Exodus 32:11

11 But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God and said, "Lord, why should you be so angry with your people, whom you rescued from Egypt with great might and power? 1

Exodus 32:11 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 32:11

And Moses besought the Lord his God
As the Lord was the God of Moses, his covenant God, and he had an interest in him, he made use of it in favour of the people of Israel:

and said, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people?
so as to think or speak of consuming them utterly; otherwise he knew there was reason for his being angry and wroth with them; but though they were deserving of his hot wrath and displeasure, and even to be dealt with in the manner proposed, yet he entreats he would consider they were his people; his special people, whom he had chose above all people, and had redeemed them from the house of bondage, had given them laws, and made a covenant with them, and many promises unto them, and therefore hoped he would not consume them in his hot displeasure; God had called them the people of Moses, and Moses retorts it, and calls them the people of God, and makes use of their relation to him as an argument with him in their favour; and which also shows that Moses did not understand that the Lord by calling them his people disowned them as his:

which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt with great power,
and with a mighty hand?
this the Lord had ascribed to Moses, and observes it is an aggravation of their ingratitude to Moses, and here Moses retorts, and ascribes it to God, and to his mighty power; as for himself he was only a weak feeble instrument, the Lord was the efficient cause of their deliverance, in which he had shown the exceeding greatness of his power; and he argues from hence, that seeing he had exerted his mighty arm in bringing them from thence, that he would not now lift it up against them and destroy them.

Exodus 32:11 In-Context

9 I know how stubborn these people are.
10 Now, don't try to stop me. I am angry with them, and I am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants into a great nation."
11 But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God and said, "Lord, why should you be so angry with your people, whom you rescued from Egypt with great might and power?
12 Why should the Egyptians be able to say that you led your people out of Egypt, planning to kill them in the mountains and destroy them completely? Stop being angry; change your mind and do not bring this disaster on your people.
13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember the solemn promise you made to them to give them as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and to give their descendants all that land you promised would be their possession forever."

Cross References 1

  • 1. 32.11-14Numbers 14.13-19.