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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Exodus 34

Verses 1-8

Moses Sees God’s Glory - Note these insightful words by Sadhu Sundar Singh.

“Man also has a natural desire that he should see Him in whom he believes and who loves him. But the Father cannot be seen, for He is by nature incomprehensible, and he who would comprehend Him must have the same nature. But man is a comprehensible creature, and being so cannot see God. Since, however, God is Love and He has given to man that same faculty of love, therefore, in order that that craving for love might be satisfied, He adopted a form of existence that man could comprehend. Thus He became man, and His children with all the holy angels may see Him and enjoy Him (Col. i.15, ii.9). Therefore I said that he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father (John xiv.9-10). And although while in the form of man I am called the Son, I am the eternal and everlasting Father (Isa. ix.6).” [98]

[98] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet, trans. Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1922) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, “I The Manifestation of God’s Presence,” section 2, part 1.

Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

Exodus 33:18 Comments - Benny Hinn teaches that when Moses asked to see God’s glory, it was immediately after he had been on the mount for forty days. He could ask this question and receive a positive reply from the Lord because there was nothing else left of Moses’ flesh. He had crucified his flesh during those forty days and had nothing left of this world’s desires. He has emptied himself of earthly desires and his passion was now for fellowship with the Father. Moses had paid the price and received his reward, for God did pass before Him. [99]

[99] Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Exodus 33:19 Scripture References - Note:

Romans 9:15, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Exodus 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

Exodus 33:21 Comments - Jesus is our rock who allows us to stand before God by grace.

Exodus 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

Exodus 33:22 “that I will put thee in a clift of the rock” Comments - Figuratively speaking, God places us in the clift of the rock through Christ Jesus so that we can enter into God’s presence, lest we be consumed at God’s presence because of our sins. Jesus is our rock.

Exodus 33:22 Comments The Scriptures record other accounts of men standing in the presence of God. Moses stood in the tent in behalf of the children of Israel as their intercessor and spoke with God face to face (Exodus 33:9-11) and Elijah stood on Mount Horeb and experienced the presence of God (1 Kings 19:33).

Exodus 33:9-11, “And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”

1 Kings 19:13, “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Exodus 33:23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Chapter 34

Exodus 34:6-7 Scripture References - Note:

Numbers 14:18, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”

Verses 9-28

Exodus 34:12 Scripture References - Note:

Joshua 9:14-15, “And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.”

Exodus 34:14 Scripture References - Note:

1 Corinthians 10:22, “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?”

Exodus 34:24 “go up to appear before the Lord thy God” - Comments - Perhaps this is why all went to Jerusalem for the Passover, etc. God’s presence was to come into the Temple.

John 2:13, “And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem”

Verses 29-35

The Face of Moses Shines In Exodus 34:1-28 God called Moses back up to Mount Sinai to renew His covenant with the children of Israel. Upon his return from the mount, the face of Moses shone bright so that the Israelites feared to look upon him. Therefore, he shielded his face from them.

Paul discusses the symbolic meaning of Moses’ vail in 1 Corinthians 3:6-18 when comparing the old covenant with the new one. Paul says the vail represents the blindness of the heart of Israel in rejecting the First Coming of Jesus Christ. The brightness may symbolize the fact that the second covenant is more glorious than the second, since this was the second writing of the Ten Commandments, the first having been broken.

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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 34". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/exodus-34.html. 2013.