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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 33

Geneva Study BibleGeneva Study Bible

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.

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.
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