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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 33

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Exo 33:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, [and] go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

Ver. l. Which thou hast brought. ] See Trapp on " Exo 33:7 "

Verse 2

Exo 33:2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:

Ver. 2. An angel before thee. ] A created angel to conduct thee. But Moses would none of that; he would not be so put off. Exo 34:9 Low things satisfy not a high spirit.

Verse 3

Exo 33:3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou [art] a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Ver. 3. I will not go up, ] sc., By those visible signs of my gracious presence as heretofore.

Verse 4

Exo 33:4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.

Ver. 4. They mourned. ] As good cause they had: for "woe be unto thee when I depart from thee." Hos 9:12

Verse 5

Exo 33:5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye [are] a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Ver. 5. And consume thee. ] God’s threatenings are cordial, but conditional. Minatur Deus ut non puniat. "Fury is not in me." Isa 27:4 He punisheth not "till there be no other remedy," 2Ch 36:16 as the bee stings not till provoked.

Verse 6

Exo 33:6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.

Ver. 6. Stripped themselves. ] As in a day of restraint.

Verse 7

Exo 33:7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, [that] every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which [was] without the camp.

Ver. 7. Afar off from the camp. ] In token of God’s deep displeasure and departure from them.

Verse 8

Exo 33:8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, [that] all the people rose up, and stood every man [at] his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.

Ver. 8. And looked after Moses. ] To see what success, what acceptance: as David looked up after his prayer to see how it sped. Psa 5:3

Verse 9

Exo 33:9 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.

Ver. 9. And the Lord talked with Moses. ] Out of the cloudy pillar: which was a sign of favour. Psa 99:7 The Turks honour Moses, and call him the talker with God.

Verse 10

Exo 33:10 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.

Ver. 10. Rose up and worshipped. ] Though obnoxious, they would not despair of mercy. See 1 Samuel 12:20-22 .

Verse 11

Exo 33:11 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.

Ver. 11. Face to face. ] Friendly and familiarly, as Numbers 12:8 . And perhaps in human shape, as he spake with Abraham his friend. Gen 18:16-33

Verse 12

Exo 33:12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

Ver. 12. See, thou sayest unto me. ] See, saith one, a how Moses here encroacheth upon God. God had done much for him, he must have more. Exo 33:13 "Show me now thy way," &c. This God grants him. Exo 33:14 This serves not the turn; he must have more yet. Exo 33:16 Well, he hath it. Exo 33:17 Is he satisfied? No, he must yet have more. Exo 33:18 "I beseech thee show me thy glory." It is done. Exo 33:19 Is he satisfied yet? No. Exo 34:9 God must pardon the sin of his people too; and take them and him for his inheritance: this fruit of his favour he must needs be entreated to add to the rest.

a Mr Bur. [?Burroughs.]

Verse 13

Exo 33:13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation [is] thy people.

Ver. 13. That I may know thee. ] Moses knew more of God than any man; he was but newly come down from the mount, and at the tabernacle door God spake with Moses "face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Exo 33:11 The more a man knows of God, the more desirous he is to know him.

Verse 14

Exo 33:14 And he said, My presence shall go [with thee], and I will give thee rest.

Ver. 14. I will give thee rest. ] Full content of mind, in the sense of my presence and light of my countenance.

Verse 15

Exo 33:15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not [with me], carry us not up hence.

Ver. 15. If thy presence go not with me. ] What is it to have the air without light? What was all Mordecai’s honour to him when the king frowned upon him?

Verse 16

Exo 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? [is it] not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

Ver. 16. So shall we be separated. ] Heb., Marvellously separated. The separation of the saints is a wonderful separation. See Deuteronomy 4:7 ; also Isaiah 20:6 , where Judea is for this cause called an "isle."

Verse 17

Exo 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Ver. 17. I know thee by name. ] As princes do their favourites, who easily forget others, as Saul did David. 1Sa 17:55

Verse 18

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

Ver. 18. Show me thy glory. ] None ever knew God’s glory; our cockle shell can never comprehend this sea: yet it may be apprehended that it is incomprehensible.

Verse 19

Exo 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.

Ver. 19. I will make all my goodness. ] My glorious goodness. Thus Moses may have what he will of God. "The king is not he that can do anything against you," said Zedekiah to his courtiers. Jer 38:5

Verse 20

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

Ver. 20. Thou canst not see my face. ] Otherwise than in his words and works. Rom 1:20 As we cannot see the sun in rota, in the circle, but in the beams. Some have seen Mercabah velo harocheb, as the Hebrews speak, a the chariot in which God rode, but not the rider in it: they saw some created image, or glory, whereby he testified his more immediate presence, but not himself.

No man shall see me, and live. ] But be oppressed and swallowed up with majesty: as the sight of the eye is dazzled with the sun; or a crystal glass broken with the fire.

a Rab. Maimon.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 33". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-33.html. 1865-1868.
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