Exodus 33:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.'"

New Living Translation
For the LORD had told Moses to tell them, "You are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you."

English Standard Version
For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘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, that I may know what to do with you.’”

New American Standard Bible
For the LORD had said to Moses, "Say to the sons of Israel, 'You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.'"

King James Bible
For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the LORD said to Moses: "Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. If I went with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you."

International Standard Version
The LORD had told Moses, "Say to the Israelis, 'You are an obstinate people, and if for one moment I went up among you, I would put an end to you. Now take off your ornaments so I may decide what to do with you.'"

NET Bible
For the LORD had said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up among you for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments, that I may know what I should do to you.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD had said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites, 'You are impossible to deal with. If I were with you, I might destroy you at any time. Now take off your jewelry, and I'll decide what to do with you.'"

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the sons of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people; I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment and consume thee; therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee that I may know what to do unto thee.

King James 2000 Bible
For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, you are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of you in a moment, and consume you: therefore now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do unto you.

American King James Version
For the LORD had said to Moses, Say to the children of Israel, You are a stiff necked people: I will come up into the middle of you in a moment, and consume you: therefore now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do to you.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people; if I go up into the midst of thee for one moment, I shall consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to Moses: Say to the children of Israel: Thou are a stiffnecked people; once I shall come up in the midst of thee, and shall destroy thee. Now presently lay aside thy ornaments, that I may know what to do with thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Now Jehovah had said to Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiff-necked people: in one moment I will come up into the midst of thee and will consume thee. And now put off thine ornaments from thee, and I will know what I will do unto thee.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: if I go up into the midst of thee for one moment, I shall consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the LORD had said to Moses, Say to the children of Israel, Ye are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do to thee.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell the children of Israel, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up into your midst for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry from you, that I may know what to do to you.'"

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Say unto the sons of Israel, Ye are a stiff-necked people; one moment -- I come up into thy midst, and have consumed thee; and now, put down thine ornaments from off thee, and I know what I do to thee;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

33:1-6 Those whom God pardons, must be made to know what their sin deserved. Let them go forward as they are; this was very expressive of God's displeasure. Though he promises to make good his covenant with Abraham, in giving them Canaan, yet he denies them the tokens of his presence they had been blessed with. The people mourned for their sin. Of all the bitter fruits and consequences of sin, true penitents most lament, and dread most, God's departure from them. Canaan itself would be no pleasant land without the Lord's presence. Those who parted with ornaments to maintain sin, could do no less than lay aside ornaments, in token of sorrow and shame for it.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. ? For the Lord had said unto Moses, etc. Rather, "And the Lord said unto M." (so most recent commentators, as Keil, Kalisch, etc.) The message was sent to the people after their repentance, and in reply to it. It was not, however, as our version makes it, a threat of destruction, but only a repetition of the statement made in ver. 2, that, if God went up with them, the probable result would be their destruction. Translate - "Ye are a stiff-necked people; were I for one moment to go up in the midst of thee, I should destroy thee," Put off thy ornaments. The command seems strange, when we had just been told that "no man did put on him his ornaments" (ver 4) but the word translated put off probably means "lay aside altogether." The intention was to make their continued disuse of the ornaments a test of their penitence.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the Lord had said to Moses,.... At the same time he had told it to the people:

say unto the children of Israel: Menachem, as quoted by Ainsworth, observes, that this is said in a way of mercy; for since their idolatry he had only called them the people of Moses, and the people, but now calls them by their beloved name, the children of Israel; but whether this was any hint of mercy and favour, is not very apparent by what follows:

ye are a stiffnecked people; obstinate and untractable; see Gill on Exodus 32:9,

I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee; before he threatens them that he would not go up in the midst of them, that is, in a way of grace and mercy, to guide, protect, and defend them himself; and now that he would come up in the midst of them, but in a different manner, in a way of wrath, and to take vengeance on them for their sins; and the meaning is, either that should he do so but one moment it would be all over with them, or they would be utterly consumed; or this is threatened on condition, provided they did not repent of their sins, and humble themselves:

therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee; not their armour, as some, nor the clothes they wore at the festival for the golden calf, for this was long after that; but the clothes they usually wore, the best they had, with all their decorations and ornaments, and put on mournful habits as an outward token of their repentance and mourning for their sins, if they had any real concern: this shows that these words must have been said before; since the people on hearing the evil tidings had clothed themselves in a mournful habit, and did not put on their ornaments, Exodus 33:4,

that I may know what to do unto thee; which does not suppose ignorance or irresolution in God, but is said after the manner of men, that he should deal with them in proportion to their conduct and behaviour, and as that should outwardly appear.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. put off thy ornaments—In seasons of mourning, it is customary with Eastern people to lay aside all gewgaws and divest themselves of their jewels, their gold, and every thing rich and splendid in their dress. This token of their sorrow the Lord required of His offending people.

that I may know what to do unto thee—The language is accommodated to the feeble apprehensions of men. God judges the state of the heart by the tenor of the conduct. In the case of the Israelites, He cherished a design of mercy; and the moment He discerned the first symptoms of contrition, by their stripping off their ornaments, as penitents conscious of their error and sincerely sorrowful, this fact added its weight to the fervency of Moses' prayers, and gave them prevalence with God in behalf of the people.

Exodus 33:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Command to Leave Sinai
4When the people heard this sad word, they went into mourning, and none of them put on his ornaments. 5For the LORD had said to Moses, "Say to the sons of Israel, 'You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.'" 6So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
Cross References
Acts 7:51
"You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Exodus 32:9
"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.

Exodus 33:3
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."

Exodus 33:6
So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
Treasury of Scripture

For the LORD had said to Moses, Say to the children of Israel, You are a stiff necked people: I will come up into the middle of you in a moment, and consume you: therefore now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do to you.

ye are

Exodus 33:3 To a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the …

Numbers 16:45,46 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them …

in a moment

Numbers 16:21,45 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume …

Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, …

Psalm 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly …

Lamentations 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is …

put off

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to …

I may

Genesis 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according …

Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing …

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you …

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

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