“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”
Why was this the mountain of God? Why was it special? Did people just make it their meeting place to go talk to God like a church today or did God set this mountain aside himself?
Robert Jamison wrote a commentary on the Blue Letter Bible. Here is the portion that refers to the mountain of God.
Mountain of God–so named either according to Hebrew idiom from its great height, as “great mountains,” Hebrew, “mountains of God” ( Psa 36:6 ); “goodly cedars,” Hebrew,“cedars of God” ( Psa 80:10 ); or some think from its being the old abode of “the glory”; or finally from its being the theater of transactions most memorable in the history of the true religion to Horeb–rather, “Horeb-ward.”
Psalm 36:6 “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. you, Lord, preserve both people and animals.”
Psalm 80:10 “The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.” “Its” in this case refers to verses 7&8 “Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.”
I suppose the answer to my question is unknown, however, I do like the insight this commentary provided.
Not related to my question, but while researching the commentaries I found this interesting thought by Matthew Henry:
I. How this appearance of God to him found him employed. He was keeping the flock (tending sheep) near mount Horeb, v. 1. This was a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it, and thus learns meekness and contentment to a high degree, for which he is more celebrated in sacred writ than for all his other learning. Note,
1. In the calling to which we are called we should abide, and not be given to change.
2. Even those that are qualified for great employments and services must not think it strange if they be confined to obscurity; it was the lot of Moses before them, who foresaw nothing to the contrary but that he should die, as he had lived a great while, a poor despicable shepherd. Let those that think themselves buried alive be content to shine like lamps in their sepulchres, and wait till God’s time come for setting them on a candlestick. Thus employed Moses was, when he was honoured with this vision. Note,
(1.) God will encourage industry. The shepherds were keeping their flocks when they received the tidings of our Saviour’s birth, Lu. 2:8. Satan loves to find us idle; God is well pleased when he find us employed.
(2.) Retirement is a good friend to our communion with God. When we are alone, the Father is with us. Moses saw more of God in a desert than ever he had seen in Pharaoh’s court.