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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Exodus 33



1The Lord refuses to go as he had promised with the people.
4The people mourn thereat.
7The tabernacle is removed out of the camp.
9The Lord talks familiarly with Moses.
12Moses prevails with God, and desires to see his glory.

Verse 1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and 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:
thou hast
17:3; 32:1,7
the land
32:13; Genesis 22:16-18; 26:3; 28:13-15
Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18

Verse 2
And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
an angel
23:20; 32:34; 34:11
the Canaanite
3:8,17; Deuteronomy 7:22; Joshua 24:11

Verse 3
Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
a land
3:8; 13:5; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27; 14:8; 16:13; Joshua 5:6; Jeremiah 11:5
for I
15-17; 32:10,14; Numbers 14:12; Deuteronomy 32:26,27; 1 Samuel 2:30; Jeremiah 18:7-10; Ezekiel 3:18,19; 33:13-16; Jonah 3:4,10
32:9; 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6-13; Psalms 78:8; Acts 7:51
lest I
23:21; 32:10; Numbers 16:21,45; Amos 3:13,14

Verse 4
And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.
they mourned
Numbers 14:1,39; Hosea 7:14; Zechariah 7:3,5
and no
Leviticus 10:6; 2 Samuel 19:24; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 19:1; Ezra 9:3; Esther 4:1-4; Job 1:20; 2:12; Isaiah 32:11; Ezekiel 24:17,23; 26:16; Jonah 3:6

Verse 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 what to do unto thee.
Ye are
3; Numbers 16:45,46
in a moment
Numbers 16:21,45; Job 34:20; Psalms 73:19; Lamentations 4:6
put off
Isaiah 22:12
I may
Genesis 18:21; 22:12; Deuteronomy 8:2; Psalms 139:23

Verse 6
And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.
4; 32:3; Jeremiah 2:19

Verse 7
And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the 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.
the tabernacle
Eth haohel, the Tent, not eth hammishcan, the Tabernacle, for this was not erected; but probably the tent of Moses, which was before in the midst of the camp, and to which the people came for judgment; and where, no doubt, God frequently met his servant. This situation, as well as the superior elegance, of a chief's tent, was one mode by which he was honoured.
afar off
Psalms 10:1; 35:22; Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 59:2; Hosea 9:12
the Tabernacle of
Deuteronomy 4:29; 2 Samuel 21:1; Psalms 27:8; Isaiah 55:6,7; Matthew 7:7,8
went out
Hebrews 13:11-13

Verse 8
And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
and stood
Numbers 16:27

Verse 9
And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
13:21,22; Psalms 99:7
11; 25:22; 31:18; 34:3,9; Genesis 17:22; 18:33; Numbers 11:17; Ezekiel 3:22

Verse 10
And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
4:31; 1 Kings 8:14,22; Luke 18:13

Verse 11
And the LORD spake unto Moses 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.
9; Genesis 32:30; Numbers 12:8; Deuteronomy 5:4; 34:10
his friend
2 Chronicles 20:7; Job 16:21; Isaiah 42:8; John 3:29; 11:11; 15:14,15; James 2:23
his servant
17:9; 24:13; 32:17

Verse 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 name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
1; 32:34
I know
17; Genesis 18:19; Psalms 1:6; Isaiah 43:1; Jeremiah 1:5; John 10:14,15; 2 Timothy 2:19

Verse 13
Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
17; 34:9
Psalms 25:4; 27:11; 86:11; 119:33; Song of Solomon 1:7,8; Isaiah 30:21
that I
18; John 17:3; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18
32:7; Deuteronomy 9:26,29; Isaiah 63:17,19; Joel 2:17; Romans 11:28

Verse 14
And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
My presence
13:21; Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 63:9; Matthew 28:20
Deuteronomy 3:20; Joshua 21:44; 22:4; 23:1; Psalms 95:11; Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:8,9

Verse 15
And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
3; 34:9; Psalms 4:6

Verse 16
For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
in that
Numbers 14:14; Matthew 1:23
8:22; 19:5,6; 34:10; Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 4:7,34; 2 Samuel 7:23; 1 Kings 8:53; Psalms 147:20; 2 Corinthians 6:17

Verse 17
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
I will do
Genesis 18:32; 19:21; Isaiah 65:24; John 16:23; James 5:16; 1 John 5:14,15
thou hast
12; Genesis 6:8; 19:19,21

Verse 18
And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
20; Psalms 4:6; John 1:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:16; Titus 2:13; Revelation 21:23

Verse 19
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
all my goodness
Nehemiah 9:25; Psalms 25:13; *marg:; Psalms 65:4; Jeremiah 31:12,14; Zechariah 9:17; Romans 2:4; Ephesians 1:6-8
3:13-15; 34:5-7; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 12:4
I will be
Romans 9:15-18,23

Verse 20
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Thou canst not
This is well explained by Rabbi Jehudah, in Sepher Cosri, (P. iv.  3.) "Of that divine glory mentioned in the Scripture, there is one degree which the eyes of the prophets were able to explore; another which all the Israelites saw, as the cloud and consuming fire; the third is so bright, and so dazzling, that no mortal is able to comprehend it; but should anyone venture to look on it, his whole frame would be dissolved." In such inconceivable splendour is the Divine Majesty revealed to the inhabitants of the celestial world, where he is said to "dwell in the light which no man can approach unto." (1 Ti 6:16.) By the "face of God," therefore, we are to understand that light inaccessible before which angels may stand, but which would be so insufferable to mortal eyes, that no man could see it and live.
24:10; Genesis 32:30; Deuteronomy 5:24; Judges 6:22; 13:22; Isaiah 6:5; John 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 1:13; Revelation 1:16,17

Verse 21
And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
place by
Deuteronomy 5:31; Joshua 20:4; Isaiah 56:5; Zechariah 3:7; Luke 15:1

Verse 22
And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
in a clift
Psalms 18:2; Song of Solomon 2:3; Isaiah 2:21; 32:2; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:19
cover thee
Deuteronomy 33:12; Psalms 91:1,4; The rock on which Moses stood, and in the clift of which he was sheltered, was doubtless an emblem of Christ; in whose person, character, and salvation alone, sinners may by faith see the glory of God, and live; for there it appears in softened splendour; as the sun, when his brightness is diminished by a mist, is beheld more distinctly by the human eye.--Scott

Verse 23
And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
thou shalt
20; Job 11:7; 26:14; John 1:18; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Timothy 6:16


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Exodus 33:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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