|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:12-23 Moses is very earnest with God. Thus, by the intercession of Christ, we are not only saved from ruin, but become entitled to everlasting happiness. Observe here how he pleads. We find grace in God's sight, if we find grace in our hearts to guide and quicken us in the way of our duty. Moses speaks as one who dreaded the thought of going forward without the Lord's presence. God's gracious promises, and mercy towards us, should not only encourage our faith, but also excite our fervency in prayer. Observe how he speeds. See, in a type, Christ's intercession, which he ever lives to make for all that come to God by him; and that it is not by any thing in those for whom he intercedes. Moses then entreats a sight of God's glory, and is heard in that also. A full discovery of the glory of God, would overwhelm even Moses himself. Man is mean, and unworthy of it; weak, and could not bear it; guilty, and could not but dread it. The merciful display which is made in Christ Jesus, alone can be borne by us. The Lord granted that which would abundantly satisfy. God's goodness is his glory; and he will have us to know him by the glory of his mercy, more than by the glory of his majesty. Upon the rock there was a fit place for Moses to view the goodness and glory of God. The rock in Horeb was typical of Christ the Rock; the Rock of refuge, salvation, and strength. Happy are they who stand upon this Rock. The cleft may be an emblem of Christ, as smitten, crucified, wounded, and slain. What follows, denotes the imperfect knowledge of God in the present state, even as revealed in Christ; for this, when compared with the heavenly sight of him. is but like seeing a man that is gone by, whose back only is to be seen. God in Christ, as he is, even the fullest and brightest displays of his glory, grace, and goodness, are reserved to another state.
Verse 14. - My presence shall go with thee. Literally," My presence shall go up" - my own presence, not that of an angel. That for which Moses had been so earnestly pleading is, seemingly, granted. God will go up. I will give thee rest. - i.e. "bring thee to Canaan." (Compare Deuteronomy 3:20; Hebrews 4:8.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he said,.... In answer to his request:
my presence shall go with thee; or before thee, both with Moses and before the people; meaning the Angel of his presence he had before promised, the eternal Word and Son of God, who saved them, redeemed them, bore and carried them all the days of old: or "my faces shall go" (y); all the three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; there was Jehovah the Father, whose the Angel of his presence was; and there was Jehovah the Son, Christ, whom they tempted in the wilderness; and there was Jehovah the Holy Spirit, whom they vexed, see Isaiah 63:9.
and I will give thee rest; not ease, and peace and tranquillity of mind, or a freedom from the fear of enemies, and all dangers by them, much less rest in the grave, before Israel should be brought into Canaan's land; but rather the promised land itself, which was "the rest" that was promised, and would be given, and was typical of that eternal rest which remains for the people of God in heaven, and is a pure gift; for this promise is not personal and peculiar to Moses, but belonged to all the people, to whom God would give the typical rest, see Deuteronomy 12:9.
(y) "facies meae ibunt", Montanus, Vatablus.
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