33:3. That thou mayst enter into the land that floweth with milk and honey. For I will not go up with thee, because thou art a stiffnecked people; lest I destroy thee in the way.
33:4. And the people hearing these very bad tidings, mourned: and no man put on his ornaments according to custom.
33:5. And the Lord said to Moses: Say to the children of Israel: Thou art a stiffnecked people, once I shall come up in the midst of thee, and shall destroy thee. Now presently lay aside thy ornaments, that I may know what to do to thee.
33:6. So the children of Israel laid aside their ornaments by Mount Horeb.
33:7. Moses also taking the tabernacle, pitched it without the camp afar off, and called the name thereof, The tabernacle of the covenant. And all the people, that had any question, went forth to the tabernacle of the covenant, without the camp.
33:8. And when Moses went forth to the tabernacle, all the people rose up, and every one stood in the door of his pavilion, and they beheld the back of Moses, till he went into the tabernacle.
33:9. And when he was gone into the tabernacle of the covenant, the pillar of the cloud came down, and stood at the door, and he spoke with Moses.
33:10. And all saw that the pillar of the cloud stood at the door of the tabernacle. And they stood and worshipped at the doors of their tent.
33:11. And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man is wont to speak to his friend. And when he returned into the camp, his servant Josue, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not from the tabernacle.
Face to face... That is, in a most familiar manner. Though as we learn from this very chapter, Moses could not see the face of the Lord.
33:12. And Moses said to the Lord: Thou commandest me to lead forth this people; and thou dost not let me know whom thou wilt send with me, especially whereas thou hast said: I know thee by name, and thou hast found favour in my sight.
I know thee by name... In the language of the scriptures, God is said to know such as he approves and loves: and to know by name, those whom he favours in a most singular manner, as he did his servant Moses.
33:13. If therefore I have found favour in thy sight, shew me thy face, that I may know thee, and may find grace before thy eyes: look upon thy people this nation.
33:14. And the Lord said: My face shall go before thee, and I will give thee rest.
33:15. And Moses said: If thou thyself dost not go before, bring us not out of this place.
33:16. For how shall we be able to know, I and thy people, that we have found grace in thy sight, unless thou walk with us, that we may be glorified by all people that dwell upon the earth?
33:17. And the Lord said to Moses: This word also, which thou hast spoken, will I do; for thou hast found grace before me, and thee I have known by name.
33:18. And he said: Shew me thy glory.
33:19. He answered: I will shew thee all good, and I will proclaim in the name of the Lord before thee: and I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please me.
33:20. And again he said: Thou canst not see my face: for man shall not see me, and live.
33:21. And again he said: Behold there is a place with me, and thou shalt stand upon the rock.
33:22. And when my glory shall pass, I will set thee in a hole of the rock, and protect thee with my righthand till I pass:
33:23. And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face thou canst not see.
See my back parts... The Lord by his angel, usually spoke to Moses in the pillar of the cloud; so that he could not see the glory of him that spoke familiarly with him. In the vision here mentioned he was allowed to see something of him, in an assumed corporeal form: not in the face, the rays of which were too bright for mortal eye to bear, but to view him as it were behind, when his face was turned from him.
Exodus Chapter 34
The tables are renewed: all society with the Chanaanites is forbid: some precepts concerning the firstborn, the sabbath, and other feasts: after forty days' fast, Moses returneth to the people with the commandments, and his face appearing horned with rays of light, he covereth it, whensoever he speaketh to the people.
34:1. And after this he said: Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the former, and I will write upon them the words, which were in the tables, which thou brokest.
34:2. Be ready in the morning, that thou mayst forthwith go up into Mount Sinai, and thou shalt stand with me upon the top of the mount.
34:3. Let no man go up with thee, and let not any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the oxen nor the sheep feed over against it.
34:4. Then he cut out two tables of stone, such as had been before; and rising very early he went up into the Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, carrying with him the tables.
34:5. And when the Lord was come down in a cloud, Moses stood with him, calling upon the name of the Lord.
34:6. And when he passed before him, he said: O the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, patient and of much compassion, and true,
34:7. Who keepest mercy unto thousands: who takest away iniquity, and wickedness, and sin, and no man of himself is innocent before thee. Who renderest the iniquity of the fathers to the children, and to the grandchildren unto the third and fourth generation.
34:8. And Moses making haste, bowed down prostrate unto the earth, and adoring,
34:9. Said: If I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, I beseech thee that thou wilt go with us, (for it is a stiffnecked people) and take away our iniquities and sin, and possess us.
34:10. The Lord answered: I will make a covenant in the sight of all, I will do signs such as were never seen upon the earth, nor in any nations; that this people, in the midst of whom thou art, may see the terrible work of the Lord which I will do.
34:11. Observe all things which this day I command thee: I myself will drive out before thy face the Amorrhite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hethite, and the Pherezite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite.
34:12. Beware thou never join in friendship with the inhabitants of that land, which may be thy ruin:
34:13. But destroy their altars, break their statues and cut down their groves:
34:14. Adore not any strange god. The Lord his name is jealous, he is a jealous God.
34:15. Make no covenant with the men of those countries; lest, when they have committed fornication with their gods, and have adored their idols, some one call thee to eat of the things sacrificed.
34:16. Neither shalt thou take of their daughters a wife for thy son, lest after they themselves have committed fornication, they make thy sons also to commit fornication with their gods.
34:17. Thou shalt not make to thyself any molten gods.
34:18: Thou shalt keep the feast of the unleavened bread. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee in the time of the month of the new corn: for in the month of the spring time thou camest out from Egypt.
34:19. All of the male kind that openeth the womb, shall be mine. Of all beasts; both of oxen and of sheep, it shall be mine.
34:20. The firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a sheep: but if thou wilt not give a price for it, it shall be slain. The firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem: neither shalt thou appear before me empty.
34:21. Six days shalt thou work, the seventh day thou shalt cease to plough and to reap.
34:22. Thou shalt keep the feast of weeks with the firstfruits of the corn of thy wheat harvest, and the feast when the time of the year returneth that all things are laid in.
34:23. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear in the sight of the almighty Lord the God of Israel.
34:24. For when I shall have taken away the nations from thy face, and shall have enlarged thy borders, no man shall lie in wait against thy land when thou shalt go up, and appear in the sight of the Lord thy God thrice in a year.