New English Translation
6 The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed:[a] “The Lord, the Lord,[b] the compassionate and gracious[c] God, slow to anger,[d] and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness,[e] 7 keeping loyal love for thousands,[f] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression[g] of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”Read full chapter
- Exodus 34:6 tn Here is one of the clearest examples of what it means “to call on the name of the Lord,” as that clause has been translated traditionally (וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם יְהוָה, vayyiqraʾ veshem yehvah). It seems more likely that it means “to make proclamation of Yahweh by name.” Yahweh came down and made a proclamation—and the next verses give the content of what he said. This cannot be prayer or praise; it is a proclamation of the nature or attributes of God (which is what his “name” means throughout the Bible). Attempts to make Moses the subject of the verb are awkward, for the verb is repeated in v. 6 with Yahweh clearly doing the proclaiming.
- Exodus 34:6 sn U. Cassuto (Exodus, 439) suggests that these two names be written as a sentence: “Yahweh, He is Yahweh.” In this manner it reflects “I am that I am.” It is impossible to define his name in any other way than to make this affirmation and then show what it means.
- Exodus 34:6 tn See Exod 33:19.
- Exodus 34:6 sn This is literally “long of anger.” His anger prolongs itself, allowing for people to repent before punishment is inflicted.
- Exodus 34:6 sn These two words (“loyal love” and “truth”) are often found together, occasionally in a hendiadys construction. If that is the interpretation here, then it means “faithful covenant love.” Even if they are left separate, they are dual elements of a single quality. The first word is God’s faithful covenant love; the second word is God’s reliability and faithfulness.
- Exodus 34:7 tn That is, “for thousands of generations.”
- Exodus 34:7 sn As in the ten commandments (20:5-6), this expression shows that the iniquity and its punishment will continue in the family if left unchecked. This does not go on as long as the outcomes for good (thousands versus third or fourth generations), and it is limited to those who hate God.