Genesis 32:30—Can God’s face be seen?

Problem: God declared to Moses, “No man shall see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:20, see comments on John 1:18). Moses was allowed only to see God’s “back” (Ex. 33:23). Yet the Bible informs us that Moses spoke with God “face to face” (Deut. 5:4). How could he speak to God face to face without seeing His face?

Solution: It is possible for a blind person to speak face to face with someone without seeing their face. The phrase “face to face” means personally, directly, or intimately. Moses had this kind of unmediated relationship with God. But he, like all other mortals, never saw the “face” (essence) of God directly.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.