ויאמר אנכי אלהי. אחר שהזכיר אלהי אביך פי' כי הם אברהם יצחק יעקב. והחל מאברהם כי הוא החל לקרא בשם ה' לבנות מזבח לשם. כי אביו וגם אחיו היו עובדים ע"ג. והזכיר אלה השלשה ולא הזכיר שלשה הקרובים אליו שהם לוי וקהת ועמרם כי השלשה שהזכיר היו נביאים לבדם ועוד כי השלשה שהזכיר הם אבות לכל ישראל ואין לוי כולל. כי משה כנגד כל ישראל. וכשאמר למשה אנכי אלהי אביך. כאילו אמר לכל ישראל כי למשה ידבר במקומם: MOREOVER HE SAID: I AM THE LORD OF THY FATHER. After stating, I am the God of thy father, He explains that the reference is to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He starts with Abraham because Abraham was the first to call upon the name of the Lord and he built an altar to the Lord,53Cf. Gen. 12:8, and he (Abraham) builded there an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. for his father and his brother worshipped idols. These three54Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. are mentioned while those closest to Moses, namely, Levi, Kehat, and Amram, are not noted55Levi the son of Jacob begot Kehat who begot Amram who begot Moses. Prima facie, if God told Moses, I am the God of thy father, and then enumerated three of Moses’ ancestors he should have mentioned these three rather than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for the former were closest to Moses in time. because the former were prophets. Furthermore, they were fathers of all of Israel. Levi was not,56He was a patriarch only of the tribe of Levi. whereas Moses stood for all of Israel.57Moses was the proxy of Israel. When God told Moses, I am the God of thy father, He was, as it were, speaking to all of Israel because Moses represented Israel.
ויסתר משה פניו. כדרך כי ראיתי אלהים פנים אל פנים ותנצל נפשי. ושער העין משער השמים כי ברגע אחד יראה תמונות רבות רחוקות עם קרובות ואין ככה שער האזנים ואף והחיך והיד. ובעבור יראתו הסתיר פניו: AND MOSES HID HIS FACE. This is similar to for I have seen God face, to face, and my life is preserved (Gen. 32:31).58There too “God” refers to an angel. Jacob implied that there is a great danger in seeing an angel. Similarly, Moses was afraid to look upon an angel. The sensory perception of the eye59The sense of sight is unique. I.E. refers to the senses as gates. is like the gate of heaven,60I.E. is vague. The Hebrew reads, ve-sha’ar ha’ayin m i (from)-sha’ar ha-shamayim. What he probably means is ve-sha’ar ha-ayin karov (similar to) le-sha’ar ha-shamayim. Shamayim (heaven) represents the angels. I.E seems to be saying that the gift of sight is divine, for unlike touch, taste, or hearing it can perceive distant things (Filwarg). for it can see in one moment images that are both far and near. However, this is not the case with the senses of the ears, nose, palate, and hand.61Hence Moses hid only his eyes. He did not cover his ears or any of his other sensory organs. Moses hid his face because he was greatly afraid.62See note 58.