Exodus 33 Living Bible (TLB)
33 The Lord said to Moses, “Lead these people you brought from Egypt to the land I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for I said, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an Angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 It is a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’; but I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn, unruly people, and I would be tempted to destroy you along the way.”
4 When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and stripped themselves of their jewelry and ornaments.
5 For the Lord had told Moses to tell them, “You are an unruly, stubborn people. If I were there among you for even a moment, I would exterminate you. Remove your jewelry and ornaments until I decide what to do with you.” 6 So, after that, they wore no jewelry.
7 Moses always erected the sacred tent (the “Tent for Meeting with God,” he called it) far outside the camp, and everyone who wanted to consult with Jehovah went out there.
8 Whenever Moses went to the Tabernacle, all the people, when they saw it, stood and would rise and stand in their tent doors. 9 As he entered, the pillar of cloud would come down and stand at the door while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Then all the people worshiped from their tent doors, bowing low to the pillar of cloud. 11 Inside the tent the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. Afterwards Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua (son of Nun), stayed behind in the Tabernacle.
12 Moses talked there with the Lord and said to him, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people to the Promised Land,’ but you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You say you are my friend,[a] and that I have found favor before you; 13 please, if this is really so, guide me clearly along the way you want me to travel[b] so that I will understand you and walk acceptably before you. For don’t forget that this nation is your people.”
14 And the Lord replied, “I myself will go with you and give you success.”
15 For Moses had said, “If you aren’t going with us, don’t let us move a step from this place. 16 If you don’t go with us, who will ever know that I and my people have found favor with you, and that we are different from any other people upon the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord had replied to Moses, “Yes, I will do what you have asked, for you have certainly found favor with me, and you are my friend.”[c]
18 Then Moses asked to see God’s glory.
19 The Lord replied, “I will make my goodness pass before you, and I will announce to you the meaning of my name[d] Jehovah, the Lord. I show kindness and mercy to anyone I want to. 20 But you may not see the glory of my face, for man may not see me and live. 21 However, stand here on this rock beside me. 22 And when my glory goes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed. 23 Then I will remove my hand, and you shall see my back but not my face.”
Exodus 33 New International Version (NIV)
33 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’” 6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
The Tent of Meeting
7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Moses and the Glory of the Lord
12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”