Exodus 33:8
And it came to pass, when Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) When Moses went out . . . all the people rose up.—As a mark of respect and reverence. (Comp. Esther 5:9.)

The cloudy pillar descended.—During the stay of the Israelites in the plain at the foot of Sinai, the ordinary place occupied by the pillar of the cloud was the summit of the mount (Exodus 19:16; Exodus 19:20; Exodus 20:21; Exodus 24:15-18; Exodus 34:5). At this time, whenever Moses entered the temporary tabernacle, the cloud came down from Sinai, ascending again when he quitted it.

And the Lord talked with Moses.—Heb., and talked with Moses. The “cloudy pillar” is the subject of the verb “talked.” It is here identified with God, who manifested Himself through it.

Exodus 33:8. When Moses went out unto the tabernacle — Namely, to intercede with God for the people, all the people stood every man at his tent door — Acknowledging themselves unworthy to approach nearer; and looked after Moses — To observe what signs of favour he should receive from God in answer to his prayers. Hereby, also, they showed their grief for God’s departure, their respect to Moses, whom they had lately slighted, their dependance on his mediation, and concern about the issue of it.33:7-11 Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp. This seems to have been a temporary building, set up for worship, and at which he judged disputes among the people. The people looked after him; they were very desirous to be at peace with God, and concerned to know what would come to pass. The cloudy pillar which had withdrawn from the camp when it was polluted with idolatry, now returned. If our hearts go forth toward God to meet him, he will graciously come to meet us.The tabernacle - The tent. The only word in the Old Testament which ought to be rendered "tabernacle" משׁכן mı̂shkān does not occur once in this narrative Exodus 26:1. What is here meant is a tent appointed for this temporary purpose by Moses, possibly that in which he was accustomed to dwell.

Pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp - That the people might feel that they had forfeited the divine presence (see Exodus 25:8). This tent was to be a place for meeting with Yahweh, like the tabernacle which was about to be constructed.

The tent of meeting (as it should be called, see Exodus 27:21 note, and note at end of Exodus 40) was placed "afar off from the camp," and the mediator and his faithful servant Joshua were alone admitted to it Exodus 33:11.

8. all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door—Its removal produced deep and universal consternation; and it is easy to conceive how anxiously all eyes would be directed towards it; how rapidly the happy intelligence would spread, when a phenomenon was witnessed from which an encouraging hope could be founded. Testifying their grief for God’s departure, their respect to Moses, whom they had lately despised, their earnest desire of his intercession for them, their longing for God’s favour, and their humble expectation of a gracious return from God by the hands of Moses. And it came to pass, when Moses went out of the tabernacle,.... For when he had pitched it he did not continue there; which shows it was not the tent or tabernacle he dwelt in, but whither he went to and fro, both to meet the Lord in it, and transact the affairs of the people, and especially the great affair now depending between God and them:

that all the people rose up: in reverence of him as their ruler, and the minister of God, and as their Mediator between God and them, though they had but lately thought and spoke very meanly and contemptibly of him, Exodus 32:1 see Job 29:8.

and stood every man at his tent door; none offering to go in, nor to sit down until he was gone into the tabernacle, which was an instance of their respect to him:

and looked after Moses until he was gone into the tabernacle; kept their eye on him as long as they could see him, thereby expressing their esteem of him, signifying their desire that he would intercede for them, and wishing him success therein: the Targum of Jonathan interprets all this of the ungodly among them that looked after Moses with an evil eye.

And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people would rise up, and follow him reverently with their eyes. The camp seems to be pictured on a much smaller scale by E than by P.

door] lit. opening: so vv. 9, 10, and regularly with ‘tent.’Verse 8. - When Moses went out .... all the people rose up. Probably Moses "went out" at a set time, or at set times, each day; and the people watched for his going, and "rose up," as a mark of respect and reverence. They felt that he went to the tent mainly to pray for them. Moses' negotiations with the people, for the purpose of bringing them to sorrow and repentance, commenced with the announcement of what Jehovah had said. The words of Jehovah in Exodus 33:1-3, which are only a still further expansion of the assurance contained in Exodus 32:34, commence in a similar manner to the covenant promise in Exodus 23:20, Exodus 23:23; but there is this great difference, that whereas the name, i.e., the presence of Jehovah Himself, was to have gone before the Israelites in the angel promised to the people as a leader in Exodus 23:20, now, though Jehovah would still send an angel before Moses and Israel, He Himself would not go up to Canaan (a land flowing, etc., see at Exodus 3:8) in the midst of Israel, lest He should destroy the people by the way, because they were stiff-necked (אכלך for אכלך, see Ges. 27, 3, Anm. 2).
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