The Torah Became Flesh
The Prologue of St. John’s Gospel
A Hebrew Catholic Perspective
Exodus 33: 7 ― 34: 35.
Exodus 33: 7 — 34: 35
NEW AMERICAN BIBLE
7 1 The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to
8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all
9 As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would
10 On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the
11 The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You, indeed, are telling me to lead
13 Now, if I have found favor with you, do let me know your
14 2 “I myself,” the LORD answered, “will go along, to give
15 Moses replied, “If you are not going yourself, do not make
16 For how can it be known that we, your people and I, have
17 The LORD said to Moses, “This request, too, which you
18 Then Moses said, “Do let me see your glory!”
19 He answered, “I will make all my beauty pass before you,
20 But my face you cannot see, for no man sees me and still lives.
21 Here,” continued the LORD, “is a place near me where you
22 When my glory passes I will set you in the hollow of the rock
1 [7-11] The meeting tent is mentioned here by anticipation; its actual construction is described in the following chapters.
2  I myself: literally, “my face,” that is, “my presence.” To give you rest: in the Promised Land; some understand, “to put your mind at rest”; others, by a slight emendation in the text, render, “to lead you.”
3  You may see my back: man can see God’s glory as reflected in creation, but his “face,” that is, God as he is in himself, mortal man cannot behold. Cf ⇒ 1 Cor 13:12.
Exodus 33: 7 — 34: 35 (continued)
NEW AMERICAN BIBLE
1 The LORD said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the
2 Get ready for tomorrow morning, when you are to go up
3 No one shall come up with you, and no one is even to be
4 Moses then cut two stone tablets like the former, and early
5 Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him
6 Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD,
7 continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and
8 Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
9 Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along
10 “Here, then,” said the LORD, “is the covenant I will make.
11 But you, on your part, must keep the commandments I am
12 Take care, therefore, not to make a covenant with these
13 1 Tear down their altars; smash their sacred pillars, and
14 2 You shall not worship any other god, for the LORD is
15 Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of that land;
16 Neither shall you take their daughters as wives for your
17 “You shall not make for yourselves molten gods.
18 You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven
19 “To me belongs every first-born male that opens the womb
20 The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with one of the flock;
21 “For six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall
22 3 “You shall keep the feast of Weeks with the first of the
23 Three times a year all your men shall appear before the Lord,
24 Since I will drive out the nations before you to give you a
25 “You shall not offer me the blood of sacrifice with leavened
26 “The choicest first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the
27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words,
28 So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and
29 As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets
30 When Aaron, then, and the other Israelites saw Moses and
31 Only after Moses called to them did Aaron and all the rulers
32 Later on, all the Israelites came up to him, and he enjoined
33 4 When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over
34 Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to
35 Then the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face
1  Sacred poles: “Ashera” was the name of a Canaanite goddess. In her honor wooden poles (asherot) were erected, just as stone pillars (massebot) were erected in honor of the god Baal. Both were placed near the altar in a Canaanite shrine.
2  The LORD is “the Jealous One”: see note on ⇒ Exodus 20:5. Some, by a slight emendation, render, “The LORD is jealous for his name.” Cf ⇒ Ezekiel 39:25.
3  Feast of Weeks: the festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, celebrated seven weeks or fifty days after the beginning of the harvest. It was also called Pentecost (fiftieth) and coincided with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, fifty days after the offering of the first fruits (⇒ Lev 23:10-11; ⇒ Deut 16:9).
4  He put a veil over his face: St. Paul sees in this a symbol of the failure of the Jews to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah: the true spiritual meaning of the writings of Moses and the prophets is still veiled from the unbelieving Jews. Cf ⇒ 2 Cor 3:7-18.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible,