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Exodus 33:14-16

Context

33:14 And the Lord 1  said, “My presence 2  will go with you, 3  and I will give you rest.” 4 

33:15 And Moses 5  said to him, “If your presence does not go 6  with us, 7  do not take us up from here. 8  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?” 9 

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

2 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.

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

4 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.

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

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

7 tn “with us” has been supplied.

8 tn Heb “from this.”

9 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.



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