Exodus 33:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

King James Bible
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for Man shall not see me, and live.

World English Bible
He said, "You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live."

Young's Literal Translation
He saith also, 'Thou art unable to see My face, for man doth not see Me, and live;'

Exodus 33:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

No man see me, and live - The splendor would be insufferable to man; he only, whose mortality is swallowed up of life, can see God as he is. See 1 John 3:2. From some disguised relation of the circumstances mentioned here, the fable of Jupiter and Semele was formed; she is reported to have entreated Jupiter to show her his glory, who was at first very reluctant, knowing that it would be fatal to her; but at last, yielding to her importunity, he discovered his divine majesty, and she was consumed by his presence. This story is told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, book iii., table iii., 5.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thou canst not. This is well explained by Rabbi Jehudah, in Sepher Cosri, 'Of that divine glory mentioned in the scripture, there is one degree which the eyes of the prophets were able to explore; another which all the Israelites saw, as the cloud and consuming fire; the third is so bright, and so dazzling, that no mortal is able to comprehend it; but should anyone venture to look on it, his whole frame would be dissolved.' In such inconceivable splendour is the Divine Majesty revealed to the inhabitants of the celestial world, where he is said to 'dwell in the light which no man can approach unto.' By the 'face of God,' therefore, we are to understand that light inaccessible before which angels may stand, but which would be so insufferable to mortal eyes, that no man could see it and live.

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone...

Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Deuteronomy 5:24 And you said, Behold, the LORD our God has showed us his glory and his greatness...

Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas...

Judges 13:22 And Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the middle of a people of unclean lips...

John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; whom no man has seen, nor can see...

Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?

Revelation 1:16,17 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword...

Library
The Mediator's Threefold Prayer
'And Moses said unto the Lord, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in My sight. 13. Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, show me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find grace in Thy sight: and consider that this nation is Thy people. 14. And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15. And he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A view of God's Glory
THAT WAS A large request to make. He could not have asked for more: "I beseech thee, show me thy glory." Why, it is the greatest petition that man ever asked of God. It seems to me the greatest stretch of faith that I have either heard or read of. It was great faith which made Abraham go into the plain to offer up intercession for a guilty city like Sodom. It was vast faith which enabled Jacob to grasp the angel; it was mighty faith which enabled Elijah to rend the heavens and fetch down rain from
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 54: 1908

Moses the Type of Christ.
"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken."--Deut. xviii. 15. The history of Moses is valuable to Christians, not only as giving us a pattern of fidelity towards God, of great firmness, and great meekness, but also as affording us a type or figure of our Saviour Christ. No prophet arose in Israel like Moses, till Christ came, when the promise in the text was fulfilled--"The Lord thy God," says Moses, "shall
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

"Behold Your God!"
In Isaiah's day the spiritual understanding of mankind was dark through misapprehension of God. Long had Satan sought to lead men to look upon their Creator as the author of sin and suffering and death. Those whom he had thus deceived, imagined that God was hard and exacting. They regarded Him as watching to denounce and condemn, unwilling to receive the sinner so long as there was a legal excuse for not helping him. The law of love by which heaven is ruled had been misrepresented by the archdeceiver
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

1 Timothy 6:16
who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Genesis 32:30
So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Exodus 33:18
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

Exodus 33:23
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

Judges 6:22
When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Alas, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"

Isaiah 6:5
"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

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