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Exodus 33:1-4

Context

33:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Go up 1  from here, you and the people whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land I promised on oath 2  to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 3  33:2 I will send an angel 4  before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 5  33:3 Go up 6  to a land flowing with milk and honey. But 7  I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, and I might destroy you 8  on the way.”

33:4 When the people heard this troubling word 9  they mourned; 10  no one put on his ornaments.

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

2 tn Or “the land which I swore.”

3 tn Heb “seed.”

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

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

6 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.

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

8 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.

9 tn Or “bad news” (NAB, NCV).

10 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.



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