World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
20. And he said, Thou canst not see my face Moses had indeed seen it, but in such a mode of revelation, as to be far inferior to its full effulgence. Long before the birth of Moses, Jacob had said, “I have seen God face to face,” (Genesis 32:30;) and to Moses, as I have lately shewn, a still clearer vision was vouchsafed. Now, however, he obtains something better and more excellent; and yet not so as perfectly to see God such as He is in Himself, but so far as the human mind is capable of bearing. For, although the angels are said to see God’s face in a more excellent manner than men, still they do not apprehend the immense perfection of His glory, whereby they would be absorbed. Justly, therefore, does God declare that He cannot be seen by a mortal man; for we shall not see him as He is, until we shall be like Him. (1 John 3:2.) For it must needs be that that incomprehensible brightness would bring us to nothing. God, therefore, whilst He withholds us from a complete knowledge of Him, nevertheless manifests Himself as far as is expedient; nay, attempering the amount of light to our humble capacity, He assumes the face which we are able to bear.