When Moses Came Down from Mount Sinai with the Two Tables of Testimony . . . Moses Wist Not That the Skin of His Face Shone

Exodus 34:29–35

29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
34 But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen wrote:

“Moses’s prolonged fast and his experience in the Lord’s presence was unique in many respects, but radiation has been seen in other cases [see Exodus 34:29d; Acts 2:1– 3].

“The word shone is used to translate the Hebrew verb qaran, which is from a noun meaning ‘horn.’ It here depicts radial beams of light, like the ‘horns’ of morning—the rays seen over the horizon before sunrise. (A mistranslation in the Latin Bible of Michelangelo’s time caused him to put horns on the head of his heroic statue of Moses!)”

(A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament [1993], 123.)

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