וַיְדַבֵּ֨ר יְהוָ֤ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֙ לֵ֣ךְ עֲלֵ֣ה מִזֶּ֔ה אַתָּ֣ה וְהָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶֽעֱלִ֖יתָ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֶל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִ֠שְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָ֨ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לְזַרְעֲךָ֖ אֶתְּנֶֽנָּה׃
וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י לְפָנֶ֖יךָ מַלְאָ֑ךְ וְגֵֽרַשְׁתִּ֗י אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י וְהַֽחִתִּי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י הַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃
אֶל־אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָ֑שׁ כִּי֩ לֹ֨א אֶֽעֱלֶ֜ה בְּקִרְבְּךָ֗ כִּ֤י עַם־קְשֵׁה־עֹ֙רֶף֙ אַ֔תָּה פֶּן־אֲכֶלְךָ֖ בַּדָּֽרֶךְ׃
וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע הָעָ֗ם אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הָרָ֛ע הַזֶּ֖ה וַיִּתְאַבָּ֑לוּ וְלֹא־שָׁ֛תוּ אִ֥ישׁ עֶדְי֖וֹ עָלָֽיו׃
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה אֱמֹ֤ר אֶל־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אַתֶּ֣ם עַם־קְשֵׁה־עֹ֔רֶף רֶ֧גַע אֶחָ֛ד אֶֽעֱלֶ֥ה בְקִרְבְּךָ֖ וְכִלִּיתִ֑יךָ וְעַתָּ֗ה הוֹרֵ֤ד עֶדְיְךָ֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יךָ וְאֵדְעָ֖ה מָ֥ה אֶֽעֱשֶׂה־לָּֽךְ׃
וַיִּֽתְנַצְּל֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־עֶדְיָ֖ם מֵהַ֥ר חוֹרֵֽב׃
וּמֹשֶׁה֩ יִקַּ֨ח אֶת־הָאֹ֜הֶל וְנָֽטָה־ל֣וֹ׀ מִח֣וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֗ה הַרְחֵק֙ מִן־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וְקָ֥רָא ל֖וֹ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְהָיָה֙ כָּל־מְבַקֵּ֣שׁ יְהוָ֔ה יֵצֵא֙ אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד אֲשֶׁ֖ר מִח֥וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה׃
וְהָיָ֗ה כְּצֵ֤את מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־הָאֹ֔הֶל יָק֙וּמוּ֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם וְנִ֨צְּב֔וּ אִ֖ישׁ פֶּ֣תַח אָהֳל֑וֹ וְהִבִּ֙יטוּ֙ אַחֲרֵ֣י מֹשֶׁ֔ה עַד־בֹּא֖וֹ הָאֹֽהֱלָה׃
וְהָיָ֗ה כְּבֹ֤א מֹשֶׁה֙ הָאֹ֔הֱלָה יֵרֵד֙ עַמּ֣וּד הֶֽעָנָ֔ן וְעָמַ֖ד פֶּ֣תַח הָאֹ֑הֶל וְדִבֶּ֖ר עִם־מֹשֶֽׁה׃
וְרָאָ֤ה כָל־הָעָם֙ אֶת־עַמּ֣וּד הֶֽעָנָ֔ן עֹמֵ֖ד פֶּ֣תַח הָאֹ֑הֶל וְקָ֤ם כָּל־הָעָם֙ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוּ֔וּ אִ֖ישׁ פֶּ֥תַח אָהֳלֽוֹ׃
וְדִבֶּ֨ר יְהוָ֤ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֙ פָּנִ֣ים אֶל־פָּנִ֔ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יְדַבֵּ֥ר אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֑הוּ וְשָׁב֙ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וּמְשָׁ֨רְת֜וֹ יְהוֹשֻׁ֤עַ בִּן־נוּן֙ נַ֔עַר לֹ֥א יָמִ֖ישׁ מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֹֽהֶל׃ס
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֜ה אֶל־יְהוָ֗ה רְ֠אֵה אַתָּ֞ה אֹמֵ֤ר אֵלַי֙ הַ֚עַל אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה וְאַתָּה֙ לֹ֣א הֽוֹדַעְתַּ֔נִי אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־תִּשְׁלַ֖ח עִמִּ֑י וְאַתָּ֤ה אָמַ֙רְתָּ֙ יְדַעְתִּ֣יךָֽ בְשֵׁ֔ם וְגַם־מָצָ֥אתָ חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינָֽי׃
and Moses said to YHWH, “Look, you are saying to me, ‘Cause this people to go up and you did not cause me to know who you will send with me and you said, ‘I know you by name and also you have found grace in My eyes.'”
Paraphrase: Then Moses said to YHWH, “Look, you are telling me to lead this people to the promised land, but I am still not sure about who is going to help us find it. You said that you were going to send an angel before us to drive out the enemies (Exodus 33:2), but an angel is not what we need. Remember please, dear Lord, that you said that You knew my name implying that you would take care of me just as a friend does for a friend. (Exodus 33:11) You also assured us that we were under Your special favor and mercy.
Knowing someone’s name is a mark of friendship and intimacy; cf Exodus 33:11. Walker notes: “The name of God was therefore not a mere word, but the whole of the Divine manifestation, the character of God as revealed in His relations to His people and in His dealings with them.” source Now this is God’s name but the same would apply to knowing Moses’ name. God here says that He knows Moses’ name; and therefore, He knows Moses thoroughly. What a greater wonder it is then, when God goes on to say that Moses has found favor in YHWH’s eyes.
וְעַתָּ֡ה אִם־נָא֩ מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֜ן בְּעֵינֶ֗יךָ הוֹדִעֵ֤נִי נָא֙ אֶת־דְּרָכֶ֔ךָ וְאֵדָ֣עֲךָ֔ לְמַ֥עַן אֶמְצָא־חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינֶ֑יךָ וּרְאֵ֕ה כִּ֥י עַמְּךָ֖ הַגּ֥וֹי הַזֶּֽה׃
and now if please I may find favor in Your eyes, cause me please to know Your way and I will know You so that I may find favor in Your eyes and consider that this nation is Your people.
Paraphrase: So now if these things are true, I humbly make this request. I am asking that You Yourself be our Guide and show us the way to the promised land. Again, I make my request pleading on Your own word that we have found favor in Your sight. Also, I know that Israel is not the people of Moses; they are the people of the Great King, Your people, Oh Sovereign Lord.
וַיֹּאמַ֑ר פָּנַ֥י יֵלֵ֖כוּ וַהֲנִחֹ֥תִי לָֽךְ׃
and He said, “My face will go and I will cause you to rest.
Paraphrase: Then YHWH spoke to Moses, “I have heard your request and am going to grant it. I am going to personally walk with you every step of the way. I will be right there to pick you up when you fall, to shelter you in the storms, to guide you when you are perplexed, to calm you when you are irritated, to encourage you when your spirit falls, and to carry you when you collapse; do not be anxious. I will be with you every step of the way, and one day you will surely come to rest your body in the promised land; I promise it.
וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלָ֑יו אִם־אֵ֤ין פָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ הֹלְכִ֔ים אַֽל־תַּעֲלֵ֖נוּ מִזֶּֽה׃
and he said to Him, “If your face is not going; do not cause us to go up from this place.”
Paraphrase: Then Moses was full of joy and cried out to God, “This is good news indeed. If leaving this place meant that we would be leaving You behind, then I would pray that you would never ask us to go. If I had to leave You, then my heart would be overwhelmed, and I would cry to You from the ends of the earth, ‘Lead me back to the Rock that is higher than I, for Thou hast been a refuge for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I want to dwell in Thy tabernacle forever: I love to take refuge in the covert of Thy wings.'” (Psalm 61:2-4)
וּבַמֶּ֣ה׀ יִוָּדַ֣ע אֵפ֗וֹא כִּֽי־מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֤ן בְּעֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ אֲנִ֣י וְעַמֶּ֔ךָ הֲל֖וֹא בְּלֶכְתְּךָ֣ עִמָּ֑נוּ וְנִפְלֵ֙ינוּ֙ אֲנִ֣י וְעַמְּךָ֔ מִכָּ֨ל־הָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הָאֲדָמָֽה׃פ
and in what is it known then that I have found favor in Your eyes? I and Your people is not when your going with us? And we may be marked out, I and Your people, from all the people which are on the face of the land?
Paraphrase: Furthermore, how would the nations we meet on the way know that we are Your people and under your protection? If Your presence was not with us, everyone would plunder us at will. With Your presence, however, every tribe we meet will know immediately that You are our Father and that you separated us from all the other nations and have entered into covenant with us to be our God and Father forever. We will be safe under Your protection.
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה גַּ֣ם אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתָּ אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֑ה כִּֽי־מָצָ֤אתָ חֵן֙ בְּעֵינַ֔י וָאֵדָעֲךָ֖ בְּשֵֽׁם׃
and YHWH said to Moses, “Indeed, this word which you speak, I will so for you find favor in My eyes and I have known you by Name.
Paraphrase: Then YHWH replied again and assured Moses that He would be with them every step of the way. “I have heard your request, and I will surely do what you asked. I will never break My word to you. I have told you before, and I say it again: you have found favor with Me and I know your name.”
וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַרְאֵ֥נִי נָ֖א אֶת־כְּבֹדֶֽךָ׃
and he said, “Cause me to see, please, Your glory.”
Paraphrase: When Moses heard these words, his heart overflowed with joy. “Let me see Your glory!” he cried out to God.
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֲנִ֨י אַעֲבִ֤יר כָּל־טוּבִי֙ עַל־פָּנֶ֔יךָ וְקָרָ֧אתִֽי בְשֵׁ֛ם יְהוָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְחַנֹּתִי֙ אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָחֹ֔ן וְרִחַמְתִּ֖י אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲרַחֵֽם׃
and He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass over before your face, and I will call by Name YHWH before you and I will show favor who I favor and I will show mercy who I mercy.”
Paraphrase: Again YHWH was pleased to grant Moses’ request. “Come,” He said to Moses, “I will show you My glory. The glory of My Person is My goodness. It will pass before you; and as it passes, I will pronounce My Name, YHWH. When you see and hear this, you will know that I am YHWH, the Great King. I am perfectly sovereign in all My ways. I favor those whom I decide to favor; I show mercy to whomever I decide to show mercy.
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֹ֥א תוּכַ֖ל לִרְאֹ֣ת אֶת־פָּנָ֑י כִּ֛י לֹֽא־יִרְאַ֥נִי הָאָדָ֖ם וָחָֽי׃
and He said, “You are not able to see My Face for a human person may not see Me and live.”
Paraphrase: “There is one problem, however,” God said to Moses, “No one can look directly on My Face and live. I can only grant you this request if I shield you somehow.”
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֔ה הִנֵּ֥ה מָק֖וֹם אִתִּ֑י וְנִצַּבְתָּ֖ עַל־הַצּֽוּר׃
and YHWH said, “Look, a place with Me. and I will position you on the rock.”
Paraphrase: Then YWHW saw a rock with a large crevice in it. “Look,” He said, “here is a place where you can see My Glory but indirectly and in a way that will not cost you your life. Go, position yourself next to that rock…
וְהָיָה֙ בַּעֲבֹ֣ר כְּבֹדִ֔י וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךָ בְּנִקְרַ֣ת הַצּ֑וּר וְשַׂכֹּתִ֥י כַפִּ֛י עָלֶ֖יךָ עַד־עָבְרִֽי׃
and it will be in the passing by of My Glory, and I will place you in a crevice of the rock and I will spread My hand over you until my passing.
Paraphrase: …and when My Glory gets close to you, I will put you into that crevice. Then I will place My Hand over this crevice so that you will not look directly on My Face. Once, I have passed you, however,…
וַהֲסִרֹתִי֙ אֶת־כַּפִּ֔י וְרָאִ֖יתָ אֶת־אֲחֹרָ֑י וּפָנַ֖י לֹ֥א יֵרָאֽוּ׃ס
and I will cause My Hand to turn aside, and you will see My Back, and My Face you will not see.
Paraphrase: …I will remove My Hand from the opening. Then you will be able to see My Glory from the back, and you will not die.”