The Meaning of Exodus 34:23 Explained

Exodus 34:23

KJV: Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.

YLT: 'Three times in a year do all thy males appear before the Lord Jehovah, God of Israel;

Darby: Thrice in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord Jehovah, the God of Israel.

ASV: Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord Jehovah, the God of Israel.

What does Exodus 34:23 Mean?

Context Summary

Exodus 34:18-35 - Moses Brings The Renewed Tables Of The Law
For forty days, with no sustenance from bread or water, Moses abode on the Mount-absorbed with a passion of love and awe-not counting the hours which passed like a dream. He talked with God as a man face to face with His friend; but he was completely unaware of the marvelous transformation which this holy intercourse was effecting. At God's dictation he wrote out the covenant, as we have it in this Book, and finally God gave him the two tables of stone, on which He had imprinted His autograph.
With these in his hand Moses descended to the plain, unconscious that his face shone. See 2 Corinthians 3:18, r.v. The Apostle urges that we, as Christians, should first behold, and then reflect the glory of Jesus. We must be mirrors, for the purpose of shedding His light among our fellow-men; and in the effort to do this we shall become transfigured into His glorious beauty from one degree to another. The crowning glory of that transfiguration will be our unconsciousness: "He wist not." [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 34

1  The tablets are replaced
5  The name of the Lord proclaimed
8  Moses entreats God to go with them
10  God makes a covenant with them, repeating certain duties
28  Moses after forty days on the mount, comes down with the tablets
29  His face is radiant, and he covers it with a veil

What do the individual words in Exodus 34:23 mean?

Three times in the year shall appear all your men - before the Lord Yahweh God of Israel
שָׁלֹ֥שׁ פְּעָמִ֖ים בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה יֵרָאֶה֙ כָּל־ זְכ֣וּרְךָ֔ אֶת־ פְּנֵ֛י הָֽאָדֹ֥ן ׀ יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

שָׁלֹ֥שׁ  Three 
Parse: Number, feminine singular
Root: מִשְׁלֹשׁ 
Sense: three, triad.
פְּעָמִ֖ים  times 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: פַּעַם  
Sense: stroke, beat, foot, step, anvil, occurrence.
בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה  in  the  year 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: שָׁנָה  
Sense: year.
יֵרָאֶה֙  shall  appear 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: רָאָה 
Sense: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.
זְכ֣וּרְךָ֔  your  men 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, second person masculine singular
Root: זְכוּר 
Sense: male.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
פְּנֵ֛י  before 
Parse: Noun, common plural construct
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
הָֽאָדֹ֥ן ׀  the  Lord 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֲדֹנָי  
Sense: my lord, lord.
יְהוָ֖ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֵ֥י  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יִשְׂרָאֵֽל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.