Moses
, Bodleian library MS.

 


FUNDAMENTAL
 
OLD TESTAMENT TEXTS 
in the
CHRISTIAN
CONTEMPLATIVE
TRADITION

 

 


 

[1]  EXODUS 20:21 (God in Darkness)

 

18 [After the Lord had given the Law to Moses:]

NOW when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin. 21 And the people stood afar off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

thick darkness:  עֲרָפֶל araphel:  cloud, heavy or dark cloud, darkness, gross darkness, thick darkness.
 
LXX γνόφος  gnophos:  darkness (that conceals), thick darkness.

 

[2]   EXODUS 24:9-11 (God in Light)

 

The Hebrew Text

THEN 9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw (רָאָה) the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld (חָזָה) God, and ate and drank.

10they saw the God of Israel

 ויִּרְאוּ   אֵת אֱל ֹהֵי  יִשְׂרָאֵל

yiśrāēl   ĕlōhĕ   ēt   wayyir

רָאָה raah : to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider

 

11 they beheld God

אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים    וַיְּחֱזו

wa|yyechz  et-h亴lhm     

חָזָה chazah to see, behold: [God in theophany; God, after death]

 

The Greek Septuagint Text

THEN Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the place (εἶδον τὸν τόπον) where the God of Israel stood; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; They appeared in the place of God (ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ), and ate and drank.

10They saw the place where the God of Israel stood:

 καὶ εἶδον τὸν τόπον,
οὗ εἱστήκει ἐκεῖ ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Ισραηλ

11 They appeared
in the
place of God

 ὤφθησαν
ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ

 

 

Abbot Neve[3]   EXODUS 33:16 (Only the Back of God is seen)

 

MOSES said, I pray you, show me your glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name The LORD; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

 BUT, 20 he said, you cannot see (ὁράω) my face; for man shall not see me and live.  21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock;  22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;  23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see (ὁράω) my back; but my face shall not be seen.

ὁράω horao: see, observe, notice (pass. appear); perceive, understand, recognize; experience; visit, come to see.

 


This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1997....x....  .