Exodus Chapter 34

1And the Lord said to Moses: "Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones. And I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.   אוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה פְּסָל־לְךָ֛ שְׁנֵֽי־לֻחֹ֥ת אֲבָנִ֖ים כָּרִֽאשֹׁנִ֑ים וְכָֽתַבְתִּי֙ עַל־הַלֻּחֹ֔ת אֶת־הַ֨דְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָי֛וּ עַל־הַלֻּחֹ֥ת הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר שִׁבַּֽרְתָּ:
Hew for yourself: Heb. פְּסָל לְ. He [God] showed him [Moses] a sapphire mine from within his tent, and He said to him, “The [sapphire] chips shall be yours,” and from there Moses became very wealthy. -[from Tanchuma 29, Lev. Rabbah 32:2]   פְּסָל־לְךָ: הֶרְאָהוּ מַחְצַב סַנְפִּירִינוֹן מִתּוֹךְ אָהֳלוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַפְּסֹלֶת יִהְיֶה שֶׁלְּךָ; מִשָּׁם נִתְעַשֵּׁר מֹשֶׁה הַרְבֵּה (תנחומא):
Hew for yourself: You broke the first ones. You hew others for yourself. This can be compared to a king who went abroad and left his betrothed with the maidservants. Because of the immoral behavior of the maidservants, she acquired a bad reputation. Her bridesman [the person appointed to defend the bride should any problems arise] arose and tore up her marriage contract. He said, “If the king decides to kill her, I will say to him, ‘She is not yet your wife.’” The king investigated and discovered that only the maidservants were guilty of immoral behavior. He [therefore] became appeased to her. So her bridesman said to him, “Write her another marriage contract because the first one was torn up.” The king replied to him, “You tore it up. You buy yourself another [sheet of] paper, and I will write to her with my [personal] hand [writing].” Likewise, the king represents the Holy One, blessed is He. The maidservants represent the mixed multitude. The bridesman is Moses, and the betrothed of the Holy One, blessed is He, is Israel. That is why it says: “Hew for yourself.” -[from Tanchuma 30]   פְּסָל־לְךָ: אַתָּה שִׁבַּרְתָּ הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת, אַתָּה פְּסָל לְךָ אֲחֵרוֹת, מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָלַךְ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם וְהִנִּיחַ אֲרוּסָתוֹ עִם הַשְּׁפָחוֹת, מִתּוֹךְ קִלְקוּל הַשְּׁפָחוֹת יָצָא עָלֶיהָ שֵׁם רָע, עָמַד שׁוֹשְׁבִינָהּ וְקָרַע כְּתֻבָּתָהּ, אָמַר אִם יֹאמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָרְגָהּ, אֹמַר לוֹ עֲדַיִן אֵינָהּ אִשְׁתְּךָ; בָּדַק הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמָצָא שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַקִּלְקוּל אֶלָּא מִן הַשְּׁפָחוֹת, נִתְרַצָּה לָהּ, אָמַר לוֹ שׁוֹשְׁבִינָהּ כְּתֹב לָהּ כְּתֻבָּה אַחֶרֶת, שֶׁנִּקְרְעָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, אָמַר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ אַתָּה קָרַעְתָּ אוֹתָהּ אַתָּה קְנֵה לָהּ נְיָר אַחֵר וַאֲנִי אֶכְתֹּב לָהּ בִּכְתָב יָדִי; כֵּן הַמֶּלֶךְ זֶה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, הַשְּׁפָחוֹת אֵלּוּ עֵרֶב רַב, וְהַשּׁוֹשְׁבִין זֶה מֹשֶׁה, אֲרוּסָתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר פְּסָל לְךָ (שם):
2Be prepared for the morning, and in the morning you shall ascend Mount Sinai and stand before Me there on the top of the mountain.   בוֶֽהְיֵ֥ה נָכ֖וֹן לַבֹּ֑קֶר וְעָלִ֤יתָ בַבֹּ֨קֶר֙ אֶל־הַ֣ר סִינַ֔י וְנִצַּבְתָּ֥ לִ֛י שָׁ֖ם עַל־רֹ֥אשׁ הָהָֽר:
prepared: Heb. נָכוֹן, ready.   נָכוֹן: מְזֻמָּן:
3No one shall ascend with you, neither shall anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain, neither shall the sheep and the cattle graze facing that mountain."   גוְאִישׁ֙ לֹא־יַֽעֲלֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ וְגַם־אִ֥ישׁ אַל־יֵרָ֖א בְּכָל־הָהָ֑ר גַּם־הַצֹּ֤אן וְהַבָּקָר֙ אַל־יִרְע֔וּ אֶל־מ֖וּל הָהָ֥ר הַהֽוּא:
No one shall ascend with you: Since the first ones [i.e., tablets] were accompanied by loud noises, sounds, and with a multitude, the evil eye affected them. [Our conclusion is that] there is nothing better than modesty. -[from Tanchuma 30]   וְאִישׁ לֹא־יַֽעֲלֶה עִמָּךְ: הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהָיוּ בִתְשׁוּאוֹת וְקוֹלוֹת וּקְהִלּוֹת, שָׁלְטָה בָהֶן עַיִן רָעָה – אֵין לְךָ יָפֶה מִן הַצְּנִיעוּת (שם):
4So he [Moses] hewed two stone tablets like the first ones, and Moses arose early in the morning and ascended Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand.   דוַיִּפְסֹ֡ל שְׁנֵֽי־לֻחֹ֨ת אֲבָנִ֜ים כָּרִֽאשֹׁנִ֗ים וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם משֶׁ֤ה בַבֹּ֨קֶר֙ וַיַּ֨עַל֙ אֶל־הַ֣ר סִינַ֔י כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה אֹת֑וֹ וַיִּקַּ֣ח בְּיָד֔וֹ שְׁנֵ֖י לֻחֹ֥ת אֲבָנִֽים:
5And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and He called out in the name of the Lord.   הוַיֵּ֤רֶד יְהֹוָה֙ בֶּֽעָנָ֔ן וַיִּתְיַצֵּ֥ב עִמּ֖וֹ שָׁ֑ם וַיִּקְרָ֥א בְשֵׁ֖ם יְהֹוָֽה:
and He called out in the name of the Lord: We render: וּקְרָא בִשְׁמָא דַיְיָ, and he called out in the name of the Lord. [from Onkelos]   וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם ה': מְתַּרְגְּמִינַן וּקְרָא בִשְׁמָא דַה':
6And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: Lord, Lord, benevolent God, Who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth,   ווַיַּֽעֲבֹ֨ר יְהֹוָ֥ה | עַל־פָּנָיו֘ וַיִּקְרָא֒ יְהֹוָ֣ה | יְהֹוָ֔ה אֵ֥ל רַח֖וּם וְחַנּ֑וּן אֶ֥רֶךְ אַפַּ֖יִם וְרַב־חֶ֥סֶד וֶֽאֱמֶֽת:
Lord, Lord: This is God's Attribute of Compassion. [It is repeated,] once for before the person sins, and once for after he sins and repents.   ה' ה': מִדַּת רַחֲמִים הִיא, אַחַת קֹדֶם שֶׁיֶּחֱטָא, וְאַחַת אַחַר שֶׁיֶּחֱטָא וְיָשׁוּב (ראש השנה י"ז):
God: Heb. אֵל. This too is an attribute of compassion [for God], and so he [the Psalmist] says: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:2). One cannot say to the Divine attribute of justice, “Why have You forsaken me?” I found this in the Mechilta (Exod. 15:2).   אֵל: אַף זוֹ מִדַּת רַחֲמִים, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר אֵלִי אֵלִי לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי (תהילים כ"ב) – וְאֵין לוֹמַר לְמִדַּת הַדִּין לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי, כָּךְ מָצָאתִי בִּמְכִילְתָּא:
slow to anger: He puts off His anger and does not hasten to exact retribution, [hoping that] perhaps he [the sinner] will repent.   אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם: מַאֲרִיךְ אַפּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מְמַהֵר לִפָּרַע, שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשֶׂה תְשׁוּבָה:
and abundant in loving-kindness: for those who need loving-kindness because they lack sufficient merits. -[from R.H. 17a]   וְרַב־חֶסֶד: לַצְּרִיכִים חֶסֶד – שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם זְכֻיּוֹת כָּל כָּךְ:
and truth: to pay a good reward to those who do His will.   וֶֽאֱמֶֽת: לְשַׁלֵּם שָׂכָר טוֹב לְעוֹשֵׂי רְצוֹנוֹ:
7preserving loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; yet He does not completely clear [of sin] He visits the iniquity of parents on children and children's children, to the third and fourth generations."   זנֹצֵ֥ר חֶ֨סֶד֙ לָֽאֲלָפִ֔ים נֹשֵׂ֥א עָוֹ֛ן וָפֶ֖שַׁע וְחַטָּאָ֑ה וְנַקֵּה֙ לֹ֣א יְנַקֶּ֔ה פֹּקֵ֣ד | עֲוֹ֣ן אָב֗וֹת עַל־בָּנִים֙ וְעַל־בְּנֵ֣י בָנִ֔ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֖ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִֽים:
preserving loving-kindness: that a person does before Him.   נֹצֵר חֶסֶד: שֶׁהָאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה לְפָנָיו:
for thousands: For two thousand generations.   לָֽאֲלָפִים: לִשְׁנֵי אֲלָפִים דּוֹרוֹת:
[iniquity and rebellion]: Iniquities (עִוֹנוֹת) are intentional sins. פְּשָׁעִים are sins committed out of rebellion, which a person commits [in order] to anger [God]. -[from Yoma 36b]   עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע: עֲוֹנוֹת — אֵלּוּ הַזְּדוֹנוֹת, פְּשָׁעִים — אֵלּוּ הַמְּרָדִים שֶׁאָדָם עוֹשֶׂה לְהַכְעִיס:
yet He does not completely clear [of sin]: Heb. וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה. According to its simple interpretation, it means that He does not completely overlook the iniquity but exacts retribution for it little by little. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted [this expression to mean]: He clears those who repent, but does not clear those who do not repent (from Yoma 86a, targumim).   וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה: לְפִי פְשׁוּטוֹ מַשְׁמָע שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְוַתֵּר עַל הֶעָוֹן לְגַמְרֵי, אֶלָּא נִפְרָע מִמֶּנּוּ מְעַט מְעַט, וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דָרְשׁוּ מְנַקֶּה הוּא לַשָּׁבִים וְלֹא יְנַקֶּה לְשֶׁאֵינָן שָׁבִים (יומא פ"ו):
He visits the iniquity of parents on the children: when they hold onto the deeds of their parents in their hands [i.e., emulate their ways], for He already explained this in another verse, [that it means only] “of those who hate Me” (Exod. 20:5). -[from Ber. 7a]   פֹּקֵד עָוֹן אָבוֹת עַל־בָּנִים: כְּשֶׁאוֹחֲזִים מַעֲשֵׂה אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם בִּידֵיהֶם, שֶׁכְּבָר פֵּרֵשׁ בְּמִקְרָא אַחֵר לְשֹׂנְאָי (שמות כ'):
and fourth generations: Heb. וְעַל רִבֵּעִים, the fourth generation. Thus, the [i.e., God’s] attribute of goodness exceeds the attribute of retribution by a ratio of one to five hundred. Concerning the attribute of goodness, He says: “preserving loving-kindness for thousands.” -[from Tosefta, Sotah 4:1]   וְעַל־רִבֵּעִֽים: דּוֹר רְבִיעִי; נִמְצֵאת מִדָּה טוֹבָה מְרֻבָּה עַל מִדַּת פֻּרְעָנוּת אַחַת לַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת, שֶׁבְּמִדָּה טוֹבָה הוּא אוֹמֵר נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים (תוספתא סוטה ד'):
8And Moses hastened, bowed his head to the ground and prostrated himself,   חוַיְמַהֵ֖ר משֶׁ֑ה וַיִּקֹּ֥ד אַ֖רְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּֽחוּ:
And Moses hastened: When Moses saw the Shechinah passing [in front of him] and he heard the voice calling, he immediately prostrated himself.   וַיְמַהֵר משֶׁה: כְּשֶׁרָאָה מֹשֶׁה שְׁכִינָה עוֹבֶרֶת, וְשָׁמַע קוֹל הַקְּרִיאָה, מִיָּד וישתחו:
9and said: "If I have now found favor in Your eyes, O Lord, let the Lord go now in our midst [even] if they are a stiff necked people, and You shall forgive our iniquity and our sin and thus secure us as Your possession."   טוַיֹּ֡אמֶר אִם־נָא֩ מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֤ן בְּעֵינֶ֨יךָ֙ אֲדֹנָ֔י יֵֽלֶךְ־נָ֥א אֲדֹנָ֖י בְּקִרְבֵּ֑נוּ כִּ֤י עַם־קְשֵׁה־עֹ֨רֶף֙ ה֔וּא וְסָֽלַחְתָּ֛ לַֽעֲו‍ֹנֵ֥נוּ וּלְחַטָּאתֵ֖נוּ וּנְחַלְתָּֽנוּ:
let the Lord go now in our midst: As You promised us, since You forgive iniquity. [Which means:] and if they are a stiff-necked people, and they rebelled against You, and You have said concerning this, “Lest I destroy you on the way” (Exod. 33:3), You [still] will forgive our iniquity, etc. There are [other instances where] כִּי [is used] instead of אִם if.   יֵֽלֶךְ־נָא אֲדֹנָי בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ: כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִבְטַחְתָּ, מֵאַחַר שֶׁאַתָּה נוֹשֵׂא עָוֹן; וְאִם עַם קְשֵׁה עֹרֶף הוּא וְיַמְרוּ בְךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ עַל זֹאת פֶּן אֲכֶלְךָ בַּדָּרֶךְ, אַתָּה תִסְלַח לַעֲוֹנֵינוּ וְגוֹמֵר; יֵשׁ כִּי בִּמְקוֹם אִם:
and thus secure us as Your possession: And You shall give us to Yourself as a special possession. (Other editions read: and You shall give us a special possession.) That is the [same] request of: “Then I and Your people will be distinguished” (Exod. 33:16), [meaning] that the Shechinah should not rest upon the pagan nations.   וּנְחַלְתָּֽנוּ: וְתִתְּנֵנוּ לְךָ לְנַחֲלָה מְיֻחֶדֶת, זוֹ הִיא בַקָּשַׁת וְנִפְלִינוּ אֲנִי וְעַמְּךָ – שֶׁלֹּא תִשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָתְךָ עַל הָאֻמּוֹת: