Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
Exodus 32:10 (KJV)
Now therefore let me alone – All these words are really just one word in the Hebrew text: yanach which means “to rest”. YHVH tells Moses to let him rest. “Leave me alone” is a decent translation, but without knowing the Hebrew, we’re missing a hidden implication in the word yanach.
Rabbi Fohrman points out the hidden relationship in one of his videos. The root word of yanach (יָנַח) is Noach (נֹחַ) which is Noah’s name and means “rest” as well. This interesting observation reveals YHVH’s intent to do with Moses what He did with Noah – create a new line through him. Essentially, YHVH is stating that Moses is the new Noah.
But something happened after the flood which comes into play here. Prior to the flood, justice was how God ruled over the earth. Everything was recompensed with just measure. Ultimately we see the final act of this in the flood. In Genesis 6:5 we read that the catalyst for God’s action was because man’s heart was evil. But after the flood (Genesis 8:21), God makes a promise that He will never again destroy everything by a flood because He realizes man’s heart is evil. Instead YHVH begins a different approach with mankind. After that moment, YHVH chooses to rule with mercy. Justice will come, but YHVH is longsuffering and merciful.
Instead of destroying mankind along with all living things, YHVH sets His mind to focus his anger on Israel only. God will restart again with Moses. But Moses argues his point and successfully changes God’s mind, and in the process spares Israel from death. At first, God chose to show mercy toward His creation and only destroy Israel, but Moses helps Him display mercy toward everything, including Israel.
The text is full of these nuances. It’s important to look beyond your translation and dig deeper into the Word. The Hebrew language is expansive and full of depth and meaning. God used this language (an ancient form of it) to express His words and to grow a relationship with His creation.