Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Exodus 33

Verse 1

the LORD [Hebrew. Jehovah. said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and p. note on Exodus 6:10.

Verse 2

the. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, Syriac, and Targum of Onkelos, read "and the".

Verse 3

milk and honey = all kinds of good things. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), App-6.

Verse 4

heard. This shows Moses had descended again. man. Hebrew "ish (App-14).

Verse 5

children = sons.

stiffneeked People. These have to be humbled; but an afflicted people is an object for Divine favour Compare Ch. Exodus 2:24, Exodus 2:25; Exodus 3:7; Exodus 4:31.

Verse 7

tabernacle = tent; eleven times called tent; Hebrew. "ohel. Not the tabernacle, for this was not yet made, but a different building altogether, called "the tent of assembly "(see App-40).

without the camp. In presence of corporate failure God withdraws Himself. Typical of our own day. Those who seek Him must "go forth to Him. "Compare Hebrews 13:13.

Verse 8

man. Hebrew. "ish. See App-14.

Verse 11

the LORD spake. See note on Exodus 6:10, and compare note on Exodus 3:7.

face to face. To emphasise the communion in the presence of corporate failure; this must ever be individual and personal.

servant = personal attendant, as in Exodus 24:13. Hebrew n"ar, rendered "servant ". 2 Samuel 19:17. 2 Kings 5:20. Nehemiah 5:10, &c. = assistant.

Joshua. See Exodus 17:9. He had not been in the camp; and when Moses went out Joshua remained in the tent.

Verse 12

whom. As promised in Exodus 32:34.

by name. Compare Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 49:1. In the presence of corporate failure all is individual, compare 2 Timothy 2:19. (In 1Tim, we see corporate rule; in 2Tim, we see corporate ruin. Hence, 2Tim is individual throughout).

found grace: or, favour. All is of grace, Compare Exodus 34:9, &c. Noah (Genesis 6:8); Abraham (Genesis 18:3); Moses (Exodus 34:9), &c.

Verse 13

Thy way. Different from Thy works. Compare Psalms 103:7. "Ways " are esoteric, "acts " are exoteric; we must go "outside the camp "to learn the "ways". of Jehovah.

Verse 14

He [Jehovah] said. See note on Exodus 3:7, and Compare Exodus 6:10.

My presence. If this verse be punctuated as a question, then we can understand verse Exodus 33:15, "Shall My presence go with thee, and shall I lead thee into rest? "as much as to say, How can My presence go with thee after this rejection of Me?

Verse 15

he = Moses.

Verse 16

wherein . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis (App-6).

so shall we be: or, "and by our being".

earth. Hebrew. "adamah, ground.

Verse 18

he = Moses.

Verse 19

goodness. The glory could not have been endured; grace comes first, glory is reserved for the future.

I will proclaim the name. This is done in Exodus 34:5-7.

Verse 20

see My face. Compare notes on Exodus 23:15 with Exodus 34:20.

man. Hebrew "adder. App-14.

Verse 21

a rock = the rock.

Verse 22

a cliff = the clift or hollow.

My hand. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia (App-6).

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Exodus 33". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.