Exodus 24:16 NASB

16 The glory of the Lord [o]settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.

Moses is said to have been called from the midst of the cloud which would have entailed him being covered by the cloud

Did the cloud cover Moses or the mountain?

2 Answers 2


The cloud covers the mountain. Or, more to the point, it covers God's glory and from the cloud, God calls Moses.

You're just misreading the passage really - It is God doing the action (calling to Moses) and thus the locational adverbial description (from the midst of the cloud) applies to God. If it was Moses' location, then it would be: ""He called to Moses, who was in the midst of the cloud" or possibly "He called Moses to come out from the midst of the cloud" (that last is a little ambiguous in English).

Interestingly, we see a very similar passage in Exodus 3:4 (NASB),

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

We would have to rewrite a lot, if we thought that it was Moses whom the bush cleared. The grammar is just as true in 24:16.


Clouds as transporting and concealing

  1. to show God's physical presence, the Shekinah cloud of Glory (cf. Exod. 13:21; 14:19,20,24; 16:10; 19:9; Num. 11:25; Neh. 9:19)

  2. to cover His Holiness so that man would not see Him and die (cf. Exod. 33:20; Isa. 6:5)

  3. to transport Deity (cf. Ps. 18:9; 104:3; Isa. 19:1; Dan. 7:13; Nah. 1:3; Acts 1:9,11; 1 Thess. 4:17)

The cloud often serves to transport God and, at the same time, it serves to conceal his glory from human gaze. This is evident in the transfiguration narratives and in the presence of God speaking with Moses on the mountain.

The biblical writers see clouds as God’s swift chariot (cf. also Ps. 18:9; 104:3; Isa. 19:1; Dan. 7:13; Nah. 1:3; 1 Thess. 4:17). If we stop to reflect on this, we can imagine that people who never had the opportunity to fly in an airplane as it passed near or through clouds might easily be persuaded that clouds appear quite substantial and easily able to transport their passengers.

When meeting with Moses on Mount Sinai, God uses a cloud not only to transport himself but also to hide himself from Moses, lest he see his face and die (Exod 33:19-20). The assumption here is that God uses a cloud to travel from his throne in heaven to Mount Sinai. Cloaked in the same cloud, God hides his face. This is the Shekinah, the cloud of Glory (cf. Exod. 13:21; 14:19,20,24; 16:10; 19:9; Num. 11:25; Neh. 9:19).

  • 1
    The headline question mentions "six days". I see no mention of "six days" in your answer but you do mention "transport/transporting" 5 times. I think it feels as though your answer is saying Bible truths but not involved with the particulars of the question.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Mar 19 at 14:20
  • I read the questing as asking whether the cloud covered "Moses or the mountain." My reply shows that it is neither. The cloud is for God for the three reasons listed. Commented Mar 20 at 23:59

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