Exodus 33:22

Hebrew Bible

19 And the Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious; I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 20 But he added, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place by me; you will station yourself on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and will cover you with my hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen.”

1 Kings 19:11

Hebrew Bible

9 He went into a cave there and spent the night. Suddenly the Lord’s message came to him, “Why are you here, Elijah?” 10 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal to the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, even though the Israelites have abandoned the covenant they made with you, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by.” A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Suddenly a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”

 Notes and References

"... Throughout the Horeb and Chariot narratives, the author(s) of these tales intentionally has imbued Elijah with motifs and narratives related to Moses from the Hebrew Bible. Himself the quintessential representation of both polemic against idolatry, and the exclusive and proper worship of Yahweh, it is fitting that the narrator(s) of this passage intentionally would weave into the Elijah narratives rich allusions to the towering figure of Moses. In addition to the similarity of their missions on behalf of Yahweh, allusions to Moses in Elijah’s narratives can be found in Elijah’s journey of 40 days and 40 nights to reach the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:8), where Moses had spent “forty days and forty nights” receiving the Law (Exodus 24:18). Similarly, on Mt. Horeb, Elijah stayed in a cave there (1 Kings 19:8) and was bidden to come out as Yahweh passed by, just as Moses had stood “in the crevice of a rock” for a similar theophanic appearance of Yahweh on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 33:22). Elijah covered his face with his cloak (1 Kings 19:13) in front of Yahweh’s theophany (1 Kings 19:11), just as Moses had hid his own face at the burning bush (Exodus 3:6), both of which reactions were not uncommon responses in the ancient Near East when ‘meeting’ the divine. Even Yahweh’s appearance at Sinai in thunder and fire was echoed in Elijah’s theophanic experience of the divine (1 Kings 19:11–12). Finally, when we meet the figure of Elisha in the Horeb narrative, we see another similarity with Moses; the presence of a faithful servant who becomes his successor. Joshua son of Nun was a servant of Moses for years before being appointed Moses’ successor (Exodus 33:11, Numbers 11:28, Joshua 1:1) ..."

Ferg, Erica Geography, Religion, Gods, and Saints in the Eastern Mediterranean (p. 116) Routledge, 2020

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