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12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’
12. See, thou, sayest unto me, Bring up this people Moses is still diligently engaged in endeavoring to reconcile the people, for the fuller promise was inserted by way of anticipation. Since the revolt, however, God had promised no more than that He would give the land to the people; but although wishing only to assure them that they should possess the land, He had added that His angel should lead them, still this was but a temporary blessing, and one which He is wont to confer promiscuously on other nations also. Thus Moses saw that he and the people were deprived of a special privilege which they had previously enjoyed; for that same angel who had gone before them was frequently called the God of hosts, in order that they might perceive that God was present with them in a peculiar manner. Hence Moses complains not without cause that God had not signified whom He would send, inasmuch as, when He spoke generally of an ordinary angel, He had withdrawn that special Deliverer, the guardian of the people, and the perpetual maintainer of their safety. He does not, therefore, request that Aaron should be restored to him, or that any companion should be associated with him in his difficult and arduous task; but he desires to be assured of the continuance of God’s previous favor. As the ground of his confidence in asking, he adduces nothing but the promises of God. He rests, then, on no dignity of his own, nor alleges any duties performed, whereby he had merited so great favor; but contents himself with this brief statement, Lord, cause the event to correspond with Thy words. We have already shewn 366366 See ante on Exodus 31:2, p. 291. what it is to “know by name,” viz., to choose from amongst others, or to hold in peculiar honor. After, however, Moses had made mention of what had been promised by God, he implores him by this grace, “if (says he) I have found grace in thy sight,” confirm or ratify it by this proof, i.e., by again undertaking the care of us; for by the way of God he means that guidance in which He had declared that He would go before them to shew them the way. In a word, he requests that this token of favor should be given them, that God should continually guide His people. Therefore, He says, thus shall I know thee, and it will appear that I am acceptable to thee. Finally, he refers to the Covenant of God with the whole people; as much as to say, that although God should be unwilling to grant this to him alone individually, still there was a weightier reason, viz., because God had adopted that people; and, consequently, it was just that he should distinguish it from other nations by peculiar marks.