This is my name for ever - The name here referred to is that which immediately precedes, אלהים יהוה Yehovah Elohim, which we translate the Lord God, the name by which God had been known from the creation of the world, (see Genesis 2:4;). and the name by which he is known among the same people to the present day. Even the heathens knew this name of the true God; and hence out of our יהוה Yehovah they formed their Jao, Jeve, and Jove; so that the word has been literally fulfilled, This is my memorial unto all generations. See Clarke's note on the word Elohim, Genesis 1:1; (note). As to be self-existent and eternal must be attributes of God for ever, does it not follow that the לעלם leolam, for ever, in the text signifies eternity? "This is my name to eternity - and my memorial," דר לדר ledor dor, "to all succeeding generations." While human generations continue he shall be called the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; but when time shall be no more, he shall be Jehovah Elohim. Hence the first expression refers to his eternal existence, the latter to the discovery he should make of himself as long as time should last. See Genesis 21:33. Diodorus Siculus says, that "among the Jews, Moses is reported to have received his laws from the God named Jao," Ιαω, i.e., Jeue, Jove, or Jeve; for in all these ways the word יהוה Yehovah may be pronounced; and in this way I have seen it on Egyptian monuments. See Diod., lib. l., c. xciv.
The Lord God - Better, Jehovah יהוה yehovâh God of your fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. It corresponds exactly to the preceding verse, the words “I am” and “Jehovah” (Yahweh) being equivalent. This name met all the requirements of Moses, involving a two-fold pledge of accomplishment; the pledges of ancient benefits and of a new manifestation.
Name memorial - The name signifies that by which God makes Himself known, the memorial that by which His people worship Him.
While Moses was living in retirement, the Lord sent his angels to especially instruct him in regard to the future. Here he learned more fully the great lesson of self-control and humility. He kept the flocks of Jethro, and while he was performing his humble duties as a shepherd, God was preparing him to become a spiritual shepherd of his sheep, even of his people Israel. He had been fully qualified as a general, to stand at the head of armies, and now the Lord would have him learn the duties, and perform the offices of a faithful shepherd of his people, to tenderly care for his erring, straying sheep. As Moses led the flock to the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb, “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush. And he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task-masters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me; and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.—Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 3SG 187.1Read in context »
Christ was using the great name of God that was given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence. [See Ex. 3:14.] Isaiah also saw Christ, and his prophetic words are full of significance. He says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Speaking through him, the Lord says, “I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.... Fear not: for I am with thee.... I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.... Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he.... I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King” (Isaiah 43:3-15).... When Jesus came to our world, He proclaimed Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).... TMK 12.3Read in context »
The whole matter was quickly made known to the Egyptians, and, greatly exaggerated, soon reached the ears of Pharaoh. It was represented to the king that this act meant much; that Moses designed to lead his people against the Egyptians, to overthrow the government, and to seat himself upon the throne; and that there could be no security for the kingdom while he lived. It was at once determined by the monarch that he should die; but, becoming aware of his danger, he made his escape and fled toward Arabia. PP 247.1
The Lord directed his course, and he found a home with Jethro, the priest and prince of Midian, who was also a worshiper of God. After a time Moses married one of the daughters of Jethro; and here, in the service of his father-in-law, as keeper of his flocks, he remained forty years. PP 247.2
In slaying the Egyptian, Moses had fallen into the same error so often committed by his fathers, of taking into their own hands the work that God had promised to do. It was not God's will to deliver His people by warfare, as Moses thought, but by His own mighty power, that the glory might be ascribed to Him alone. Yet even this rash act was overruled by God to accomplish His purposes. Moses was not prepared for his great work. He had yet to learn the same lesson of faith that Abraham and Jacob had been taught—not to rely upon human strength or wisdom, but upon the power of God for the fulfillment of His promises. And there were other lessons that, amid the solitude of the mountains, Moses was to receive. In the school of self-denial and hardship he was to learn patience, to temper his passions. Before he could govern wisely, he must be trained to obey. His own heart must be fully in harmony with God before he could teach the knowledge of His will to Israel. By his own experience he must be prepared to exercise a fatherly care over all who needed his help. PP 247.3
Man would have dispensed with that long period of toil and obscurity, deeming it a great loss of time. But Infinite Wisdom called him who was to become the leader of his people to spend forty years in the humble work of a shepherd. The habits of caretaking, of self-forgetfulness and tender solicitude for his flock, thus developed, would prepare him to become the compassionate, longsuffering shepherd of Israel. No advantage that human training or culture could bestow, could be a substitute for this experience. PP 247.4Read in context »