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Exodus 33

Moses Sees God - Sort Of

12 Moses said to the LORD, "See, you have said to me, 'Bring up this people'; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.' 13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people." 14 He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." 15 And he said to him, "If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth." 17 The LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." 18 Moses said, "Show me your glory, I pray." 19 And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, 'The LORD'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live." 21 And the LORD continued, "See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."

23 Skiddoo

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Musings

Here is Moses working on God to give him more insight into who YHWH is, similar to his exchange back at the burning bush. Here God grants Moses everything he asks for except, again, any further insight into his name. Instead of I AM (what I will be), he lets Moses know that God will be gracious to whom and when God wants. The name YHWH will have to do. Also, God will pass by but Moses will not see God's face, only God's back. This may mean that God's existence and nature will be make known by God's actions and deeds. God's presence will be with Moses and his people, but God will also remain mysterious.

In addition to the closer relationship Moses is having with the LORD, he successfully intercedes on the behalf of the Israelites. Essentially God wasn't going with them in the wilderness after the golden calf incident, but agrees to do so again. God shows mercy and grace and is willing to start over.


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Genesis - Creation - Noah - Babel - Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Joseph
Exodus - Egypt - Wandering - 10 Commandments

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