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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Exodus 33

Verse 1

33:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, [and] {a} go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

(a) The land of Canaan was surrounded by hills: so those who entered it, must go up by the hills.

Verse 5

33:5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye [are] a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know {b} what to do unto thee.

(b) That I may either show mercy if you repent, or else punish your rebellion.

Verse 7

33:7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the {c} Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, [that] every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which [was] without the camp.

(c) That is, the tabernacle of the congregation: so called because the people turned to it, when they needed to be instructed of the Lord’s will.

Verse 11

33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses {d} face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

(d) Most clearly and familiarly of all others, Numbers 12:7-8 De 34:10

Verse 12

33:12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by {e} name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

(e) I care for you and will preserve you in your calling.

Verse 14

33:14 And he said, My {f} presence shall go [with thee], and I will give thee rest.

(f) Signifying that the Israelites would exceed all other people, through God’s favour; Exodus 33:16.

Verse 18

33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy {g} glory.

(g) Your face, your substance, and your majesty.

Verse 19

33:19 And he said, I will make all my {h} goodness pass before thee, and I will {i} proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew {k} mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

(h) My mercy and fatherly care.

(i) See Exodus 34:6-7.

(k) For finding nothing in man that deserves mercy, he will freely give his.

Verse 20

33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and {l} live.

(l) For Moses did not see his face in full majesty, but as man’s weakness could bear.

Verse 21

33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, [there is] a place by {m} me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

(m) In mount Horeb.

Verse 23

33:23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my {n} back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

(n) As much of my glory as in this mortal life you are able to see.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Exodus 33". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/exodus-33.html. 1599-1645.