Exodus 3:1 the mountain of God… Horeb
“Horeb, is the mountain at which the book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. It is described in two places (Exodus 3:1, 1 Kings 19:8) as הַר הָאֱלֹהִים the ‘Mountain of God’. The mountain is also called the Mountain of YHWH (Jehovah).
“In other biblical passages, these events are described as having transpired at Mount Sinai. Although Sinai and Horeb are often considered to have been different names for the same place, there is a body of opinion that they may have been different locations.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Horeb)
Exodus 32:2 the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire
The term angel of the Lord could be better translated as the Presence of the Lord, or Spirit of the Lord. It means the Spirit of Jehovah as seen by the Brother of Jared (Ether 3:13-14). The difference is that Moses is not allowed to see the spirit form of the pre-mortal Christ; it is hidden in the flame of fire and he is afraid to look upon it.
Exodus 3:4 God called unto him out of the midst of the bush
Spencer W. Kimball
Abraham found God on a tower in Mesopotamia, on a mount in Palestine, and in royal quarters in Egypt. Moses found him on a backside desert; at a red sea; on a mount called Sinai; and in a "burning bush" (Ex. 3:1-4 Moses 1:17) Joseph Smith found him in the cool freshness of a primeval forest and on a hill called Cumorah. Peter found him at the Sea of Galilee and on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Conference Report, April 1970, p. 121)
Exodus 3:5 put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground
This is Moses’ first temple experience. In the Jewish tradition, the Mount of Jehovah is the most holy spot in the world. It is the location where Moses was called and the Law of Moses was given. But what makes ground holy? Certainly, there are other locations which have been graced by the presence of the Lord. Consider Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum, Jerusalem, and the Temple of Herod. The Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb may make the top of the list. What of the Sacred Grove, the Kirtland Temple, and the Salt Lake Temple (and probably all the temples that have been dedicated to the Lord)?
The Lord taught Moses about sacred things and places. When Moses approached the burning bush that was not consumed by fire, the Lord commanded, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground (Ex. 3:5). We, too, have the opportunity to stand in holy places. Temples, church buildings, and your home should command your respect because they are sacred. (Ensign, May 2000)
Gordon B. Hinckley
We do not ask our people to remove their shoes when they come into the chapel. But all who come into the Lord’s house should have a feeling that they are walking and standing on holy ground and that it becomes them to deport themselves accordingly. (Ensign, May 1987)
J. Reuben Clark
I think that in every Latter-day Saint home the Spirit of the Lord is a flaming, non-consuming fire, there to light our way, to guide us, to protect us, and to help us do our duty, and every inch of space in that home is holy ground. We should never forget it. Always remember, and always live so that we shall not defile in any way the holiness of the home which should be ours. (Conference Report, October 1951, p. 59)
Exodus 3:11 Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh
“Moses' response to the Lord's call is typical of the response of most of the humble servants of God. Moses asked: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (3:11). Both Enoch (Moses 6:31) centuries before Moses, and Jeremiah (Jer. 1:6) centuries after, demonstrated great concern over their inadequacies when called to the work of the Lord. But the heavens compensate for those who will be taught and will allow the powers of the Spirit to work a mighty change. Indeed, marvelous miracles are wrought by those who acknowledge their own nothingness, while, at the same time, acknowledging and relying upon the Lord's omnipotence. Jehovah assured Moses that He would be with him and would give to him whatever strengths or powers would be needed to accomplish what surely seemed to be an almost insurmountable task; it would only be a matter of time, Moses was assured, before the whole house of Israel would be able to worship the Lord on that very mountain (3:12).” (Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3: Genesis to 2 Samuel [Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985], 98)
Neal A. Maxwell
Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:11.) Subsequently, after experiencing difficulty, "Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, . . . why is it that thou hast sent me?" (Exodus 5:22.) Nevertheless, after some needed tutoring, Moses loyally did as he was divinely bidden, just as did Enoch! (Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 115)
Moses felt his inability and incompetency to do that which was required of him. The work was too great. It was too profound in its nature and character, and it required that which Moses felt he did not possess in power and ability; and he felt his weakness… So it is with the elders who are called to go forth to the nations of the earth as ministers of the gospel. They feel their inadequacy. They feel their insufficiency… When Joseph Smith, the prophet, was called upon, the same as was Moses, how could he have expected to accomplish or be the means of accomplishing this great and mighty work that has been done, how he expected to see the beautiful cities and towns in this distant part of the country, in this great American desert; and yet this was the work that he was demanded of God to be the instrument of setting about to lay the foundations to accomplish (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 5, October 10, 1887)
Exodus 3:13-14 they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
What’s in a name?
Moses asks a fair question, “What name should I call you before the children of Israel?” The answer is not Jehovah. The Lord is identified by another term. “Out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name,” (D&C 107:4) Jehovah declares his name as “I AM” to the children of Israel (Ex. 3:14). “I AM” is a proper name for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The theology of the Judaism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses denies the idea that Jesus Christ was the pre-mortal Jehovah. John the Revelator, declared this truth in terms that any careful student of the Old Testament should understand. The scribes and Pharisees taunted Jesus as follows:
Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
…Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:53-58)
The text should read, “Before Abraham was I AM, (no comma)” using the term I AM as the proper name for the God who spoke to Moses. Indeed, this was the name by which the children of Israel were supposed to know God.
But was Jesus Christ trying to identify himself as the God of the Old Testament? The scribes and Pharisees sure thought so for “they took up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.” (John 8:59)
“[The fact that] they intended to stone him indicates they got the message that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, the great Jehovah. This was further certified at the cross when passersby ‘reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying .... If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross’ (Matt. 27:39-40). And the chief priests, scribes, and elders said, ‘He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God’ (Matt. 27:41-43).
“There can be no doubt that Jesus was successful in putting his point across… They didn't always believe him, but they knew what he said about himself.” (Robert J. Matthews, Behold the Messiah [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 229)
Exodus 3:19-20 I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go… And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders.
First of all, it is strange that the text talks about “Pharaoh” in verse 10 and “king” in verse 19. Different scribes are given credit for different portions of this chapter. That chapter 3 is a conglomerate of two texts is also evident in the repetition of verse 8 and 17. The take home message is that Moses is not the first person author of the first 5 books of the Old Testament.
Second, the Lord has a particular reason why he chose this Pharaoh to reign. It is the Lord’s intention to make a big show of his wonders in Egypt. God’s purpose would be frustrated if Pharaoh let the people go upon Moses’ first request. A stubborn response serves his purposes in several ways: 1) He proves his power over the greatest of mortal kingdoms, 2) He proves his allegiance for and love for the House of Israel, and 3) He performs these wonders as a type for the destructions which attend the Second Coming (Rev. 16).
Exodus 3:22 every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold
The Jews were to “borrow” expensive jewelry from the Egyptians, so when they left Egypt, they would take their gold from them. Sound dishonest? “In antiquity some commentators saw this as Egyptian compensation for the Israelites’ slave labor, or treatment in accord with Deut. 15:13-14.” (The Jewish Study Bible, ed. by A Berlin & MZ Brettler [New York, Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2014], 104) Unfortunately, much of this gold ends up being melted down to make a golden calf (Ex. 32:2-4).