How is it that Gd said to (moses) that "no man shall see me face to face and live". yet in bereshit-32;31 (Jacob) said "I had seen Gd face to face and my soul was saved", thus naming the place peniel. shouldn't he not have lived since Gd said no man shall see me and live ?

  • Shouldn't this be "Panim be Fanim"?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


Yaakov saw a malach, not Gd. Similar to Manoach who at first thought he would die because he saw a malach, but, of course, didn't. According to Rambam the question doesn't start since he explains in the Moreh that all angelic encounters are dreams.

  • so then can we actually say that moses saw gd face to face because no one can or ever will understand the true essence of his nothingness or comprehend to actually see the infinite face to face
    – Koachyah
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 13:24
  • No, Hashem said that he can't. The mepharshim talk about the quality of Moshe's nevuah (he was not incapacitated when he spoke to Hashem, etc). [I think "nothingness" is not the right description.]
    – YDK
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 13:51
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/78238/8775.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 19:18

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