Exodus 32:9
And the LORD said to Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) It is a stiff-necked people.—This phrase, afterwards so common (Exodus 33:3; Exodus 33:5; Exodus 34:5; Deuteronomy 9:6; Deuteronomy 9:13; Deuteronomy 10:16; 2Chronicles 30:8; 2Chronicles 36:13; Psalm 75:5; Jeremiah 17:23; Acts 7:51), occurs here for the first time. It is generally explained as “obstinate,” but rather means “perverse,” the metaphor being taken from the horse that stiffens his neck against the pull of the rein, and will not be guided by the rider. The LXX. omit the verse, for no intelligible reason.

Exodus 32:9. A stiff-necked people — Untractable, wilful, and stubborn; unapt to come under the yoke of the divine law, averse from all good, and prone to all evil, incorrigible by judgments, and obstinate to all the methods of cure.32:7-14 God says to Moses, that the Israelites had corrupted themselves. Sin is the corruption of the sinner, and it is a self-corruption; every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust. They had turned aside out of the way. Sin is a departing from the way of duty into a by-path. They soon forgot God's works. He sees what they cannot discover, nor is any wickedness of the world hid from him. We could not bear to see the thousandth part of that evil which God sees every day. God expresses the greatness of his just displeasure, after the manner of men who would have prayer of Moses could save them from ruin; thus he was a type of Christ, by whose mediation alone, God would reconcile the world to himself. Moses pleads God's glory. The glorifying God's name, as it ought to be our first petition, and it is so in the Lord's prayer, so it ought to be our great plea. And God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer; for what he has promised he is able to perform. See the power of prayer. In answer to the prayers of Moses, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction; which change of the outward discovery of his purpose, is called repenting of the evil.These be thy gods ... have brought - This is thy god, O Israel, who has brought ...7-14. the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down—Intelligence of the idolatrous scene enacted at the foot of the mount was communicated to Moses in language borrowed from human passions and feelings, and the judgment of a justly offended God was pronounced in terms of just indignation against the gross violation of the so recently promulgated laws. Untractable, wilful, and stubborn, incorrigible by my judgments, ungovernable by mine or by any laws. A metaphor from those beasts that will not bend their necks to receive the yoke or bridle. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people,.... He had observed their ways and works, their carriage and behaviour; he had seen them before this time; he knew from all eternity what they would be, that their neck would be as an iron sinew, and their brow brass; but now he saw that in fact which he before saw as future, and they proved to be the people he knew they would be; besides, this is said to give Moses the true character of them, which might be depended upon, since it was founded upon divine knowledge and observation:

and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people; obstinate and self-willed, resolute in their own ways, and will not be reclaimed, inflexible and not subjected to the yoke of the divine law; a metaphor taken from such creatures as will not submit their necks or suffer the yoke or bridle to be put upon them, but draw back and slip away; or, as Aben Ezra thinks, to a man that goes on his way upon a run, and will not turn his neck to him that calls him, so disobedient and irreclaimable were these people.

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. stiffnecked] so Exodus 33:3; Exodus 33:5; Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6; Deuteronomy 9:13 (repeated from here)†.

9–14. Jehovah declares that He will exterminate the people: but allows Himself to be diverted from His purpose by Moses’ intercession.Verse 9.- A stiffnecked people. This epithet, which becomes epitheton usitatum, is here used for the first time. It does not so much mean "obstinate" as "perverse" like a hAaron also succumbed to the temptation along with the people. Instead of courageously and decidedly opposing their proposal, and raising the despondency of the people into the strength of living faith, by pointing them to the great deeds through which Jehovah had proved Himself to be the faithful covenant God, he hoped to be able to divert them from their design by means of human craftiness. "Tear off the golden ornaments in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me:" this he said in the hope that, by a demand which pressed so heavily upon the vanity of the female sex and its love of display, he might arouse such opposition as would lead the people to desist from their desire. But his cleverness was put to shame. "All the people" tore off their golden ornaments and brought them to him (Exodus 32:3); for their object was not merely "to accomplish an act of pure self-will, in which case there is no sacrifice that the human heart is not ready to make," but to secure a pledge of the protection of God through a visible image of the Deity. The weak-minded Aaron had no other course left than to make (i.e., to cause to be made) an image of God for the people.
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