Did They See God Or Not?

Q. I was doing a study of Exodus and came across Exodus 24: 9-11. Could you help me understand why was it that the Lord allowed all these men to see Him while stating many times throughout the Bible that no one has ever seen Him and that to see Him is death. Does the statement that they “went up and saw the God of Israel” imply only that they went up and interacted with him or does this mean they actually looked at Him?

A. From the passage it seems like they were close enough to see Him but only from a distance, and there was no interaction. They were there as witnesses to the covenant, and by eating the covenant meal confirmed it on behalf of the nation. Only Moses was allowed into God’s presence (Ex. 24:1-2). But from Exodus 33:20 we learn that not even he was allowed to look upon the face of God, but had to be hidden in the cleft of a rock when the Lord passed by.

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