Exodus 32:11 MEANING

Exodus 32:11

(11-13) Moses has three arguments: (1) God has done so much for His people, that surely He will not now make all of none effect (Exodus 32:11); (2) their destruction will give a triumph to the Egyptians (Exodus 32:12); (3) it will nullify the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:2-6; Genesis 26:1; Genesis 28:12; Genesis 35:11), causing Moses to eclipse their glory, and to be looked upon as the true patriarch and progenitor of the "peculiar people" (Exodus 32:13). To these arguments he adds entreaties that God will be merciful, and change His purpose (Exodus 32:12).

(14) The Lord repented of the evil.--Moses' intercession was effectual. God spared the people at his desire. He is, therefore, said to have "repented"; not that He had really changed His purpose, for He had known from the beginning that Moses would intercede and that He would spare, but because He first announced a (conditional) purpose, and then announced a different one. The mode of speech is, as so frequently, anthropomorphic.

Verses 11-13. - Moses has three pleas wherewith he "wrestles with God:" -

1. Israel is God's people, for whom he has done so much that surely he will not now destroy them, and so undo his own work.

2. Egypt will be triumphant if Israel is swept away, and will misapprehend the Divine action.

3. The promises made to Abraham (Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:2-6; etc.), Isaac (Genesis 26:4), and Jacob (Genesis 28:14; Genesis 35:11), which had received a partial fulfilment, would seem to be revoked and withdrawn if the nation already formed were destroyed and a fresh start made.

32:7-14 God says to Moses, that the Israelites had corrupted themselves. Sin is the corruption of the sinner, and it is a self-corruption; every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust. They had turned aside out of the way. Sin is a departing from the way of duty into a by-path. They soon forgot God's works. He sees what they cannot discover, nor is any wickedness of the world hid from him. We could not bear to see the thousandth part of that evil which God sees every day. God expresses the greatness of his just displeasure, after the manner of men who would have prayer of Moses could save them from ruin; thus he was a type of Christ, by whose mediation alone, God would reconcile the world to himself. Moses pleads God's glory. The glorifying God's name, as it ought to be our first petition, and it is so in the Lord's prayer, so it ought to be our great plea. And God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer; for what he has promised he is able to perform. See the power of prayer. In answer to the prayers of Moses, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction; which change of the outward discovery of his purpose, is called repenting of the evil.And Moses besought the Lord his God,.... As the Lord was the God of Moses, his covenant God, and he had an interest in him, he made use of it in favour of the people of Israel:

and said, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people? so as to think or speak of consuming them utterly; otherwise he knew there was reason for his being angry and wroth with them; but though they were deserving of his hot wrath and displeasure, and even to be dealt with in the manner proposed, yet he entreats he would consider they were his people; his special people, whom he had chose above all people, and had redeemed them from the house of bondage, had given them laws, and made a covenant with them, and many promises unto them, and therefore hoped he would not consume them in his hot displeasure; God had called them the people of Moses, and Moses retorts it, and calls them the people of God, and makes use of their relation to him as an argument with him in their favour; and which also shows that Moses did not understand that the Lord by calling them his people disowned them as his:

which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? this the Lord had ascribed to Moses, and observes it is an aggravation of their ingratitude to Moses, and here Moses retorts, and ascribes it to God, and to his mighty power; as for himself he was only a weak feeble instrument, the Lord was the efficient cause of their deliverance, in which he had shown the exceeding greatness of his power; and he argues from hence, that seeing he had exerted his mighty arm in bringing them from thence, that he would not now lift it up against them and destroy them.

Courtesy of Open Bible