Numbers 12:8
New International Version
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

New Living Translation
I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?”

English Standard Version
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

Berean Study Bible
I speak with him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you unafraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

King James Bible
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

New King James Version
I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”

New American Standard Bible
With him I speak mouth to mouth, That is, openly, and not using mysterious language, And he beholds the form of the LORD. So why were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

NASB 1995
With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

NASB 1977
With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

Amplified Bible
“With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], Clearly and openly and not in riddles; And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

Christian Standard Bible
I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? ”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

American Standard Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Jehovah shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
From mouth to mouth I am speaking with him in a vision and not in a likeness, and he saw the glory of LORD JEHOVAH; why were you not afraid to speak against my Servant Moshe?”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I will speak to him mouth to mouth apparently, and not in dark speeches; and he has seen the glory of the Lord; and why were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Contemporary English Version
He sees me face to face, and everything I say to him is perfectly clear. You have no right to criticize my servant Moses."

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I speak to him mouth to mouth: and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak ill of my servant Moses?

English Revised Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

Good News Translation
So I speak to him face-to-face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen my form! How dare you speak against my servant Moses?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even sees the form of the LORD. Why weren't you afraid to criticize my servant Moses?"

International Standard Version
I speak to him audibly and in visions, not in mysteries. If he can gaze at the image of the LORD, why aren't you afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
with him do I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?'

Literal Standard Version
I speak with him mouth to mouth, Even [by] an appearance, and not in riddles; And he beholds the form of YHWH attentively. Now why have you not been afraid To speak against My servant—against Moses?”

NET Bible
With him I will speak face to face, openly, and not in riddles; and he will see the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

New Heart English Bible
With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in riddles; and he shall see the LORD's form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?"

World English Bible
With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see Yahweh's form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?"

Young's Literal Translation
mouth unto mouth I speak with him, and by an appearance, and not in riddles; and the form of Jehovah he beholdeth attentively; and wherefore have ye not been afraid to speak against My servant -- against Moses?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron
7But this is not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. 8I speak with him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you unafraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9So the anger of the LORD burned against them, and He departed.…

Cross References
1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Hebrews 1:1
On many past occasions and in many different ways, God spoke to our fathers through the prophets.

Genesis 32:30
So Jacob named the place Peniel, saying, "Indeed, I have seen God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Exodus 20:4
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath.

Exodus 24:10
and they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was a work like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.

Exodus 24:11
But God did not lay His hand on the nobles of Israel; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.

Exodus 33:11
Thus the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun would not leave the tent.


Treasury of Scripture

With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

mouth

Numbers 14:14
And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

Exodus 33:11
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 34:10
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

dark speeches

Psalm 49:4
I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Ezekiel 17:2
Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;

Ezekiel 20:49
Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

similitude

Exodus 24:10,11
And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness…

Exodus 33:19,23
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy…

Exodus 34:5-7
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD…

were ye

Exodus 34:30
And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Luke 10:16
He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

1 Thessalonians 4:8
He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.









(8) With him will I speak.--Better, do I speak, mouth to mouth. Comp. Exodus 33:11.

Even apparently.--The noun mareh, which is here used, is cognate with that which occurs with the preposition in Numbers 12:6, and which is rendered "a vision." It differs from it only in punctuation, and is sometimes identical in meaning. It appears, however, here to denote an objective reality, as in Exodus 3:3, where it is rendered sight. The clause might be rendered, and (as) an appearance, and not in riddles (or, enigmas).

And the similitude of the Lord . . . --Or, and the form of Jehovah doth he behold. The word which is here rendered similitude (temunah) is the same which occurs in Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:15-16; Deuteronomy 4:23; Deuteronomy 4:25; Deuteronomy 5:8; Psalm 17:15. It is sometimes rendered likeness, and sometimes similitude. The noun mareh, which is here rendered "apparently," and that which is rendered similitude, are found in conjunction in Job 4:16 : "I could not discern the form (or appearance), mareh, thereof: an image (or form), temunah, was before mine eyes." (Comp. Exodus 33:20-23.) . . .

Verse 8. - Mouth to mouth. Equivalent to face to face in Exodus 33:11. What the exact facts of the case were it is not possible to know, scarcely to imagine; but the words seem to imply a familiar speaking with an audible voice on the part of God, as distinguished from the internal voice, inaudible to the ear, with which he spake "in" the prophets. To assert that the revelations accorded to Moses were only subjective modifications of his own consciousness is to evacuate these strong words of any meaning whatever. Apparently. מַרְאֶה (Septuagint ἐν εἴδει) is an accusative in apposition to what goes before by way (apparently) of further definition. It is the same word translated "vision" in verse 6; but its meaning here must be determined by the expression "in riddles," which stands in antithesis to it. It was confessed]y the case with most prophetic utterances that the language in which they were couched was quite as much intended to conceal as to express their full meaning; but to Moses God spake without any such concealments. The similitude of the Lord shall he behold. מַרְאֶה. Not the essential nature of God, which no man can see, but a form (wholly unknown and unimaginable to us) in which it pleased him to veil his glory. The Septuagint has τὴν δόξαν Κυρίου εῖδε, referring, apparently, to the vision promised in Exodus 33:22; and the Targum Palestine speaks here of the vision of the burning bush. The motive for this alteration is no doubt to be sought in a profound jealousy for the great truth declared in such texts as Deuteronomy 4:15; Isaiah 40:18, and afterwards in John 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:16. But the statement in the text is a general one, and can only mean that Moses habitually in his intercourse with God had before his eyes some visible manifestation of the invisible God, which helped to make that intercourse at once more awfully real and more intensely blessed. Such manifestation to the sense of sight must be distinguished both from the visionary (or subjective) sight of God in human figure accorded to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:26), to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1), to St. John (Revelation 4:2, 8), and perhaps to others, and also from such theophanies in angel guise as are recorded in Genesis 32:30; Judges 13:9, 2, and elsewhere. On the other hand, the seventy elders seem to have seen the "Temunah" of the Lord upon that one occasion when they were called up into Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:10, 11). Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses! No doubt it was the double fact of their relationship to Moses after the flesh, and of their sharing with him in certain spiritual gifts and prerogatives, which made them oblivious of the great distinction which lifted him above their rivalry, and should have lifted him above their contradiction. That contradiction, however, served to bring out in the clearest way the singular and unapproached position of the mediator of Israel; and it serves still to enable us to estimate aright the peculiar dignity of his legislation and his writings. The substance of prophetic teaching may be of deeper interest and of wider import titan "the law," but this latter will still rank higher in the scale of inspiration, as having been more directly communicated front on high. Thus "the law" (as the Jews rightly taught) remained the body of Divine revelation until "that Prophet" came who was "like unto" Moses in the fact that he enjoyed constant, open, and direct communication with the Godhead.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
I speak
אֲדַבֶּר־ (’ă·ḏab·ber-)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

with him
בּ֗וֹ (bōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

face
פֶּ֣ה (peh)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6310: The mouth, edge, portion, side, according to

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

face,
פֶּ֞ה (peh)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6310: The mouth, edge, portion, side, according to

clearly
וּמַרְאֶה֙ (ū·mar·’eh)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4758: Sight, appearance, vision

and not
וְלֹ֣א (wə·lō)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

in riddles;
בְחִידֹ֔ת (ḇə·ḥî·ḏōṯ)
Preposition-b | Noun - feminine plural
Strong's 2420: A riddle, an enigmatic, perplexing saying or question

he sees
יַבִּ֑יט (yab·bîṭ)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5027: To scan, look intently at, to regard

the form
וּתְמֻנַ֥ת (ū·ṯə·mu·naṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 8544: Something portioned, out, as a, shape, phantom, embodiment, manifestation

of the LORD.
יְהוָ֖ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

Why then
וּמַדּ֙וּעַ֙ (ū·mad·dū·a‘)
Conjunctive waw | Interrogative
Strong's 4069: Why? for what reason?

were you unafraid
יְרֵאתֶ֔ם (yə·rê·ṯem)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's 3372: To fear, to revere, caus, to frighten

to speak
לְדַבֵּ֖ר (lə·ḏab·bêr)
Preposition-l | Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

against My servant
בְּעַבְדִּ֥י (bə·‘aḇ·dî)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 5650: Slave, servant

Moses?”
בְמֹשֶֽׁה׃ (ḇə·mō·šeh)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 4872: Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver


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OT Law: Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth (Nu Num.)
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