Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 25
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Exodus 32:1--34:35

Context
The Sin of the Golden Calf

32:1 1 When the people saw that Moses delayed 2  in coming down 3  from the mountain, they 4  gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Get up, 5  make us gods 6  that will go before us. As for this fellow Moses, 7  the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what 8  has become of him!”

32:2 So Aaron said to them, “Break off the gold earrings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 9  32:3 So all 10  the people broke off the gold earrings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. 32:4 He accepted the gold 11  from them, 12  fashioned 13  it with an engraving tool, and made a molten calf. 14  Then they said, “These are your gods, 15  O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

32:5 When 16  Aaron saw this, 17  he built an altar before it, 18  and Aaron made a proclamation 19  and said, “Tomorrow will be a feast 20  to the Lord.” 32:6 So they got up early on the next day and offered up burnt offerings and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and drink, 21  and they rose up to play. 22 

32:7 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Go quickly, descend, 23  because your 24  people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have acted corruptly. 32:8 They have quickly turned aside 25  from the way that I commanded them – they have made for themselves a molten calf and have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt.’”

32:9 Then the Lord said to Moses: “I have seen this people. 26  Look 27  what a stiff-necked people they are! 28  32:10 So now, leave me alone 29  so that my anger can burn against them and I can destroy them, and I will make from you a great nation.”

32:11 But Moses sought the favor 30  of the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your anger burn against your people, whom you have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 32:12 Why 31  should the Egyptians say, 32  ‘For evil 33  he led them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy 34  them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger, and relent 35  of this evil against your people. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel your servants, to whom you swore by yourself and told them, ‘I will multiply your descendants 36  like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken about 37  I will give to your descendants, 38  and they will inherit it forever.’” 32:14 Then the Lord relented over the evil that he had said he would do to his people.

32:15 Moses turned and went down from the mountain with 39  the two tablets of the testimony in his hands. The tablets were written on both sides – they were written on the front and on the back. 32:16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 32:17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, 40  he said to Moses, “It is the sound of war in the camp!” 32:18 Moses 41  said, “It is not the sound of those who shout for victory, 42  nor is it the sound of those who cry because they are overcome, 43  but the sound of singing 44  I hear.” 45 

32:19 When he approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses became extremely angry. 46  He threw the tablets from his hands and broke them to pieces at the bottom of the mountain. 47  32:20 He took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire, ground it 48  to powder, poured it out on the water, and made the Israelites drink it. 49 

32:21 Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought on them so great a sin?” 32:22 Aaron said, “Do not let your anger burn hot, my lord; 50  you know these people, that they tend to evil. 51  32:23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this fellow Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 32:24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, break it off.’ So they gave it 52  to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out.” 53 

32:25 Moses saw that the people were running wild, 54  for Aaron had let them get completely out of control, causing derision from their enemies. 55  32:26 So Moses stood at the entrance of the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come 56  to me.” 57  All the Levites gathered around him, 32:27 and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Each man fasten 58  his sword on his side, and go back and forth 59  from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and each one kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’” 60 

32:28 The Levites did what Moses ordered, 61  and that day about three thousand men of the people died. 62  32:29 Moses said, “You have been consecrated 63  today for the Lord, for each of you was against his son or against his brother, so he has given a blessing to you today.” 64 

32:30 The next day Moses said to the people, 65  “You have committed a very serious sin, 66  but now I will go up to the Lord – perhaps I can make atonement 67  on behalf of your sin.”

32:31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has committed a very serious sin, 68  and they have made for themselves gods of gold. 32:32 But now, if you will forgive their sin…, 69  but if not, wipe me out 70  from your book that you have written.” 71  32:33 The Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me – that person I will wipe out of my book. 32:34 So now go, lead the people to the place I have spoken to you about. See, 72  my angel will go before you. But on the day that I punish, I will indeed punish them for their sin.” 73 

32:35 And the Lord sent a plague on the people because they had made the calf 74  – the one Aaron made. 75 

33:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go up 76  from here, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land I promised on oath 77  to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 78  33:2 I will send an angel 79  before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 80  33:3 Go up 81  to a land flowing with milk and honey. But 82  I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you 83  on the way.”

33:4 When the people heard this troubling word 84  they mourned; 85  no one put on his ornaments. 33:5 For 86  the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up among you for a moment, 87  I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments, 88  that I may know 89  what I should do to you.’” 90  33:6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments by Mount Horeb.

The Presence of the Lord

33:7 91 Moses took 92  the tent 93  and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance 94  from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone 95  seeking 96  the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.

33:8 And when Moses went out 97  to the tent, all the people would get up 98  and stand at the entrance to their tents 99  and watch 100  Moses until he entered the tent. 101  33:9 And 102  whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord 103  would speak with Moses. 104  33:10 When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people, each one at the entrance of his own tent, would rise and worship. 105  33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, 106  the way a person speaks 107  to a friend. Then Moses 108  would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent. 109 

33:12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have been saying to me, ‘Bring this people up,’ 110  but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. But you said, ‘I know you by name, 111  and also you have found favor in my sight.’ 33:13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me 112  your way, that I may know you, 113  that I may continue to find 114  favor in your sight. And see 115  that this nation is your people.”

33:14 And the Lord 116  said, “My presence 117  will go with you, 118  and I will give you rest.” 119 

33:15 And Moses 120  said to him, “If your presence does not go 121  with us, 122  do not take us up from here. 123  33:16 For how will it be known then that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?” 124 

33:17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will do this thing also that you have requested, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know 125  you by name.”

33:18 And Moses 126  said, “Show me your glory.” 127 

33:19 And the Lord 128  said, “I will make all my goodness 129  pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name 130  before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 131  33:20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for no one can 132  see me and live.” 133  33:21 The Lord said, “Here 134  is a place by me; you will station yourself 135  on a rock. 33:22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover 136  you with my hand 137  while I pass by. 138  33:23 Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, 139  but my face must not be seen.” 140 

The New Tablets of the Covenant

34:1 141 The Lord said to Moses, “Cut out 142  two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write 143  on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you smashed. 34:2 Be prepared 144  in the morning, and go up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and station yourself 145  for me there on the top of the mountain. 34:3 No one is to come up with you; do not let anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks or the herds may graze in front of that mountain.” 34:4 So Moses 146  cut out two tablets of stone like the first; 147  early in the morning he went up 148  to Mount Sinai, just as the Lord had commanded him, and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone.

34:5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the Lord by name. 149  34:6 The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: 150  “The Lord, the Lord, 151  the compassionate and gracious 152  God, slow to anger, 153  and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, 154  34:7 keeping loyal love for thousands, 155  forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression 156  of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”

34:8 Moses quickly bowed 157  to the ground and worshiped 34:9 and said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, let my Lord 158  go among us, for we 159  are a stiff-necked people; pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”

34:10 He said, “See, I am going to make 160  a covenant before all your people. I will do wonders such as have not been done 161  in all the earth, nor in any nation. All the people among whom you live will see the work of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am doing with you. 162 

34:11 “Obey 163  what I am commanding you this day. I am going to drive out 164  before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 34:12 Be careful not to make 165  a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it become a snare 166  among you. 34:13 Rather you must destroy their altars, smash their images, and cut down their Asherah poles. 167  34:14 For you must not worship 168  any other god, 169  for the Lord, whose name 170  is Jealous, is a jealous God. 34:15 Be careful 171  not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when 172  they prostitute themselves 173  to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invites you, 174  you will eat from his sacrifice; 34:16 and you then take 175  his daughters for your sons, and when his daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will make your sons prostitute themselves to their gods as well. 34:17 You must not make yourselves molten gods.

34:18 “You must keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days 176  you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you; do this 177  at the appointed time of the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out of Egypt.

34:19 “Every firstborn of the womb 178  belongs to me, even every firstborn 179  of your cattle that is a male, 180  whether ox or sheep. 34:20 Now the firstling 181  of a donkey you may redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then break its neck. 182  You must redeem all the firstborn of your sons.

“No one will appear before me empty-handed. 183 

34:21 “On six days 184  you may labor, but on the seventh day you must rest; 185  even at the time of plowing and of harvest 186  you are to rest. 187 

34:22 “You must observe 188  the Feast of Weeks – the firstfruits of the harvest of wheat – and the Feast of Ingathering at the end 189  of the year. 34:23 At three times 190  in the year all your men 191  must appear before the Lord God, 192  the God of Israel. 34:24 For I will drive out 193  the nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one will covet 194  your land when you go up 195  to appear before the Lord your God three times 196  in the year.

34:25 “You must not offer the blood of my sacrifice with yeast; the sacrifice from the feast of Passover must not remain until the following morning. 197 

34:26 “The first of the firstfruits of your soil you must bring to the house of the Lord your God.

You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” 198 

34:27 The Lord said to Moses, “Write down 199  these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 34:28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; 200  he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. 201 

The Radiant Face of Moses

34:29 202 Now when Moses came down 203  from Mount Sinai with 204  the two tablets of the testimony in his hand 205  – when he came down 206  from the mountain, Moses 207  did not know that the skin of his face shone 208  while he talked with him. 34:30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone; 209  and they were afraid to approach him. 34:31 But Moses called to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and Moses spoke to them. 34:32 After this all the Israelites approached, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sinai. 34:33 When Moses finished 210  speaking 211  with them, he would 212  put a veil on his face. 34:34 But when Moses went in 213  before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. 214  Then he would come out and tell the Israelites what he had been commanded. 215  34:35 When the Israelites would see 216  the face of Moses, that 217  the skin of Moses’ face shone, Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with the Lord. 218 

1 sn This narrative is an unhappy interlude in the flow of the argument of the book. After the giving of the Law and the instructions for the tabernacle, the people get into idolatry. So this section tells what the people were doing when Moses was on the mountain. Here is an instant violation of the covenant that they had just agreed to uphold. But through it all Moses shines as the great intercessor for the people. So the subject matter is the sin of idolatry, its effects and its remedy. Because of the similarities to Jeroboam’s setting up the calves in Dan and Bethel, modern critics have often said this passage was written at that time. U. Cassuto shows how the language of this chapter would not fit an Iron Age setting in Dan. Rather, he argues, this story was well enough known for Jeroboam to imitate the practice (Exodus, 407-10). This chapter can be divided into four parts for an easier exposition: idolatry (32:1-6), intercession (32:7-14), judgment (32:15-29), intercession again (32:30-33:6). Of course, these sections are far more complex than this, but this gives an overview. Four summary statements for expository points might be: I. Impatience often leads to foolish violations of the faith, II. Violations of the covenant require intercession to escape condemnation, III. Those spared of divine wrath must purge evil from their midst, and IV. Those who purge evil from their midst will find reinstatement through intercession. Several important studies are available for this. See, among others, D. R. Davis, “Rebellion, Presence, and Covenant: A Study in Exodus 32-34,” WTJ 44 (1982): 71-87; M. Greenberg, “Moses’ Intercessory Prayer,” Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies (1978): 21-35; R. A. Hamer, “The New Covenant of Moses,” Judaism 27 (1978): 345-50; R. L. Honeycutt, Jr., “Aaron, the Priesthood, and the Golden Calf,” RevExp 74 (1977): 523-35; J. N. Oswalt, “The Golden Calves and the Egyptian Concept of Deity,” EvQ 45 (1973): 13-20.

2 tn The meaning of this verb is properly “caused shame,” meaning cause disappointment because he was not coming back (see also Judg 5:28 for the delay of Sisera’s chariots [S. R. Driver, Exodus, 349]).

3 tn The infinitive construct with the lamed (ל) preposition is used here epexegetically, explaining the delay of Moses.

4 tn Heb “the people.”

5 tn The imperative means “arise.” It could be serving here as an interjection, getting Aaron’s attention. But it might also have the force of prompting him to get busy.

6 tn The plural translation is required here (although the form itself could be singular in meaning) because the verb that follows in the relative clause is a plural verb – that they go before us).

7 tn The text has “this Moses.” But this instance may find the demonstrative used in an earlier deictic sense, especially since there is no article with it.

8 tn The interrogative is used in an indirect question (see GKC 443-44 §137.c).

9 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 937-38) argues that Aaron simply did not have the resolution that Moses did, and wanting to keep peace he gave in to the crowd. He also tries to explain that Aaron was wanting to show their folly through the deed. U. Cassuto also says that Aaron’s request for the gold was a form of procrastination, but that the people quickly did it and so he had no alternative but to go through with it (Exodus, 412). These may be right, since Aaron fully understood what was wrong with this, and what the program was all about. The text gives no strong indication to support these ideas, but there are enough hints from the way Aaron does things to warrant such a conclusion.

10 tn This “all” is a natural hyperbole in the narrative, for it means the large majority of the people.

11 tn Here “the gold” has been supplied.

12 tn Heb “from their hand.”

13 tn The verb looks similar to יָצַר (yatsar), “to form, fashion” by a plan or a design. That is the verb used in Gen 2:7 for Yahweh God forming the man from the dust of the ground. If it is here, it is the reverse, a human – the dust of the ground – trying to form a god or gods. The active participle of this verb in Hebrew is “the potter.” A related noun is the word יֵצֶּר (yetser), “evil inclination,” the wicked designs or intent of the human heart (Gen 6:5). But see the discussion by B. S. Childs (Exodus [OTL], 555-56) on a different reading, one that links the root to a hollow verb meaning “to cast out of metal” (as in 1 Kgs 7:15).

14 sn The word means a “young bull” and need not be translated as “calf” (although “calf” has become the traditional rendering in English). The word could describe an animal three years old. Aaron probably made an inner structure of wood and then, after melting down the gold, plated it. The verb “molten” does not need to imply that the image was solid gold; the word is used in Isa 30:22 for gold plating. So it was a young bull calf that was overlaid with gold, and the gold was fashioned with the stylus.

15 tn The word could be singular here and earlier; here it would then be “this is your god, O Israel.” However, the use of “these” indicates more than one god was meant by the image. But their statement and their statue, although they do not use the holy name, violate the first two commandments.

16 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive is subordinated as a temporal clause to the next preterite.

17 tn The word “this” has been supplied.

18 tn “Before it” means before the deity in the form of the calf. Aaron tried to redirect their worship to Yahweh, but the people had already broken down the barrier and were beyond control (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 413).

19 tn Heb “called.”

20 sn The word is חַג (khag), the pilgrim’s festival. This was the word used by Moses for their pilgrimage into the wilderness. Aaron seems here to be trying to do what Moses had intended they do, make a feast to Yahweh at Sinai, but his efforts will not compete with the idol. As B. Jacob says, Aaron saw all this happening and tried to rescue the true belief (Exodus, 941).

21 tn The second infinitive is an infinitive absolute. The first is an infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition, expressing the purpose of their sitting down. The infinitive absolute that follows cannot take the preposition, but with the conjunction follows the force of the form before it (see GKC 340 §113.e).

22 tn The form is לְצַחֵק (lÿtsakheq), a Piel infinitive construct, giving the purpose of their rising up after the festal meal. On the surface it would seem that with the festival there would be singing and dancing, so that the people were celebrating even though they did not know the reason. W. C. Kaiser says the word means “drunken immoral orgies and sexual play” (“Exodus,” EBC 2:478). That is quite an assumption for this word, but is reflected in some recent English versions (e.g., NCV “got up and sinned sexually”; TEV “an orgy of drinking and sex”). The word means “to play, trifle.” It can have other meanings, depending on its contexts. It is used of Lot when he warned his sons-in-law and appeared as one who “mocked” them; it is also used of Ishmael “playing” with Isaac, which Paul interprets as mocking; it is used of Isaac “playing” with his wife in a manner that revealed to Abimelech that they were not brother and sister, and it is used by Potiphar’s wife to say that her husband brought this slave Joseph in to “mock” them. The most that can be gathered from these is that it is playful teasing, serious mocking, or playful caresses. It might fit with wild orgies, but there is no indication of that in this passage, and the word does not mean it. The fact that they were festive and playing before an idol was sufficient.

23 tn The two imperatives could also express one idea: “get down there.” In other words, “Make haste to get down.”

24 sn By giving the people to Moses in this way, God is saying that they have no longer any right to claim him as their God, since they have shared his honor with another. This is God’s talionic response to their “These are your gods who brought you up.” The use of these pronoun changes also would form an appeal to Moses to respond, since Moses knew that God had brought them up from Egypt.

25 tn The verb is a perfect tense, reflecting the present perfect nuance: “they have turned aside” and are still disobedient. But the verb is modified with the adverb “quickly” (actually a Piel infinitive absolute). It has been only a matter of weeks since they heard the voice of God prohibiting this.

26 sn This is a bold anthropomorphism; it is as if God has now had a chance to get to know these people and has discovered how rebellious they are. The point of the figure is that there has been discernible evidence of their nature.

27 tn Heb “and behold” or “and look.” The expression directs attention in order to persuade the hearer.

28 sn B. Jacob says the image is that of the people walking before God, and when he called to them the directions, they would not bend their neck to listen; they were resolute in doing what they intended to do (Exodus, 943). The figure describes them as refusing to submit, but resisting in pride.

29 tn The imperative, from the word “to rest” (נוּחַ, nuakh), has the sense of “leave me alone, let me be.” It is a directive for Moses not to intercede for the people. B. S. Childs (Exodus [OTL], 567) reflects the Jewish interpretation that there is a profound paradox in God’s words. He vows the severest punishment but then suddenly conditions it on Moses’ agreement. “Let me alone that I may consume them” is the statement, but the effect is that he has left the door open for intercession. He allows himself to be persuaded – that is what a mediator is for. God could have slammed the door (as when Moses wanted to go into the promised land). Moreover, by alluding to the promise to Abraham God gave Moses the strongest reason to intercede.

30 tn S. R. Driver (Exodus, 351) draws on Arabic to show that the meaning of this verb (חָלָה, khalah) was properly “make sweet the face” or “stroke the face”; so here “to entreat, seek to conciliate.” In this prayer, Driver adds, Moses urges four motives for mercy: 1) Israel is Yahweh’s people, 2) Israel’s deliverance has demanded great power, 3) the Egyptians would mock if the people now perished, and 4) the oath God made to the fathers.

31 tn The question is rhetorical; it really forms an affirmation that is used here as a reason for the request (see GKC 474 §150.e).

32 tn Heb “speak, saying.” This is redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.

33 tn The word “evil” means any kind of life-threatening or fatal calamity. “Evil” is that which hinders life, interrupts life, causes pain to life, or destroys it. The Egyptians would conclude that such a God would have no good intent in taking his people to the desert if now he destroyed them.

34 tn The form is a Piel infinitive construct from כָּלָה (kalah, “to complete, finish”) but in this stem, “bring to an end, destroy.” As a purpose infinitive this expresses what the Egyptians would have thought of God’s motive.

35 tn The verb “repent, relent” when used of God is certainly an anthropomorphism. It expresses the deep pain that one would have over a situation. Earlier God repented that he had made humans (Gen 6:6). Here Moses is asking God to repent/relent over the judgment he was about to bring, meaning that he should be moved by such compassion that there would be no judgment like that. J. P. Hyatt observes that the Bible uses so many anthropomorphisms because the Israelites conceived of God as a dynamic and living person in a vital relationship with people, responding to their needs and attitudes and actions (Exodus [NCBC], 307). See H. V. D. Parunak, “A Semantic Survey of NHM,” Bib 56 (1975): 512-32.

36 tn Heb “your seed.”

37 tn “about” has been supplied.

38 tn Heb “seed.”

39 tn The disjunctive vav (ו) serves here as a circumstantial clause indicator.

40 sn See F. C. Fensham, “New Light from Ugaritica V on Ex, 32:17 (br’h),” JNSL 2 (1972): 86-7.

41 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

42 tn Heb “the sound of the answering of might,” meaning it is not the sound of shouting in victory (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 418).

43 tn Heb “the sound of the answering of weakness,” meaning the cry of the defeated (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 415).

44 tn Heb “answering in song” (a play on the twofold meaning of the word).

45 sn See A. Newman, “Compositional Analysis and Functional Ambiguity Equivalence: Translating Exodus 32, 17-18,” Babel 21 (1975): 29-35.

46 tn Heb “and the anger of Moses burned hot.”

47 sn See N. M. Waldham, “The Breaking of the Tablets,” Judaism 27 (1978): 442-47.

48 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

49 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

sn Pouring the ashes into the water running from the mountain in the brook (Deut 9:21) and making them drink it was a type of the bitter water test that tested the wife suspected of unfaithfulness. Here the reaction of the people who drank would indicate guilt or not (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 419).

50 sn “My lord” refers to Moses.

51 tn Heb “that on evil it is.”

52 tn Here “it” has been supplied.

53 sn Aaron first tried to blame the people, and then he tried to make it sound like a miracle – was it to sound like one of the plagues where out of the furnace came life? This text does not mention it, but Deut 9:20 tells how angry God was with Aaron. Only intercession saved his life.

54 tn The word is difficult to interpret. There does not seem to be enough evidence to justify the KJV’s translation “naked.” It appears to mean something like “let loose” or “lack restraint” (Prov 29:18). The idea seems to be that the people had broken loose, were undisciplined, and were completely given over to their desires.

55 tn The last two words of the verse read literally “for a whispering among those who rose up against them.” The foes would have mocked and derided them when they heard that they had abandoned the God who had led them out of Egypt (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 354).

56 tn “come” is not in the text, but has been supplied.

57 tn S. R. Driver suggests that the command was tersely put: “Who is for Yahweh? To me!” (Exodus, 354).

58 tn Heb “put.”

59 tn The two imperatives form a verbal hendiadys: “pass over and return,” meaning, “go back and forth” throughout the camp.

60 tn The phrases have “and kill a man his brother, and a man his companion, and a man his neighbor.” The instructions were probably intended to mean that they should kill leaders they knew to be guilty because they had been seen or because they failed the water test – whoever they were.

61 tn Heb “did according to the word of Moses.”

62 tn Heb “fell.”

63 tn Heb “Your hand was filled.” The phrase “fill your hands” is a familiar expression having to do with commissioning and devotion to a task that is earlier used in 28:41; 29:9, 29, 33, 35. This has usually been explained as a Qal imperative. S. R. Driver explains it “Fill your hand today,” meaning, take a sacrifice to God and be installed in the priesthood (Exodus, 355). But it probably is a Piel perfect, meaning “they have filled your hands today,” or, “your hand was filled today.” This was an expression meant to say that they had been faithful to God even though it turned them against family and friends – but God would give them a blessing.

64 tn The text simply has “and to give on you today a blessing.” Gesenius notes that the infinitive construct seems to be attached with a vav (ו; like the infinitive absolute) as the continuation of a previous finite verb. He reads the verb “fill” as an imperative: “fill your hand today…and that to bring a blessing on you, i.e., that you may be blessed” (see GKC 351 §114.p). If the preceding verb is taken as perfect tense, however, then this would also be perfect – “he has blessed you today.”

65 tn Heb “and it was on the morrow and Moses said to the people.”

66 tn The text uses a cognate accusative: “you have sinned a great sin.”

67 tn The form אֲכַפְּרָה (’akhappÿrah) is a Piel cohortative/imperfect. Here with only a possibility of being successful, a potential imperfect nuance works best.

68 tn As before, the cognate accusative is used; it would literally be “this people has sinned a great sin.”

69 tn The apodosis is not expressed; it would be understood as “good.” It is not stated because of the intensity of the expression (the figure is aposiopesis, a sudden silence). It is also possible to take this first clause as a desire and not a conditional clause, rendering it “Oh that you would forgive!”

70 tn The word “wipe” is a figure of speech indicating “remove me” (meaning he wants to die). The translation “blot” is traditional, but not very satisfactory, since it does not convey complete removal.

71 sn The book that is referred to here should not be interpreted as the NT “book of life” which is portrayed (figuratively) as a register of all the names of the saints who are redeemed and will inherit eternal life. Here it refers to the names of those who are living and serving in this life, whose names, it was imagined, were on the roster in the heavenly courts as belonging to the chosen. Moses would rather die than live if these people are not forgiven (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 356).

72 tn Heb “behold, look.” Moses should take this fact into consideration.

73 sn The Law said that God would not clear the guilty. But here the punishment is postponed to some future date when he would revisit this matter. Others have taken the line to mean that whenever a reckoning was considered necessary, then this sin would be included (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 957). The repetition of the verb traditionally rendered “visit” in both clauses puts emphasis on the certainty – so “indeed.”

74 tn The verse is difficult because of the double reference to the making of the calf. The NJPS’s translation tries to reconcile the two by reading “for what they did with the calf that Aaron had made.” B. S. Childs (Exodus [OTL], 557) explains in some detail why this is not a good translation based on syntactical grounds; he opts for the conclusion that the last three words are a clumsy secondary addition. It seems preferable to take the view that both are true, Aaron is singled out for his obvious lead in the sin, but the people sinned by instigating the whole thing.

75 sn Most commentators have difficulty with this verse. W. C. Kaiser says the strict chronology is not always kept, and so the plague here may very well refer to the killing of the three thousand (“Exodus,” EBC 2:481).

76 tn The two imperatives underscore the immediacy of the demand: “go, go up,” meaning “get going up” or “be on your way.”

77 tn Or “the land which I swore.”

78 tn Heb “seed.”

79 sn This seems not to be the same as the Angel of the Presence introduced before.

80 sn See T. Ishida, “The Structure and Historical Implications of Lists of Pre-Israelite Nations,” Bib (1979): 461-90.

81 tn This verse seems to be a continuation of the command to “go up” since it begins with “to a land….” The intervening clauses are therefore parenthetical or relative. But the translation is made simpler by supplying the verb.

82 tn This is a strong adversative here, “but.”

83 tn The clause is “lest I consume you.” It would go with the decision not to accompany them: “I will not go up with you…lest I consume (destroy) you in the way.” The verse is saying that because of the people’s bent to rebellion, Yahweh would not remain in their midst as he had formerly said he would do. Their lives would be at risk if he did.

84 tn Or “bad news” (NAB, NCV).

85 sn The people would rather have risked divine discipline than to go without Yahweh in their midst. So they mourned, and they took off the ornaments. Such had been used in making the golden calf, and so because of their association with all of that they were to be removed as a sign of remorse.

86 tn The verse simply begins “And Yahweh said.” But it is clearly meant to be explanatory for the preceding action of the people.

87 tn The construction is formed with a simple imperfect in the first half and a perfect tense with vav (ו) in the second half. Heb “[in] one moment I will go up in your midst and I will destroy you.” The verse is certainly not intended to say that God was about to destroy them. That, plus the fact that he has announced he will not go in their midst, leads most commentators to take this as a conditional clause: “If I were to do such and such, then….”

88 tn The Hebrew text also has “from on you.”

89 tn The form is the cohortative with a vav (ו) following the imperative; it therefore expresses the purpose or result: “strip off…that I may know.” The call to remove the ornaments must have been perceived as a call to show true repentance for what had happened. If they repented, then God would know how to deal with them.

90 tn This last clause begins with the interrogative “what,” but it is used here as an indirect interrogative. It introduces a noun clause, the object of the verb “know.”

91 sn This unit of the book could actually include all of chap. 33, starting with the point of the Lord’s withdrawal from the people. If that section is not part of the exposition, it would have to be explained as the background. The point is that sinfulness prevents the active presence of the Lord leading his people. But then the rest of chap. 33 forms the development. In vv. 7-11 there is the gracious provision: the Lord reveals through his faithful mediator. The Lord was leading his people, but now more remotely because of their sin. Then, in vv. 12-17 Moses intercedes for the people, and the intercession of the mediator guarantees the Lord’s presence. The point of all of this is that God wanted the people to come to know that if he was not with them they should not go. Finally, the presence of the Lord is verified to the mediator by a special revelation (18-23). The point of the whole chapter is that by his grace the Lord renews the promise of his presence by special revelation.

92 tn Heb “and Moses took.”

93 sn A widespread contemporary view is that this section represents a source that thought the tent of meeting was already erected (see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 359). But the better view is that this is a temporary tent used for meeting the Lord. U. Cassuto explains this view very well (Exodus, 429-30), namely, that because the building of the tabernacle was now in doubt if the Lord was not going to be in their midst, another plan seemed necessary. Moses took this tent, his tent, and put some distance between the camp and it. Here he would use the tent as the place to meet God, calling it by the same name since it was a surrogate tent. Thus, the entire section was a temporary means of meeting God, until the current wrath was past.

94 tn The infinitive absolute is used here as an adverb (see GKC 341 §113.h).

95 tn The clause begins with “and it was,” the perfect tense with the vav conjunction. The imperfect tenses in this section are customary, describing what used to happen (others describe the verbs as frequentative). See GKC 315 §107.e.

96 tn The form is the Piel participle. The seeking here would indicate seeking an oracle from Yahweh or seeking to find a resolution for some difficulty (as in 2 Sam 21:1) or even perhaps coming with a sacrifice. B. Jacob notes that the tent was even here a place of prayer, for the benefit of the people (Exodus, 961). It is not known how long this location was used.

97 tn The clause is introduced again with “and it was.” The perfect tense here with the vav (ו) is used to continue the sequence of actions that were done repeatedly in the past (see GKC 331-32 §112.e). The temporal clause is then formed with the infinitive construct of יָצָא (yatsa’), with “Moses” as the subjective genitive: “and it was according to the going out of Moses.”

98 tn Or “rise up.”

99 tn The subject of this verb is specified with the individualizing use of “man”: “and all Israel would station themselves, each person (man) at the entrance to his tent.”

100 tn The perfect tense with the vav (ו) continues the sequence of the customary imperfect. The people “would gaze” (after) Moses until he entered the tent.

101 tn This is a temporal clause using an infinitive construct with a suffixed subject.

102 tn Heb “and it was when.”

103 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

104 tn Both verbs, “stand” and “speak,” are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutive.

105 tn All the main verbs in this verse are perfect tenses continuing the customary sequence (see GKC 337 §112.kk). The idea is that the people would get up (rise) when the cloud was there and then worship, meaning in part bow down. When the cloud was not there, there was access to seek God.

106 tn “Face to face” is circumstantial to the action of the verb, explaining how they spoke (see GKC 489-90 §156.c). The point of this note of friendly relationship with Moses is that Moses was “at home” in this tent speaking with God. Moses would derive courage from this when he interceded for the people (B. Jacob, Exodus, 966).

107 tn The verb in this clause is a progressive imperfect.

108 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

109 sn Moses did not live in the tent. But Joshua remained there most of the time to guard the tent, it seems, lest any of the people approach it out of curiosity.

110 tn The Hiphil imperative is from the same verb that has been used before for bringing the people up from Egypt and leading them to Canaan.

111 tn That is, “chosen you.”

112 tn The prayer uses the Hiphil imperative of the verb “to know.” “Cause me to know” is “show me, reveal to me, teach or inform me.” Moses wanted to know more of God’s dealings with people, especially after all that has happened in the preceding chapter.

113 tn The imperfect tense of the verb “to know” with the vav follows the imperative of this root, and so this indicates the purpose clause (final imperfect): “in order that I may know you.” S. R. Driver summarizes it this way: that I may understand what your nature and character is, and shape my petitions accordingly, so that I may find grace in your sight, and my future prayers may be answered (Exodus, 361).

114 tn The purpose clause simply uses the imperfect, “that I may find.” But since he already has found favor in God’s eyes, he is clearly praying that it be so in the future as well as now.

115 tn The verb “see” (an imperative) is a request for God to acknowledge Israel as his people by providing the divine leadership needed. So his main appeal will be for the people and not himself. To underscore this, he repeats “see” the way the section opened.

116 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

117 sn Heb “my face.” This represents the presence of Yahweh going with the people (see 2 Sam 17:11 for an illustration). The “presence” probably refers to the angel of the presence or some similar manifestation of God’s leading and caring for his people.

118 tn The phrase “with you” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

119 sn The expression certainly refers to the peace of mind and security of knowing that God was with them. But the expression came to mean “settle them in the land of promise” and give them rest and peace from their enemies. U. Cassuto (Exodus, 434) observes how in 32:10 God had told Moses, “Leave me alone” (“give me rest”), but now he promises to give them rest. The parallelism underscores the great transition through intercession.

120 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

121 tn The construction uses the active participle to stress the continual going of the presence: if there is not your face going.

122 tn “with us” has been supplied.

123 tn Heb “from this.”

124 sn See W. Brueggemann, “The Crisis and Promise of Presence in Israel,” HBT 1 (1979): 47-86; and N. M. Waldman, “God’s Ways – A Comparative Note,” JQR 70 (1979): 67-70.

125 tn The verb in this place is a preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive, judging from the pointing. It then follows in sequence the verb “you have found favor,” meaning you stand in that favor, and so it means “I have known you” and still do (equal to the present perfect). The emphasis, however, is on the results of the action, and so “I know you.”

126 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

127 sn Moses now wanted to see the glory of Yahweh, more than what he had already seen and experienced. He wanted to see God in all his majesty. The LXX chose to translate this without a word for “glory” or “honor”; instead they used the pronoun seautou, “yourself” – show me the real You. God tells him that he cannot see it fully, but in part. It will be enough for Moses to disclose to him the reality of the divine presence as well as God’s moral nature. It would be impossible for Moses to comprehend all of the nature of God, for there is a boundary between God and man. But God would let him see his goodness, the sum of his nature, pass by in a flash. B. Jacob (Exodus, 972) says that the glory refers to God’s majesty, might, and glory, as manifested in nature, in his providence, his laws, and his judgments. He adds that this glory should and would be made visible to man – that was its purpose in the world.

128 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

129 sn The word “goodness” refers to the divine appearance in summary fashion.

130 tn The expression “make proclamation in the name of Yahweh” (here a perfect tense with vav [ו] consecutive for future) means to declare, reveal, or otherwise make proclamation of who Yahweh is. The “name of Yahweh” (rendered “the name of the Lord” throughout) refers to his divine attributes revealed to his people, either in word or deed. What will be focused on first will be his grace and compassion.

131 sn God declares his mercy and grace in similar terms to his earlier self-revelation (“I am that I am”): “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.” In other words, the grace and mercy of God are bound up in his own will. Obviously, in this passage the recipients of that favor are the penitent Israelites who were forgiven through Moses’ intercession. The two words are at the heart of God’s dealings with people. The first is חָנַן (khanan, “to be gracious, show favor”). It means to grant favor or grace to someone, grace meaning unmerited favor. All of God’s dealings are gracious, but especially in forgiving sins and granting salvation it is critical. Parallel to this is רָחַם (rakham), a word that means “show compassion, tender mercy.” It is a word that is related to the noun “womb,” the connection being in providing care and protection for that which is helpless and dependent – a motherly quality. In both of these constructions the verbs simply express what God will do, without explaining why. See further, J. R. Lundbom, “God’s Use of the Idem per idem to Terminate Debate,” HTR 71 (1978): 193-201; and J. Piper, “Prolegomena to Understanding Romans 9:14-15: An Interpretation of Exodus 33:19,” JETS 22 (1979): 203-16.

132 tn In view of the use of the verb “can, be able to” in the first clause, this imperfect tense is given a potential nuance.

133 tn Gesenius notes that sometimes a negative statement takes the place of a conditional clause; here it is equal to “if a man sees me he does not live” (GKC 498 §159.gg). The other passages that teach this are Gen 32:30; Deut 4:33, 5:24, 26; Judg 6:22, 13:22, and Isa 6:5.

134 tn The deictic particle is used here simply to call attention to a place of God’s knowing and choosing.

135 tn Heb “and you will,” or interpretively, “where you will.”

136 sn Note the use in Exod 40:3, “and you will screen the ark with the curtain.” The glory is covered, veiled from being seen.

137 tn The circumstantial clause is simply, “my hand [being] over you.” This protecting hand of Yahweh represents a fairly common theme in the Bible.

138 tn The construction has a preposition with an infinitive construct and a suffix: “while [or until] I pass by” (Heb “in the passing by of me”).

139 tn The plural “my backs” is according to Gesenius an extension plural (compare “face,” a dual in Hebrew). The word denotes a locality in general, but that is composed of numerous parts (see GKC 397 §124.b). W. C. Kaiser says that since God is a spirit, the meaning of this word could just as easily be rendered “after effects” of his presence (“Exodus,” EBC 2:484). As S. R. Driver says, though, while this may indicate just the “afterglow” that he leaves behind him, it was enough to suggest what the full brilliancy of his presence must be (Exodus, 363; see also Job 26:14).

140 tn The Niphal imperfect could simply be rendered “will not be seen,” but given the emphasis of the preceding verses, it is more binding than that, and so a negated obligatory imperfect fits better: “it must not be seen.” It would also be possible to render it with a potential imperfect tense: “it cannot be seen.”

141 sn The restoration of the faltering community continues in this chapter. First, Moses is instructed to make new tablets and take them to the mountain (1-4). Then, through the promised theophany God proclaims his moral character (5-8). Moses responds with the reiteration of the intercession (8), and God responds with the renewal of the covenant (10-28). To put these into expository form, as principles, the chapter would run as follows: I. God provides for spiritual renewal (1-4), II. God reminds people of his moral standard (5-9), III. God renews his covenant promises and stipulations (10-28).

142 tn The imperative is followed by the preposition with a suffix expressing the ethical dative; it strengthens the instruction for Moses. Interestingly, the verb “cut out, chisel, hew,” is the same verb from which the word for a “graven image” is derived – פָּסַל (pasal).

143 tn The perfect tense with vav consecutive makes the value of this verb equal to an imperfect tense, probably a simple future here.

sn Nothing is said of how God was going to write on these stone tablets at this point, but in the end it is Moses who wrote the words. This is not considered a contradiction, since God is often credited with things he has people do in his place. There is great symbolism in this command – if ever a command said far more than it actually said, this is it. The instruction means that the covenant had been renewed, or was going to be renewed, and that the sanctuary with the tablets in the ark at its center would be built (see Deut 10:1). The first time Moses went up he was empty-handed; when he came down he smashed the tablets because of the Israelites’ sin. Now the people would see him go up with empty tablets and be uncertain whether he would come back with the tablets inscribed again (B. Jacob, Exodus, 977-78).

144 tn The form is a Niphal participle that means “be prepared, be ready.” This probably means that Moses was to do in preparation what the congregation had to do back in Exod 19:11-15.

145 sn The same word is used in Exod 33:21. It is as if Moses was to be at his post when Yahweh wanted to communicate to him.

146 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified here and the name “Moses,” which occurs later in this verse, has been replaced with the pronoun (“he”), both for stylistic reasons.

147 sn Deuteronomy says that Moses was also to make an ark of acacia wood before the tablets, apparently to put the tablets in until the sanctuary was built. But this ark may not have been the ark built later; or, it might be the wood box, but Bezalel still had to do all the golden work with it.

148 tn The line reads “and Moses got up early in the morning and went up.” These verbs likely form a verbal hendiadys, the first one with its prepositional phrase serving in an adverbial sense.

149 tn Some commentaries wish to make Moses the subject of the second and the third verbs, the first because he was told to stand there and this verb suggests he did it, and the last because it sounds like he was worshiping Yahweh (cf. NASB). But it is clear from v. 6 that Yahweh was the subject of the last clause of v. 5 – v. 6 tells how he did it. So if Yahweh is the subject of the first and last clauses of v. 5, it seems simpler that he also be the subject of the second. Moses took his stand there, but God stood by him (B. Jacob, Exodus, 981; U. Cassuto, Exodus, 439). There is no reason to make Moses the subject in any of the verbs of v. 5.

150 tn Here is one of the clearest examples of what it means “to call on the name of the Lord,” as that clause has been translated traditionally (וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם יְהוָה, vayyiqravÿshem yÿhvah). It seems more likely that it means “to make proclamation of Yahweh by name.” Yahweh came down and made a proclamation – and the next verses give the content of what he said. This cannot be prayer or praise; it is a proclamation of the nature or attributes of God (which is what his “name” means throughout the Bible). Attempts to make Moses the subject of the verb are awkward, for the verb is repeated in v. 6 with Yahweh clearly doing the proclaiming.

151 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 439) suggests that these two names be written as a sentence: “Yahweh, He is Yahweh.” In this manner it reflects “I am that I am.” It is impossible to define his name in any other way than to make this affirmation and then show what it means.

152 tn See Exod 33:19.

153 sn This is literally “long of anger.” His anger prolongs itself, allowing for people to repent before punishment is inflicted.

154 sn These two words (“loyal love” and “truth”) are often found together, occasionally in a hendiadys construction. If that is the interpretation here, then it means “faithful covenant love.” Even if they are left separate, they are dual elements of a single quality. The first word is God’s faithful covenant love; the second word is God’s reliability and faithfulness.

155 tn That is, “for thousands of generations.”

156 sn As in the ten commandments (20:5-6), this expression shows that the iniquity and its punishment will continue in the family if left unchecked. This does not go on as long as the outcomes for good (thousands versus third or fourth generations), and it is limited to those who hate God.

157 tn The first two verbs form a hendiadys: “he hurried…he bowed,” meaning “he quickly bowed down.”

158 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” two times here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

159 tn Heb “it is.” Hebrew uses the third person masculine singular pronoun here in agreement with the noun “people.”

160 tn Here again is a use of the futur instans participle; the deictic particle plus the pronoun precedes the participle, showing what is about to happen.

161 tn The verb here is בָּרָא (bara’, “to create”). The choice of this verb is to stress that these wonders would be supernaturally performed, for the verb is used only with God as the subject.

162 sn The idea is that God will be doing awesome things in dealing with them, i.e., to fulfill his program.

163 tn The covenant duties begin with this command to “keep well” what is being commanded. The Hebrew expression is “keep for you”; the preposition and the suffix form the ethical dative, adding strength to the imperative.

164 tn Again, this is the futur instans use of the participle.

165 tn The exact expression is “take heed to yourself lest you make.” It is the second use of this verb in the duties, now in the Niphal stem. To take heed to yourself means to watch yourself, be sure not to do something. Here, if they failed to do this, they would end up making entangling treaties.

166 sn A snare would be a trap, an allurement to ruin. See Exod 23:33.

167 tn Or “images of Asherah”; ASV, NASB “their Asherim”; NCV “their Asherah idols.”

sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).

168 tn Heb “bow down.”

169 sn In Exod 20:3 it was “gods.”

170 sn Here, too, the emphasis on God’s being a jealous God is repeated (see Exod 20:5). The use of “name” here is to stress that this is his nature, his character.

171 tn The sentence begins simply “lest you make a covenant”; it is undoubtedly a continuation of the imperative introduced earlier, and so that is supplied here.

172 tn The verb is a perfect with a vav consecutive. In the literal form of the sentence, this clause tells what might happen if the people made a covenant with the inhabitants of the land: “Take heed…lest you make a covenant…and then they prostitute themselves…and sacrifice…and invite…and you eat.” The sequence lays out an entire scenario.

173 tn The verb זָנָה (zanah) means “to play the prostitute; to commit whoredom; to be a harlot” or something similar. It is used here and elsewhere in the Bible for departing from pure religion and engaging in pagan religion. The use of the word in this figurative sense is fitting, because the relationship between God and his people is pictured as a marriage, and to be unfaithful to it was a sin. This is also why God is described as a “jealous” or “impassioned” God. The figure may not be merely a metaphorical use, but perhaps a metonymy, since there actually was sexual immorality at the Canaanite altars and poles.

174 tn There is no subject for the verb. It could be rendered “and one invites you,” or it could be made a passive.

175 tn In the construction this verb would follow as a possible outcome of the last event, and so remain in the verbal sequence. If the people participate in the festivals of the land, then they will intermarry, and that could lead to further involvement with idolatry.

176 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

177 tn The words “do this” have been supplied.

178 tn Heb “everything that opens the womb.”

179 tn Here too: everything that “opens [the womb].”

180 tn The verb basically means “that drops a male.” The verb is feminine, referring to the cattle.

181 tn Heb “and the one that opens [the womb of] the donkey.”

182 sn See G. Brin, “The Firstling of Unclean Animals,” JQR 68 (1971): 1-15.

183 tn The form is the adverb “empty.”

184 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

185 tn Or “cease” (i.e., from the labors).

186 sn See M. Dahood, “Vocative lamed in Exodus 2,4 and Merismus in 34,21,” Bib 62 (1981): 413-15.

187 tn The imperfect tense expresses injunction or instruction.

188 tn The imperfect tense means “you will do”; it is followed by the preposition with a suffix to express the ethical dative to stress the subject.

189 tn The expression is “the turn of the year,” which is parallel to “the going out of the year,” and means the end of the agricultural season.

190 tn “Three times” is an adverbial accusative.

191 tn Heb “all your males.”

192 tn Here the divine name reads in Hebrew הָאָדֹן יְהוָה (haadon yÿhvah), which if rendered according to the traditional scheme of “Lord” for “Yahweh” would result in “Lord Lord.” A number of English versions therefore render this phrase “Lord God,” and that convention has been followed here.

sn The title “Lord” is included here before the divine name (translated “God” here; see Exod 23:17), perhaps to form a contrast with Baal (which means “lord” as well) and to show the sovereignty of Yahweh. But the distinct designation “the God of Israel” is certainly the point of the renewed covenant relationship.

193 tn The verb is a Hiphil imperfect of יָרַשׁ (yarash), which means “to possess.” In the causative stem it can mean “dispossess” or “drive out.”

194 sn The verb “covet” means more than desire; it means that some action will be taken to try to acquire the land that is being coveted. It is one thing to envy someone for their land; it is another to be consumed by the desire that stops at nothing to get it (it, not something like it).

195 tn The construction uses the infinitive construct with a preposition and a suffixed subject to form the temporal clause.

196 tn The expression “three times” is an adverbial accusative of time.

197 sn See M. Haran, “The Passover Sacrifice,” Studies in the Religion of Ancient Israel (VTSup), 86-116.

198 sn See the note on this same command in 23:19.

199 tn Once again the preposition with the suffix follows the imperative, adding some emphasis to the subject of the verb.

200 tn These too are adverbial in relation to the main clause, telling how long Moses was with Yahweh on the mountain.

201 tn Heb “the ten words,” though “commandments” is traditional.

202 sn Now, at the culmination of the renewing of the covenant, comes the account of Moses’ shining face. It is important to read this in its context first, holding off on the connection to Paul’s discussion in 2 Corinthians. There is a delicate balance here in Exodus. On the one hand Moses’ shining face served to authenticate the message, but on the other hand Moses prevented the people from seeing more than they could handle. The subject matter in the OT, then, is how to authenticate the message. The section again can be subdivided into three points that develop the whole idea: I. The one who spends time with God reflects his glory (29-30). It will not always be as Moses; rather, the glory of the Lord is reflected differently today, but nonetheless reflected. II. The glory of Yahweh authenticates the message (31-32). III. The authentication of the message must be used cautiously with the weak and immature (33-35).

203 tn The temporal clause is composed of the temporal indicator (“and it happened”), followed by the temporal preposition, infinitive construct, and subjective genitive (“Moses”).

204 tn The second clause begins with “and/now”; it is a circumstantial clause explaining that the tablets were in his hand. It repeats the temporal clause at the end.

205 tn Heb “in the hand of Moses.”

206 tn The temporal clause parallels the first temporal clause; it uses the same infinitive construct, but now with a suffix referring to Moses.

207 tn Heb “and Moses.”

208 tn The word קָרַן (qaran) is derived from the noun קֶרֶן (qeren) in the sense of a “ray of light” (see Hab 3:4). Something of the divine glory remained with Moses. The Greek translation of Aquila and the Latin Vulgate convey the idea that he had horns, the primary meaning of the word from which this word is derived. Some have tried to defend this, saying that the glory appeared like horns or that Moses covered his face with a mask adorned with horns. But in the text the subject of the verb is the skin of Moses’ face (see U. Cassuto, Exodus, 449).

209 tn This clause is introduced by the deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh); it has the force of pointing to something surprising or sudden.

210 tn Heb “and Moses finished”; the clause is subordinated as a temporal clause to the next clause.

211 tn The Piel infinitive construct is the object of the preposition; the whole phrase serves as the direct object of the verb “finished.”

212 tn Throughout this section the actions of Moses and the people are frequentative. The text tells what happened regularly.

213 tn The construction uses a infinitive construct for the temporal clause; it is prefixed with the temporal preposition: “and in the going in of Moses.”

214 tn The temporal clause begins with the temporal preposition “until,” followed by an infinitive construct with the suffixed subjective genitive.

215 tn The form is the Pual imperfect, but since the context demands a past tense here, in fact a past perfect tense, this is probably an old preterite form without a vav consecutive.

216 tn Now the perfect tense with vav consecutive is subordinated to the next clause, “Moses returned the veil….”

217 tn Verbs of seeing often take two accusatives. Here, the second is the noun clause explaining what it was about the face that they saw.

218 tn Heb “with him”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.



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