Exodus 33:14
And he said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.
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(14) My presence shall go with thee.—There is no “with thee” in the original, and consequently the phrase is ambiguous. Moses could not tell whether it was a personal promise to himself, or a renewal of the old engagement to go with the people. He consequently requires something more explicit. Will God go, not merely with him, but with the people? (Exodus 33:15-16).

Exodus 33:14. My presence shall go with thee — Hebrew, My face, I myself, my own person, as the same phrase is translated 2 Samuel 17:11. Or, the angel of my presence, Isaiah 63:9. The meaning is, I will conduct you myself, as I have done hitherto, by my glorious presence in the tabernacle. So that this is a revocation of the sentence pronounced Exodus 33:3. And will give thee rest — Not only thee, Moses, from thy present perplexity, but in due time will bring thy people to their rest and settlement in the promised land. For it is evident that Moses’s care and prayer were more for the people than for himself.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.Rest - This was the common expression for the possession of the promised land. Deuteronomy 3:20; Joshua 1:13, Joshua 1:15; compare Hebrews 4:8. 9-11. the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle—How would the downcast hearts of the people revive—how would the tide of joy swell in every bosom, when the symbolic cloud was seen slowly and majestically to descend and stand at the entrance of the tabernacle!

as Moses entered—It was when he appeared as their mediator, when he repaired from day to day to intercede for them, that welcome token of assurance was given that his advocacy prevailed, that Israel's sin was forgiven, and that God would again be gracious.

My presence, Heb. my face, i.e. I myself, by comparing this with 2 Samuel 17:11. The Angel of my presence, Isaiah 63:9; the pledge of my presence, the cloudy pillar; and I will not turn thee over to an angel, as I threatened, Exodus 34:2. See Deu 4:34.

I will give thee rest; not only rest from thy present anguish and perplexity of mind for thy people, but in due time I will bring them to their resting-place and settled habitation; for it is evident from Exodus 34:15,16, that Moses’s care and prayer was more for the people than for himself. 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.

And he said, My {f} presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

(f) Signifying that the Israelites would exceed all other people, through God's favour; Ex 33:16.

14. Jehovah promises that His presence shall go with Moses (as the representative of His people), and that He will give him—and with him the people—rest. The words do not however seem very suitable as an answer to v. 13; and Di.’s suggestion is a plausible one, that vv. 14–16 are misplaced, and should follow Exodus 34:9 (so also McNeile, p. xxxvi), where, it may be noticed, Moses is still praying for what, if Exodus 33:14 is in its right place, has been already granted (cf. p. 367).

presence] lit. face, i.e. the person himself (2 Samuel 17:11), in so far as he is present (LXX. αὐτὸς προπορεύσομαι): cf., of God, Deuteronomy 4:37 (‘brought thee out with his presence’ [LXX. αὐτός]), Isaiah 63:9 (‘the angel of his presence saved them,’ i.e. the angel in whom His presence was manifest, cf. Exodus 23:21; but LXX. ‘No messenger or angel, (but) his presence (αὐτὸς) saved them’). The expression can hardly, however, have been intended to denote Jehovah’s entire Being: it must rather (DB. v. 639b) have denoted His Being either as manifested in an angel more fully than in the ordinary ‘angel of Jehovah’ (Bä.), or as others think (Lagrange, Rev. Bibl. 1903, p. 215; Kennedy, Samuel, p. 323 f.), as attaching to the Ark (cf. p. 280).

give thee rest] viz. in the assured possession of Canaan: cf. Deuteronomy 3:20; Deuteronomy 12:10, Joshua 22:4.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.) Moses then took a tent, and pitched it outside the camp, at some distance off, and called it "tent of meeting." The "tent" is neither the sanctuary of the tabernacle described in Exodus 25., which was not made till after the perfect restoration of the covenant (Exodus 35.), nor another sanctuary that had come down from their forefathers and was used before the tabernacle was built, as Clericus, J. D. Michaelis, Rosenmller, and others suppose; but a tent belonging to Moses, which was made into a temporary sanctuary by the fact that the pillar of cloud came down upon it, and Jehovah talked with Moses there, and which was called by the same name as the tabernacle, viz., מועד אחל (see at Exodus 27:21), because Jehovah revealed Himself there, and every one who sought Him had to go to this tent outside the camp. There were two reasons for this: in the first place, Moses desired thereby to lead the people to a fuller recognition of their separation from their God, that their penitence might be deepened in consequence; and in the second place, he wished to provide such means of intercourse with Jehovah as would not only awaken in the minds of the people a longing for the renewal of the covenant, but render the restoration of the covenant possible. And this end was answered. Not only did every one who sought Jehovah go out to the tent, but the whole nation looked with the deepest reverence when Moses went out to the tent, and bowed in adoration before the Lord, every one in front of his tent, when they saw the pillar of cloud come down upon the tent and stand before the door. Out of this cloud Jehovah talked with Moses (Exodus 33:7-10) "face to face, as a man talks with his friend" (Exodus 33:11); that is to say, not from the distance of heaven, through any kind of medium whatever, but "mouth to mouth," as it is called in Numbers 12:8, as closely and directly as friends talk to one another. "These words indicate, therefore, a familiar conversation, just as much as if it had been said, that God appeared to Moses in some peculiar form of manifestation. If any one objects to this, that it is at variance with the assertion which we shall come to presently, 'Thou canst not see My face,' the answer is a very simple one. Although Jehovah showed Himself to Moses in some peculiar form of manifestation, He never appeared in His own essential glory, but only in such a mode as human weakness could bear. This solution contains a tacit comparison, viz., that there never was any one equal to Moses, or who had attained to the same dignity as he" (Calvin). When Moses returned to the tent, his servant Joshua remained behind as guard. - This condescension on the part of Jehovah towards Moses could not fail to strengthen the people in their reliance upon their leader, as the confidant of Jehovah. And Moses himself was encouraged thereby to endeavour to effect a perfect restoration of the covenant bond that had been destroyed.
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