1 ¶ Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Moses leads the priest of Midian’s flock to a remote part of the wilderness, the backside of the desert. The mountain of God, even to Horeb shows that by connecting with the word even that Horeb is the mountain of God.
1Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
Sinai was the name of the area.
Exodus 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
So, Sinai and Horeb will be used interchangeably for the name of this mountain.
1Kings 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God…32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Psalm 106:19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
Malachi 4:4 ¶ Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
The angel of the LORD is one way the presence of Jehovah God is manifested in our reality.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
The angel of the LORD is Jesus Christ who led the Hebrews in the wilderness.
Judges 2:1 ¶ And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
Which the New Testament makes very clear is God Himself.
Galatians 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
God the Father, the soul of God, the seat of His will, is a spirit and cannot be seen.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
But, in this case, God manifested Himself in a bush that burned but was not consumed, in a fire that did not consume. This attracts Moses’ attention and God speaks to him out of the fire.
Then, God demands that Moses respect that the area around this bush is holy ground, separate to God. Here is one definition of what it means to be holy or separated unto God. But, just remember that it is separated unto God by God. Something is holy because God says it is holy, not because you say it is holy.
Numbers 6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
In the following verse God requires the successor of Moses, Joshua, to show the same reverence.
Joshua 5:15 And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
It is then that God identifies Himself as the God of Moses’ ancestors, the fathers of the Hebrew people. Moses was afraid to look at this presence of God.