33:7 1 Moses took 2 the tent 3 and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance 4 from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone 5 seeking 6 the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.
33:9 And 7 whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord 8 would speak with Moses. 9 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. 10 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, 11 the way a person speaks 12 to a friend. Then Moses 13 would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent. 14
1 sn This unit of the book could actually include all of chap. 33, starting with the point of the
2 tn Heb “and Moses took.”
3 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
4 tn The infinitive absolute is used here as an adverb (see GKC 341 §113.h).
5 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.
6 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.
7 tn Heb “and it was when.”
8 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the
9 tn Both verbs, “stand” and “speak,” are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutive.
10 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.
11 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).
12 tn The verb in this clause is a progressive imperfect.
13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
14 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.