So God said he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stood ·before him [L in the breech before him] and ·stopped God’s anger from destroying them [calmed his destructive wrath; Ex. 32:30—33:23; Deut. 9:18–21].
Fed up, God decided to get rid of them— and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have. But Moses stood in the gap and deflected God’s anger, prevented it from destroying them utterly. They went on to reject the Blessed Land, didn’t believe a word of what God promised. They found fault with the life they had and turned a deaf ear to God’s voice. Exasperated, God swore that he’d lay them low in the desert, Scattering their children hither and yon, strewing them all over the earth.
So you were fed up and decided to destroy them. But Moses, your chosen leader, stood in the gap between you and the people and made intercession on their behalf to turn away your wrath from killing them all.
And God said, that he would lose them; (and he would have,) if Moses, his chosen man, had not stood in the breaking of his sight. That he should turn away his ire; lest he lost them. (And God said, that he would destroy them; and he would have, if Moses, his chosen man, had not stood in the gap, or the breach, before him; so that he would turn away his anger, lest it destroy the people.)
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