The Tent Outside the Camp
1The Lord spoke to Moses: “Go up from here, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your offspring. 2I will send an angel ahead of you and will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hethites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go up with you because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way.” 4When the people heard this bad news, they mourned and didn’t put on their jewelry.
5For the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. If I went up with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you.” 6So the Israelites remained stripped of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.
7Now Moses took a tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a distance from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand up, each one at the door of his tent, and they would watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance to the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10As all the people saw the pillar of cloud remaining at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up, then bow in worship, each one at the door of his tent. 11The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend, then Moses would return to the camp. His assistant, the young man Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the inside of the tent.
The Lord’s Glory
12Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you have told me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor with me.’ 13Now if I have indeed found favor with you, please teach me your ways, and I will know you, so that I may find favor with you. Now consider that this nation is your people.”
14And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15“If your presence does not go,” Moses responded to him, “don’t make us go up from here. 16How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you unless you go with us? I and your people will be distinguished by this from all the other people on the face of the earth.”
17The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and I know you by name.”
18Then Moses said, “Please, let me see your glory.”
19He said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name ‘the Lord’ before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20But he added, “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live.” 21The Lord said, “Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, 22and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.”