updated on September 15, 2016

Mount Sinai


The Burning Bush


Mount Horeb

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Exodus 3: Moses and the Burning Bush

While tending Jethro’s flock, Moses comes to Horeb, the mountain of God (v. 1).

[Moses adds two descriptions of Jethro that seem unnecessary: his father-in-law and the priest of Midian.

Horeb is another name for Sinai.

Why does Moses refer to the place as the “back of the desert”?]

He sees a bush burning there, but the fire does not consume it (v. 2).

[When he calls it “this great sight,” did he believe that it was something “supernatural”?]

Curious, he begins to approach the bush only to hear a Voice emanating from it, warning him not to come any closer.

It also commands him to remove his sandals, because he is treading on holy ground (vv. 2-5).

[Removing one's sandals in a "set apart" environment certainly has a cultural meaning, but what is it?]

Verse 6 identifies the Voice (and thus the Angel) with the God of Israel; hearing this revelation causes Moses to hide his face because he fears to look upon Him.

The LORD informs His servant that since He has seen, heard and knows all about what His people have been enduring in Egypt, He is sending Moses to Pharaoh so that Israel might relocate to a new land (vv. 7-10).

Astounded by this lofty commission, Moses, a lowly man at heart, questions God’s choice of messenger (v. 11).

Besides assuring Moses that He would be with him—God is very much aware that Moses going in his own strength would fail—the LORD confirms Moses’ “apostleship” with a “sign”: Israel will worship God at Horeb (v. 12).

Jesus, the Great I AM


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Did Jesus claim to be the God of the Old Testament?

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The Great I AM

Then Moses seeks information about what he should say to Israel when they ask him what God’s name is (v. 13).

[The term "name" refers to one's character or reputation].

In an extended discourse, God reveals to His servant not only His Name, but also Israel’s immediate future (vv. 14-22).

God’s name “I AM WHO I AM” speaks of His pre-existence, His eternality (v. 14; cf. Jesus' claim of this Name in John 8:58); I AM will remain His Name and His memorial forever (v. 15).

The LORD commands Moses to tell Israel’s elders that He will bring them up from Egypt and guide them to a beautiful land in Canaan (vv. 16-17).

[God uses His moniker “the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” twice in verses 15-16].

These elders will acquiesce to God’s instruction, and Moses (and they) will ask permission from Pharaoh to go with Israel on a three days’ journey into the desert to worshipYahweh Elohim (v. 18).

Knowing that Pharaoh would refuse their request, the LORD reveals His plan to strike Egypt with plagues; by so doing, He would bring about His will (vv. 19-20).

In addition, Israel will “plunder” Egypt; that is, they will ask for various articles and clothing from their Egyptian neighbors.

[The term "plunder" does not mean that they will violently steal from them; they only claim from the Egyptians the goods they had earned while in their service (vv. 21-22)].

© 2012 glynch1


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    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 2 years ago

      The Bible is sufficient to meet our needs; God speaks to us through His Word. After all the apostles "fell asleep," God "closed the Book."

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 4 years ago

      Anything particularly striking?

    • newjerusalem profile image

      victor 4 years ago from India

      Excellent thoughts!