Bible Discussion Thread

  • Marie on Exodus 33
    Verse 11 says: And the LORD spake unto Moses, face to face, but in verse 20: it says "Thou can not see my face, for there shall no man see me, and live. I'm confused between these two verses. Can someone please explain what the different? Thank you and God bless you.
  • Chris - in Reply on Exodus 33
    Hello Marie. These verses can be confusing as we are not given a lot to work with to get a full understanding. We can see that in verse 11 ("the LORD spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend"), that Moses is describing the close presence of the LORD in the Tabernacle as opposed to God's Words coming to him from a distance (i.e. from Heaven) or as how the prophets received God's messages for the people. And this 'closeness' is representative of a friend speaking to a friend intimately, which requires both close proximity & maybe a hushed conversation.

    And then we read something of their conversation (vv 12-17) before Moses, in that intimate meeting, then begs: "shew me thy glory." To which the LORD replies that He will make all His Goodness (also referred to as His Glory v22) pass by him. It appears that Moses has been transported away from the Tabernacle, into a rock's cleft, so that God's Glory may pass by him, revealing His Glory in Spirit, yet Moses being prevented from seeing the Face of God. We are not told why seeing God's "back parts" & not God's Face is so different that can warrant Moses' demise - but that's what it is.

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