Exodus 33:4

4 When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments.

Exodus 33:4 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 33:4

And when the people heard these evil tidings
That God would withdraw his gracious presence, and go not up with them himself, only send an angel with them; and especially this may respect what is threatened, ( Exodus 33:5 ) and had been said at this time:

they mourned;
were inwardly and heartily grieved for their sin, whereby they had provoked the Lord to depart from them, and gave some outward and open tokens of it:

and no man did put on his ornaments;
they used to wear at other times, their rings and jewels, which the princes and the chief among the people especially were wont to wear; and in common the people did not put on their best clothes, or what they usually wore, but clothed themselves in mournful habits, in sackcloth and ashes, or in some such like manner.

Exodus 33:4 In-Context

2 I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."
4 When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments.
5 For the Lord had said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, "You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.' "
6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.