The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 9 of 159
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We are not to be found trifling over the literality of the words "mouth to mouth"
(would not "mouth to ear" be more literal?), but see them as contrasted favourably with
the lesser means of communication, i.e. a dream, a vision. Face to face, mouth to mouth,
eye to eye, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, hip and thigh, head to foot, these and
many more will come to the mind of the reader, and not one figure, if found in ordinary
literature, but what would be accepted without question.
Before leaving this subject, we would observe that the quotation from Numb. 12:
introduces a deeper theme than that of the question of figures of speech.
"The similitude of the Lord shall he behold."
This is a definite statement, and demands attention. There can be no question as to the
meaning of the word "similitude", for it comes in the law of Sinai:--
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything"
(Exod. 20: 4).
Numb. 12: 8 can only be understood in the light of the following passages, which
speak of the Son of God.
"Who is the IMAGE of the INVISIBLE God" (Col. 1: 15).
"Who being in the FORM of God . . . . . took upon Him the FORM of a servant"
(Phil. 2: 6, 7).
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of
the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1: 18).
If we stress the contradiction of Exod. 33:, we must also carry our objection over
into the N.T. and find that the words of Christ, of John, of Paul also come short. This is
by its very presumption revealed as a false objection, and is met by the simple
recognition of the anthropomorphism of the language of revelation, without which God
Who is Spirit and Infinite would remain unknown to the sons of men. Till we attain to
that perfect day when we shall know even as we are known, let us thank God for the
condescension revealed in the use of "figures of speech".