33:12 Moses said to the Lord. Moses responds to the dismaying threat of vv. 1–3. He could not argue that Israel was not stiff-necked, or that the golden calf was an uncharacteristic aberration. He could only plead God’s grace and covenant mercy. He did so by repeatedly asking for precisely what the Lord was threatening to withdraw: the revelation of His own Presence (vv. 13–18). Moses’ faithful persistence in intercession was grounded in God’s covenant promise of divine-human communion (6:7; 19:5, 6; Gen. 17:7 note), and reminds us of Jacob’s persistent struggle with God in quest of divine blessing (Gen. 32:24–30).
whom you will send with me. Moses expresses his objection to the occasional presence of the Angel of the Lord (a mysterious and temporary form of divine manifestation, Gen. 16:7 note; 32:29; Judg. 13:17, 18) acting as a substitute for the immediate presence of God’s glory in the midst of the camp (v. 2 note), a relationship epitomized by God’s revelation of His covenant Name (3:15 note).
I know you by name. God had declared His electing knowledge of Moses (32:10; 33:11) and would repeat that assurance expressly (v. 17). Because the Lord knew Moses by name personally and intimately, Moses would know the Lord (Num. 12:6–8).