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Burning Bush

BURNING BUSH. A thorny bush that Moses saw burning and from which he heard the Lord speak (Exod.3.2-Exod.3.3; Deut.33.16; Mark.12.26). Many attempts have been made to identify the bush, but without success. The incident is important because it is the first direct statement in the Bible linking holiness with the very life of God and making fire the symbol of that holiness. The flame that needs no fuel to maintain it (“the bush...did not burn up”) represents the eternal, self-sufficient life of God. Where this God is, holiness is, and sinners can draw near only by meeting the conditions God imposes (“take off your sandals”). This is the seed from which the whole Mosaic system grows. The unapproachable fire is seen in all its majesty on [[Mount Sinai]] (Exod.19.18), and this in turn is reflected in the undying fire on the altar (Lev.6.9). The same God who made the simple provision for Moses to draw nigh (Exod.3.5; cf. Josh.5.13) provided the sacrifices.