God’s Verbal Interaction with Man, Part Five
Moses at Mount Sinai
According to the Koran, Allah is said to not directly communicate verbally with mankind. In the Holy Bible, however, God is said to have verbally communicated with men several times. In this article I will consider one man in particular, Moses, and the children of Israel at Mount Sinai.
THE KORANIC ACCOUNT
It is beneath the dignity of Allah to condescend to speak to a mortal with the exception of disclosing information or from behind a covering hidden from view or by dispatching a messenger who reveals with His permission what He pleases; certainly He is Exalted and exercises good judgment (Surah 42:51).
Allah made direct contact with Moses when speaking to him (Surah 4:164).
There is no comprehension of Allah’s character among those who say that Allah has never revealed anything to any mortal human (Surah 6:91).
Write of Moses in the book, he was selected to represent Allah, divinely inspired. We addressed him from the right slope of Mount Sinai. He came to Us and We communed with him (Surah 19:51,52).
Children of Israel, recall the approval and support I (Allah) have given you and raised you in status and dignity above all the other nations of the earth (Surah 2:47).
COMMENTARY ON THE KORANIC ACCOUNT
According to the Koran, Allah does not lower himself to speak directly to mere mortals. He may reveal something of new significance to someone but not usually. He will hide himself behind a sheet or send a messenger to deliver the message he wants to send people. Such as when Gabriel was sent to speak to Muhammad in order to reveal Allah’s word to him.
The Koran contradicts itself when it says that Allah does not speak openly to mortals. Then it says that Allah spoke directly to Moses. Moses was a mortal who Allah spoke to without something between them.
To speak directly to Moses Allah had to humble himself significantly for such an encounter.
Certainly direct face to face dialogue is not the only way to communicate with someone, but Allah did it with Moses. Moses was chosen by Allah to represent him.
Allah and Gabriel “We” called to Moses from the right side of Mount Sinai and spoke with him several days once Moses came up to them.
The Koran acknowledges that Israel was given by Allah a status higher than any other nation. The commentary in “The Holy Quran,” page 26, written by Maulana Muhammad Ali states that by “the nations” it is meant that this superior status was only during their time of triumph over their contemporary peoples. The implication is that it is not for today or for the future. To this I totally disagree. The only nation which will exist forever and into the new heaven and new earth will be Israel (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 9:6,7). Islam is destined to perish from the face of the earth and all those who follow it. No matter how many believe in it, how much wealth and land they acquire, or how many people they kill. Islam loses (Revelation 20, 21, and 22)!
Israel camped before Mount Sinai in the desert of Sinai. Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain (Exodus 19:1-3). The Lord told Moses to tell Israel, “you have seen what I did to Egypt and brought you to myself. Now, therefore, you will obey My voice and keep my covenant. You shall be a special treasure to Me above all people: for all the earth is mine. You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. Tell the children of Israel this.” Moses called the elders together and told them what God had said. The people pledged to obey the voice of the Lord and Moses told the Lord what the people said (Exodus 19:3-8). And the Lord said unto Moses, “Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you for ever.” And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord (Exodus 19:9).
It came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; And Moses went up (Exodus 19:16-20).
The Lord said unto Moses, “Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. Let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them.” And Moses said unto the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai: for you have charged us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and set it apart.” The Lord said unto him, “Away, you get down, and you shall come up, you, and Aaron with you: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them.” So Moses went down unto the people, and spoke unto them (Exodus 19:21-25).
COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT
God called to Moses out of the mount and summoned him up to Himself. God said that Israel would be His special treasure if they were to obey His voice and keep His commands. All the earth belongs to God, and Israel would be above all other people. The people pledged to obey. God told Moses He would come down upon the mountain in a thick cloud and speak with Moses in front of the people. He said He would do this so they would believe Moses forever.
When God came down on top of the Mount Sinai there was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud. Fire ascended into heaven as from a furnace and a voice spoke as a trumpet blast. Moses brought the people of Israel out of their camp to meet with God and spoke to God. And God answered him. Moses was called up to the top of the mountain by God and he went up. A boundary was set up about the mountain so the people would not come near the mountain lest God would break out and slay them. The entire mountain quaked and the people trembled.
God not only spoke to Moses but He spoke to the people as well. God spoke to Moses in front of the people showing them that He was speaking to Moses. God did not speak to Moses in secret but He spoke to Moses openly in front of the whole congregation. Here God is verbally interacting with over three million people. There was no doubt in their mind who was talking to them. It’s imperative that we believe Moses forever just as they were to believe forever.
Jesus said if you don’t believe Moses how will you believe me (John 5:45-47). And Jesus also said if they don’t believe Moses and the prophets they won’t believe someone who was raised from the dead (Luke 16:31).
COMPARING & CONTRASTING THE KORAN WITH SCRIPTURE
In the Koran Allah and Gabriel (we) called to Moses from the side of the Mount Sinai. This is different than in the Scriptures. In Scripture God called to Moses from out of the mountain. Then He came down in a thick cloud on top of the mountain and spoke. This shows a difference between the scripture and the Koran. In the Koran it was Allah and an angel that spoke to Moses. In Scripture it is God alone that speaks to Moses. There were no angels involved. The Koran elevates the angel, or angels, whichever the case may be, to a god type status even though the angels are created beings.
In the Koran and in Scripture Moses was called to the top of the mountain by Allah and by God, respectively, and in both accounts Moses went up.
The Koran says that god made direct contact with Moses. In Scripture God not only made dialogue with Moses but did so in front of the whole congregation of Israel.
In the Koran Allah is said to have given Israel a status above every other nation, which the commentary says is to have ended. In scripture God says that Israel will be a special treasure to Him above all other peoples if they obey Him and keep His covenant. Nowhere in scripture has God ever withdrawn this special status. This is a spurious commentary on the part of the Koran by the commentator and does not agree with Scripture (Romans Ch. 11).
Which God would you prefer to serve: The one who will not humble himself to meet with mortal man, or the One who is humble enough Himself to meet with mortal man.
The Koran does not accurately convey what is written in Scripture, nor does it have the detail of scripture on a subject.
Those interpreting the Koran are not accurate to the text of the Koran with their comments. The Scriptures are not to be treated this way. “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20 (KJV)
The Koran’s passages is a paraphrase of several English translations.
The Koran, translated by N.J. Dawood: A Penguin Classic.
The Qur’an, translated by M.H. Shakir: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc.
The Holy Qur’an, translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali: Ahmadiyya
Anjuman Isha’at Lahore Inc. U.S.A.
The Koran, translated by Marmaduke Pickthall: Everyman’s Library.
The Holy Bible is paraphrased from the King James Version.
The Liberty Annotated Study Bible: Liberty University & Thomas Nelson, Inc.