Exodus 33:12-17

12 Moses said to the Lord, "See, you have said to me, "Bring up this people'; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.'
13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people."
14 He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
15 And he said to him, "If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.
16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth."
17 The Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."

Exodus 33:12-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 33

This chapter informs us, that the Lord refusing to go with the people, only sending an angel with them, they are filled with concern, and troubled, Ex 33:1-6. Moses upon this pitched the tabernacle without the camp, where everyone that sought the Lord went; Moses entered into it himself, and the Lord talked to him in a friendly manner in the cloudy pillar that stood at the door of it, and the people worshipped, every man at his own tent door; all which foreboded good, and tended to reconciliation, Ex 33:7-11. Moses improved the opportunity, and entreats the presence of God to go with them, which was granted, Ex 33:12-17 and that he might have a sight of the glory of God; and this is promised to pass before him, he being put into the cleft of the rock, Ex 33:18-23.

Exodus 33:12-17 In-Context

10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and bow down, all of them, at the entrance of their tent.
11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent.
12 Moses said to the Lord, "See, you have said to me, "Bring up this people'; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.'
13 Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people."
14 He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
15 And he said to him, "If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.
16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth."
17 The Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."
18 Moses said, "Show me your glory, I pray."
19 And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, "The Lord'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
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.