They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Mount Sinai & The Mount of Transfiguration

I continue to be fascinated by the fact that the whole Bible is really just one interwoven story. The Hebrew (Old) Testament continually surfaces in the stories in the gospels and conversely the stories in the gospels are foretold and prophesied throughout the Hebrew Testament. One unbelievable example of this is found in the similarities between Moses’ trip up Mount Sinai in Exodus 24 and Jesus’ experience on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17 (also found in Mark 9 and Luke 9). Let’s take a look at these two stories and see if possibly Jesus, the second Moses, was emulating and fulfilling what had happened to Moses himself during the Exodus. At this point it would be helpful if you took the time to read all accounts of both stories.

  1. In both stories the main characters go up on a high mountain with God
  2. In both stories three men go with the main character. Moses takes Joshua, Aaron and Hur and Jesus takes Peter, James and John.
  3. In both cases, a cloud covered the mountain.
  4. In Exodus 24:16, it says,”For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the 7th day the Lord called to Moses. In both Matthew and Mark, the gospel writers are careful to tell us that it was six days that Jesus took the disciples upon the mountain.
  5. In both stories nothing happened for six days and then on the seventh day, God spoke.
  6. In both stories God spoke from the cloud
  7. In both stories God’s glory appeared and changed or transfigured the appearance of the principal figures as they were spoken to by God. (See also Exodus 34:29-30)
  8. The Glory of God “settled” on both mountains (Exodus 24:16 and Mark 9:7)

The Hebrew word for settle is “shakan” (Strong’s 7931) and means, ”to settle temporarily or to tent, or abide in a temporary dwelling.” Is it possible that Peter realized that Jesus was reconstructing the Moses story? Is he thinking, “What can we do to bring shakan like the Moses story?” So he says, “Let’s build something temporary (like shakan) – let’s put up some tents to duplicate the Sinai experience.” In Hebrew, the word mishkan, a derivative of shakan is used to say tent or tabernacle. Shakan is also where we get the word Shekinah, to mean God’s glory, or the divine presence. Peter wasn’t just trying to think of something to do, he knew the story!

Luke adds a wonderful exclamation point in his account of the transfiguration. It says in Luke 9:31, ”They spoke of his departure”. The Greek word for departure is “Exodos” (Strong’s 1841) and when “Exodos” is used in the New Testament, it is almost always used in conjunction with the actual Exodus story. The use of this Greek word wonderfully links Jesus death and resurrection with God rescuing his people out of Egypt.

Further proof that Jesus was fulfilling his role as the second Moses is found in Deuteronomy 18:15, where God tells Moses that, ”He will raise up another Prophet that will be like me” and then says, ”Listen to Him.” These are the exact same words that God uses at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5): ”This is my Son, Listen to Him.”

This comparison of Mt Sinai with the Mount of Transfiguration is just another convincing proof that the Bible is one long thread that is intricately and brilliantly woven together. We just have to look for the connections.

6 thoughts on “Mount Sinai & The Mount of Transfiguration

  1. Great article Bob. I found this example so exciting. How can we not get revitalized by the word?? We can. And to think there are so many more examples Jesus and Paul used to point to Jesus as the fulfillment and to
    show us the heart of the Torah, just like He said, He did not come to abolish but to show the heart of the Torah (fulfill). Wasn’t this weekend great with RVL? Greater than we could have even asked or thought. God is so good. I am so ready to spend my time on the text!! thanks and God bless, Rebecca

  2. Pingback: Acts242 » Where Heaven and Earth Meet – Part 2

  3. I’m very excited to have found this information. As I was meditating on The Lord I thought I heard Him say, my transfiguration was on mount Sinai. I quickly begun my research to clarify what God had spoken.

    Previously I had read that the transfiguration had taken place on mount hermon but after reading this I know in my heart that what I heard God speak to my spirit is what He said. Thank you! And God bless.

  4. I stumbled across this page because I was looking for possible evidence that the Transfiguration happened on Horeb. Reason being I stumbled across something in the Old Testament similar to what you wrote. Furthermore, though, I also noticed that Elijah, in 1 Kings 19, had his “burning bush experience” on Horeb when he ran from Ahab and Jezebel. Except Elijah heard a still, small voice. The correlation here is that BOTH Elijah AND Moses were running away/lost in the wilderness, and then came to Horeb, the Mount of God, and had a great Revelation to who God was, and it was Moses and Elijah who both appeared with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration.

  5. I to was looking for the connection of the Transfiguration the Ten Commandments and other things all may have been on the same Mountain. I mainly started out by doing a study about the mountains and what happened on all the different mountains

  6. Thanks for these great thoughts and correlation. When you mentioned the passage in Deut 18:15 about Moses telling them another prophet would come and they need to listen to him, it would make sense that he is speaking of Joshua (who would lead them into the promised land). Since Joshua is Yeshua (or Yehoshua), the double meaning that Yeshua would be the prophet to listen to in their time, and prophetically Yeshua (Jesus) in the days to come. Thanks again.

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