Exodus 33:17 :
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
What does God mean by knowing Moses 'by name'? Aren't we all known by our names?
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The most popular explanation for God saying, "I know thee by name" is that it demonstrates warmth towards Moses. This is a credible reason, although it fits a little awkwardly into the context.
John A Knox (Grace Track, page 29) proposes a novel explanation, saying that God was showing that nothing about Moses was hidden from God. Once again a credible reason, and once again it fits a little awkwardly into the context.
A cultural explanation may be that, to the ancients, knowing a person's name gave one power over that person. Moses replies by saying, "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory (Exodus 33:18)." I cite one example, written by Luis S. R. Vas (Experiences With The Jesus Prayer And Guidelines For Its Practice, page 57): "
Biblically, knowing a person's name gave one power over that person. Name was linked with being. "
Conversely, Marvin A. Sweeney (Tanak: A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible) suggests that when God answered Moses by saying "I am that I am" (Exodus 3:14) that this is a deliberate ploy to protect the holy name by declining to state it to Moses.