AHC G The Torah Appendix 1 - Hebrew Catholics

Association of

Hebrew Catholics

New Zealand Branch

The Torah Became Flesh


The Prologue of St. John’s Gospel

A Hebrew Catholic Perspective


Appendix 1 

Exodus 33: 7 ― 34: 35.


Exodus 33: 7 — 34: 35


7 1 The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to
pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who
wished to consult the LORD would go to this meeting tent
outside the camp.

8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all
rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching
Moses until he entered the tent.

9 As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would
come down and stand at its entrance while the LORD
spoke with Moses.

10 On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the
tent, all the people would rise and worship at the entrance
of their own tents.

11 The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man
speaks to another. Moses would then return to the camp, but
his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out
of the tent.

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You, indeed, are telling me to lead
this people on; but you have not let me know whom you will
send with me. Yet you have said, ‘You are my intimate friend,’
and also, ‘You have found favor with me.’

13 Now, if I have found favor with you, do let me know your
ways so that, in knowing you, I may continue to find favor
with you. Then, too, this nation is, after all, your own people.”

14 2 “I myself,” the LORD answered, “will go along, to give
you rest.”

15 Moses replied, “If you are not going yourself, do not make
us go up from here.

16 For how can it be known that we, your people and I, have
found favor with you, except by your going with us? Then
we, your people and I, will be singled out from every other
people on the earth.”

17 The LORD said to Moses, “This request, too, which you
have just made, I will carry out, because you have found
favor with me and you are my intimate friend.”

18 Then Moses said, “Do let me see your glory!”

19 He answered, “I will make all my beauty pass before you,
and in your presence I will pronounce my name, ‘LORD';
I who show favors to whom I will, I who grant mercy to
whom I will.

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
shall station yourself on the rock.

22 When my glory passes I will set you in the hollow of the rock
and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
23 3 Then I will remove my hand, so that you may see my back;
but my face is not to be seen.”

1 [7-11] The meeting tent is mentioned here by anticipation; its actual construction is described in the following chapters.

2 [14] 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 [23] 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)


1 The LORD said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the
former, that I may write on them the commandments which
were on the former tablets that you broke.

2 Get ready for tomorrow morning, when you are to go up
Mount Sinai and there present yourself to me on the top of
the mountain.

3 No one shall come up with you, and no one is even to be
seen on any part of the mountain; even the flocks and the
herds are not to go grazing toward this mountain.”

4 Moses then cut two stone tablets like the former, and early
the next morning he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had
commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets.

5 Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him
there and proclaimed his name, “LORD.”

6 Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD,
the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and
rich in kindness and fidelity,

7 continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and
forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the
guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to
the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!”

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
in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet
pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.”

10 “Here, then,” said the LORD, “is the covenant I will make.
Before the eyes of all your people I will work such marvels as
have never been wrought in any nation anywhere on earth,
so that this people among whom you live may see how
awe-inspiring are the deeds which I, the LORD, will do at
your side.

11 But you, on your part, must keep the commandments I am
giving you today. “I will drive out before you the Amorites,
Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

12 Take care, therefore, not to make a covenant with these
inhabitants of the land that you are to enter; else they will
become a snare among you.

13 1 Tear down their altars; smash their sacred pillars, and
cut down their sacred poles.

14 2 You shall not worship any other god, for the LORD is
‘the Jealous One'; a jealous God is he.

15 Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of that land;
else, when they render their wanton worship to their gods
and sacrifice to them, one of them may invite you and you
may partake of his sacrifice.

16 Neither shall you take their daughters as wives for your
sons; otherwise, when their daughters render their wanton
worship to their gods, they will make your sons do the same.

17 “You shall not make for yourselves molten gods.

18 You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven
days at the prescribed time in the month of Abib you are to
eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you; for in the month
of Abib you came out of Egypt.

19 “To me belongs every first-born male that opens the womb
among all your livestock, whether in the herd or in the flock.

20 The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with one of the flock;
if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. The first-born
among your sons you shall redeem. “No one shall appear
before me empty-handed.

21 “For six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall
rest; on that day you must rest even during the seasons of
plowing and harvesting.

22 3 “You shall keep the feast of Weeks with the first of the
wheat harvest; likewise, the feast at the fruit harvest at the
close of the year.

23 Three times a year all your men shall appear before the Lord,
the LORD God of Israel.

24 Since I will drive out the nations before you to give you a
large territory, there will be no one to covet your land when
you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD,
your God.

25 “You shall not offer me the blood of sacrifice with leavened
bread, nor shall the sacrifice of the Passover feast be kept
overnight for the next day.

26 “The choicest first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the
house of the LORD, your God. “You shall not boil a kid in
its mother’s milk.”

27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words,
for in accordance with them I have made a covenant with
you and with Israel.”

28 So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and
forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the
ten commandments.

29 As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets
of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that
the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed
with the LORD.

30 When Aaron, then, and the other Israelites saw Moses and
noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they
were afraid to come near him.

31 Only after Moses called to them did Aaron and all the rulers
of the community come back to him. Moses then spoke to

32 Later on, all the Israelites came up to him, and he enjoined
on them all that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai.

33 4 When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over
his face.

34 Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to
converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out
again. On coming out, he would tell the Israelites all that
had been commanded.

35 Then the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face
was radiant; so he would again put the veil over his face
until he went in to converse with the LORD.


1 [13] 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 [14] 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 [22] 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 [33] 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,
revised edition (c) 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian
Doctrine, Washington D.C. and are used by permission of the
copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American
Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing
from the copyright owner.

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