Exodus 33:1-34:9 Reading the Passage

The Hope of Reconciliation with God – Exodus 33:1-34:9

33 Then Jehovah said to Moses, Leave this place, you and the people you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land I pledged to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, promising them, I will give it to your descendants. (2) I will send an angel ahead of you and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (3) Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up in your midst, or else I might consume you along the way, for you are an obstinate* people. (4) When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornamental jewelry. (5) Jehovah had said to Moses, Tell the children of Israel, You are an obstinate people; if I were to go up in your midst for just one moment, I would consume you. Now then, discard your ornamental jewelry, so that I may know what to do with you. (6) So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornamental jewelry at Mount Horeb and for the remainder of their journey.

(7) Now Moses used to take the tent and set it up outside the camp, at a distance from the camp. He called it “The Tent of Meeting.” Anyone who sought Jehovah’s counsel would go out to the Tent of Meeting located outside the camp. (8) Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrance of their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. (9) When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud descended and stayed at the entrance of the tent; and Jehovah would speak with Moses. (10) Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each one at the entrance of his tent. (11) Jehovah would speak with Moses face to face, like a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but Joshua his aide, a young man, the son of Nun, did not leave the tent.

(12) Moses said to Jehovah, See, you have been telling me, Lead these people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Furthermore, you have said, I know you intimately** and you have found favor in my sight. (13) Now, therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me your ways, so that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight. And consider the fact that this nation is your people. (14) He replied, My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest. (15) Then Moses said to him, If your presence does not go with me, 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? Is it not by the fact that you go with us, so that we are distinguished—I and your people—from all the other people who are on the face of the earth? (17) Jehovah said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have requested, because you have found favor in my sight and I know you intimately. (18) Then Moses said, Please show me your glory. (19) And he said, I will cause all my goodness to pass before you and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. (20) But he said, You may not see my face; for no man can see me and live. (21) Then Jehovah said, Look; there is a place near me, and there you may stand upon the rock. (22) While my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (23) Then I will remove my hand and you shall see my back; but my face must not be seen.

34 Jehovah said to Moses, Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the words that were inscribed on the first tablets, the ones you broke. (2) Be ready in the morning and then come up to Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. (3) No man shall come up with you, nor is anyone to be seen anywhere on the mountain; and do not allow the flocks and herds to graze in front of that mountain. (4) So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones. He got up early the next morning and ascended Mount Sinai, as Jehovah had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.

(5) Jehovah descended in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed the name of Jehovah. (6) Jehovah passed before him and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth, (7) maintaining his covenant relationship for thousands of generations,forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But by no means will he leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. (8) Moses quickly bowed his head to the ground and worshiped. (9) He said, If I have now found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord travel with us in our midst, for they are an obstinate people. Pardon our iniquity and our sin, and receive us as your inheritance.

*Literally, “stiff-necked”

**Literally, “I know you by name”

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.