Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Exodus 33:18

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Shew me thy glory - The faithful servant of Yahweh, now assured by the success of his mediation, yearns, with the proper tendency of a devout spirit, for a more intimate communion with his divine Master than he had yet enjoyed. He seeks for something surpassing all former revelations.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Moses is very earnest with God. Thus, by the intercession of Christ, we are not only saved from ruin, but become entitled to everlasting happiness. Observe here how he pleads. We find grace in God's sight, if we find grace in our hearts to guide and quicken us in the way of our duty. Moses speaks as one who dreaded the thought of going forward without the Lord's presence. God's gracious promises, and mercy towards us, should not only encourage our faith, but also excite our fervency in prayer. Observe how he speeds. See, in a type, Christ's intercession, which he ever lives to make for all that come to God by him; and that it is not by any thing in those for whom he intercedes. Moses then entreats a sight of God's glory, and is heard in that also. A full discovery of the glory of God, would overwhelm even Moses himself. Man is mean, and unworthy of it; weak, and could not bear it; guilty, and could not but dread it. The merciful display which is made in Christ Jesus, alone can be borne by us. The Lord granted that which would abundantly satisfy. God's goodness is his glory; and he will have us to know him by the glory of his mercy, more than by the glory of his majesty. Upon the rock there was a fit place for Moses to view the goodness and glory of God. The rock in Horeb was typical of Christ the Rock; the Rock of refuge, salvation, and strength. Happy are they who stand upon this Rock. The cleft may be an emblem of Christ, as smitten, crucified, wounded, and slain. What follows, denotes the imperfect knowledge of God in the present state, even as revealed in Christ; for this, when compared with the heavenly sight of him. is but like seeing a man that is gone by, whose back only is to be seen. God in Christ, as he is, even the fullest and brightest displays of his glory, grace, and goodness, are reserved to another state.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Show me thy glory - Moses probably desired to see that which constitutes the peculiar glory or excellence of the Divine nature as it stands in reference to man. By many this is thought to signify his eternal mercy in sending Christ Jesus into the world. Moses perceived that what God was now doing had the most important and gracious designs which at present he could not distinctly discover; therefore he desires God to show him his glory. God graciously promises to indulge him in this request as far as possible, by proclaiming his name, and making all his goodness pass before him, Exodus 33:19. But at the same time he assures him that he could not see his face - the fullness of his perfections and the grandeur of his designs, and live, as no human being could bear, in the present state, this full discovery. But he adds, Thou shalt see my back parts, אחרי את eth achorai, probably meaning that appearance which he should assume in after times, when it should be said, God is manifest in the flesh. This appearance did take place, for we find God putting him into a cleft of the rock, covering him with his hand, and passing by in such a way as to exhibit a human similitude. John may have had this in view when he said, The Word was made flesh and dwelt Among us, full of grace and truth, and We Beheld His Glory. What this glory was, and what was implied by this grace and truth, we shall see in the succeeding chapter.

Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 241.3

Encouraged by the assurance of God's presence, Moses drew still nearer, and ventured to ask for still further blessings. “I beseech thee,” he said, “shew me thy glory” (verse 18). Think you that God reproved Moses for his presumption? No, indeed. Moses did not make this request from idle curiosity. He had an object in view. He saw that in his own strength he could not do the work of God acceptably. He knew that if he could obtain a clear view of the glory of God, he would be enabled to go forward in his important mission, not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord God Almighty. His whole soul was drawn out after God; he longed to know more of Him, that he might feel the divine presence near in every emergency or perplexity. It was not selfishness that led Moses to ask for a sight of the glory of God. His only object was a desire better to honor his Maker. HP 241.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 193.5

We sought to lead the people to reach forward to the things that are before us, seeking earnestly to attain the highest elevation of Christian character. In this we must rely simply on the merits and righteousness of our Surety. We must have awakened in us a holy jealousy of ourselves, and cultivate a spirit of vigilant prayer. We want the spirit of earnest, longing desire that Moses had when he prayed, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). And his petition was not presumptuous. God did not rebuke His servant as being bold and irreverent. UL 193.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 499

“The Lord has given us the promise, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another, and to pray earnestly for that wisdom which He alone can impart. Unitedly make known your troubles to God. Talk less; much precious time is lost in talk that brings no light. Let brethren unite in fasting and prayer for the wisdom that God has promised to supply liberally. TM 499.1

“Go to God and tell Him as did Moses, ‘I cannot lead this people unless Thy presence shall go with me.’ And then ask still more; pray with Moses, ‘Show me Thy glory.’ What is this glory?—the character of God. That is what He proclaimed to Moses. Let the soul, in living faith, fasten upon God. Let the tongue speak His praise. When you associate together, let the mind be reverently turned to the contemplation of eternal realities. Thus you will be helping one another to be spiritually minded. When your will is in harmony with the divine will, you will be in harmony with one another; you will have Christ by your side as a counselor.”—Gospel Workers, old edition, 1:235-237. TM 499.2

The Lord has not qualified any one of us to bear the burden of the work alone. He has associated together men of different minds, that they may counsel with and assist one another. In this way the deficiency in the experience and abilities of one is supplied by the experience and abilities of another. We should all study carefully the instruction given in Corinthians and Ephesians regarding our relation to one another as members of the body of Christ. TM 499.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 321

Thus through faith they will come to know God by an experimental knowledge. They have proved for themselves the reality of His word, the truth of His promises. They have tasted, and they know that the Lord is good. 8T 321.1

The beloved John had a knowledge gained through his own experience. He could testify: 8T 321.2

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3. 8T 321.3

So everyone may be able, through his own experience, to “set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33, A. R. V. He can bear witness to that which he himself has seen and heard and felt of the power of Christ. He can testify: 8T 321.4

“I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. Every want was supplied, the hunger of my soul was satisfied; the Bible is to me the revelation of Christ. I believe in Jesus because He is to me a divine Saviour. I believe the Bible because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.” 8T 321.5

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