And Yawheh spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend (Ex.33:11).

How can this be? when 9 verses later Yahweh says:
“Thou canst NOT see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Ex.33:20).

Is this a contradiction?

No. This is another classic example of GOD MANIFISTATION.
That is, Yahweh REVEALING himself through a person/thing/accomplishment.
We are reminded in verse 2 that Yahweh will “send His Angel” to go before them and drive out the inhabitants of the land.
This is the same Angel formally introduced in Ex.23:20:

“Behold, I send an ANGEL before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and OBEY HIS VOICE, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for MY NAME IS IN HIM” (Ex.23:20-21).

This is the Angel speaking/acting on behalf of Yahweh.
Yahweh spoke to Moses in the burning bush right?
But if we read carefully we see it was really an Angel:
“And THE ANGEL of YAHWEH APPEARED unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”: (Ex.3:2)

Exodus 3:2
And a few verses later God tells Moses…
“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, YAHWEH God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, APPEARED unto me” (Ex.3:16).

It was YAHWEH revealing or MANIFESTING Himself THROUGH an ANGEL.

Yahweh says “My PRESENCE shall go with thee” (Ex.33:14)
“Presence” is the hebrew word “PANIYM” (H6440) plural, literally means “FACES“.
The Lord Jesus Christ said:

“the Angels do always behold the FACE of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt.18:10).

There are many examples in the bible throughout most of scripture!
Earlier in Genesis, when Sarai cast out Hagar “The Angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water…” (Gen.16:7).
And this Angel spoke to her.
And after words she said “Thou God “EL” has seen me…(Gen.16:13).
Other early manuscripts have translated this “I have seen God “EL” and lived”.
It was understood that “No man can see (YHWH) and live” (Ex.33:20).
After Jacob wrestled with the Angel (Gen.32:24-30), he named the place “Penuel” meaning “Face of God (EL)” because he said “I have seen God (Elohim) face to face and lived” (Gen.32:30).
Elohim (H430) means literally “Mighty Ones”, plural, usually referring to the Angels REPRESENTING The Name Yahweh .
They have the “similitude of Yahweh” (Num.12:8).
But “Yahweh is ONE” (Dt.6:4).
Most all the angels in the bible just look like men. No wings. They appear as average men. They can veil their Glory. or they can Reveal it.
When Samson’s father and mother thought they were just sitting and eating with a man, they didn’t realize it was an Angel until he “ascended in the flame” (Judges 13:20-21).
Then they realized it was the Angel of Yahweh. When the Angel left , Samson’s father said “We shall surely die, because we have seen God “Elohim” (Judges 13:22).
But it was His Angel.

“God (“Elohim”) said, ‘Let us make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness’…” (Gen.1:26)

and Jesus said of those who are given Immortality…

“… Neither can they die any more: for THEY ARE EQUAL UNTO THE ANGELS; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:35-36)

 

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