The Journey Resumed

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your [a]descendants I will give it.’ And I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are [b]an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way.”

When the people heard this [c]sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his jewelry. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are [d]an obstinate people; if I [e]were to go up in your midst for just one moment, I would destroy you. So now, take off your [f]jewelry that I may know what I shall do to you.’” So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry, from Mount Horeb onward.

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and [g]the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would stand and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 So the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When [h]Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

Moses Intercedes

12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now then, if I have found favor in Your sight in any way, please let me know Your ways so that I may know You, in order that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are on the face of the [i]earth?”

17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion.” 20 He further said, “You cannot see My face, for mankind shall not see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place [j]by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”


  1. Exodus 33:1 Lit seed
  2. Exodus 33:3 Or a stiff-necked
  3. Exodus 33:4 Lit evil
  4. Exodus 33:5 Or a stiff-necked
  5. Exodus 33:5 Or go up...I will destroy
  6. Exodus 33:5 Lit jewelry from you, that
  7. Exodus 33:9 Lit He
  8. Exodus 33:11 Lit he
  9. Exodus 33:16 Lit ground
  10. Exodus 33:21 Lit with