Exodus 34:29
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.

New Living Translation
When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn't aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the LORD.

English Standard Version
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.

New American Standard Bible
It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As Moses descended from Mount Sinai--with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain--he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the LORD.

International Standard Version
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he had the two tablets in his hand, and he did not know that the skin of his face was ablaze with light because he had been speaking with God.

NET Bible
Now when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand--when he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses came down from Mount Sinai, carrying the two tablets with God's words on them. His face was shining from speaking with the LORD, but he didn't know it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass, as Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, while he came down from the mount, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone after he had talked with him.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai -- and the two tables of testimony were in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mountain -- that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone through his talking with him.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass when Moses came down from mount Sinai (with the two tables of testimony in Moses's hand, when he came down from the mount) that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone, while he talked with him.

World English Bible
It happened, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mountain, that Moses didn't know that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, when Moses is coming down from mount Sinai (and the two tables of the testimony are in the hand of Moses in his coming down from the mount), that Moses hath not known that the skin of his face hath shone in His speaking with him,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

34:28-35 Near and spiritual communion with God improves the graces of a renewed and holy character. Serious godliness puts a lustre upon a man's countenance, such as commands esteem and affection. The vail which Moses put on, marked the obscurity of that dispensation, compared with the gospel dispensation of the New Testament. It was also an emblem of the natural vail on the hearts of men respecting spiritual things. Also the vail that was and is upon the nation of Israel, which can only be taken away by the Spirit of the Lord showing to them Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Fear and unbelief would put the vail before us, they would hinder our free approach to the mercy-seat above. We should spread our wants, temporal and spiritual, fully before our heavenly Father; we should tell him our hinderances, struggles, trails, and temptations; we should acknowledge our offences.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 29. - The skin of his face shone while he talked with him. Rather, "through his talking with him." The glory of God, as revealed to Moses on this occasion, caused his face to become henceforth radiant. Compare the effect of the transfiguration (Matthew 17:2). The Vulgate wrongly translates haran, "to shine," as if it were derived from keren, "a horn" - whence the painters of mediaeval times commonly represent Moses as horned. St. Paul's words (2 Corinthians 3:7) are conclusive as to the true meaning.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it came to pass, when Moses came down Mount Sinai,.... Which was on the day of atonement, according to Jarchi, that is, the tenth of Tisri, or September; and so the Jewish chronologers (q) fix his descent on this day:

with the two tables of testimony in Moses's hand; the two tables he carried up, on which God had wrote the law, called "the testimony", being a testification and declaration of his will to the children of Israel:

when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone, while he talked with him: the Targum of Jonathan is,"Moses knew not that the splendour of the form of his face was become illustrious, which he had from the brightness of the glory of the Shechinah of the Lord, at the time he talked with him.''And this the apostle calls "the glory of his countenance", 2 Corinthians 3:7 the glory of the Lord as it passed before him, when in the cleft of the rock, and that degree of it he was admitted to the sight of, while conversing with God, during his stay on the mount forty days and forty nights, left a shining glory on his countenance; which while he was with God he could not be at all sensible of, the glory of God so infinitely surpassing that; and when he came down the mount, as he could not see his own face without a glass, so though the rays of light and glory that darted from his face were so bright and strong, that they might have been observed by him, yet his mind was so intent on what he had seen and heard, that he took no notice of them. The Vulgate Latin version renders it very wrongly, "that his face was horned", which has given occasion to painters to represent him in a ridiculous manner, as having horns coming out of his forehead; though the word has the signification of an horn, and the meaning of that version, as of others, may only be, that the skin of his face "darted out rays" (r) like horns, such as the rays of the sun appear to be like to the eye, see Habakkuk 3:4 hence Jupiter Ammon, the same with the sun, is described as having horns (s); and so Bacchus, who is supposed to be the same with Moses, is represented as having a horned face (t). Now this glory was left on the countenance of Moses, to show that he had had communion with God, and that the law he brought with him was from him; and to signify the glory of it, and to command awe and reverence, and make men afraid to break it.

(q) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 6. p. 19. (r) "radios ejacularetur", Tigurine version; "in modum cornu radiaret", Munster, Fagius, "vel rediasset", Vatablus; "splendere instar cornu", Drusius; so Karnon * in the Arabic language signifies the rays of the sun. * Golius, col. 1896. Castel. col. 3455. (s) Vid. Diodor. Sicul. l. 3. p. 201. Macrob. Saturnal. l. 1. c. 21. (t) Diodor. Sicul. l. 4. p. 212. so Orpheus calls Bacchus, Hymn. p. 126. and Horace ascribes to him, "cornu decorum", Carmin. l. 2. Ode 19.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

29. Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him—It was an intimation of the exalted presence into which he had been admitted and of the glory he had witnessed (2Co 3:18); and in that view, it was a badge of his high office as the ambassador of God. No testimonial needed to be produced. He bore his credentials on his very face; and whether this extraordinary effulgence was a permanent or merely temporary distinction, it cannot be doubted that this reflected glory was given him as an honor before all the people.

Exodus 34:29 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Radiant Face of Moses
29It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. 30So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.…
Cross References
Matthew 17:2
There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was,

Exodus 31:18
When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

Exodus 32:15
Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.

Deuteronomy 10:5
Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now.

Ecclesiastes 8:1
Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person's wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

A.M.

Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables …

wist

Exodus 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, …

Joshua 2:4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There …

Joshua 8:14 And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hurried …

Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be on you, Samson. And he awoke out …

Mark 9:6 For he knew not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

Mark 14:40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes …

Luke 2:49 And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? knew you not that …

John 5:13 And he that was healed knew not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed …

Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw …

2 Corinthians 3:7-9,13 But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, …

Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went …

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with …

face shone. As the original word karan, signifies to shine out, or dart forth, as horns on the head of an animal, or rays of light reflected from a polished surface, we may suppose that the heavenly glory which filled the soul of this holy man, darted out from his face in coruscations, in the manner in which light is generally represented. The Vulgate renders it, 'and he did not know that his face was horned;' which version, misunderstood, has induced painters to represent Moses with two very large horns, one proceeding from each temple!

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