In Exodus 32:10, after the LORD's brief monologue on the golden calf incident (vv. 7-9), speaking to Moses he says:
וְעַתָּה הַנִּ֣יחָה לִּי וְיִֽחַר־אַפִּ֥י בָהֶם וַאֲכַלֵּ֑ם וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה אוֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָדֽוֹל
Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.
Moses has not yet spoken, so הַנִּ֣יחָה לִּי (hannı̂ḥāh lı̂, "let me alone") is a strange request unless we assume some unrecorded objection from him. Because Moses proceeds not to leave Yhwh alone (vv. 11-13), and is rewarded for his objections (v. 14), many have speculated that Yhwh actually wanted Moses to bother him. William Propp sums up this sentiment, apparently also reflected in much of the Rabbinic literature:
God is virtually inviting Moses to intercede on the people's behalf.
He doesn't propose any change in the translation to allow this interpretation, which seems to require a bit of psychoanalysis of Yhwh. On the other hand, I recently ran across a proposal that it should actually be read as a conditional statement:
If you let me alone, then my wrath will burn....
The verb "let me alone" (hannı̂ḥāh) is definitely imperative, but we do have this "conditional/threat" use of the imperative in English:
Track mud onto the carpet, and you'll see me angry =
If you track mud onto the carpet, then you'll see me angry =
Don't track mud onto the carpet!
I don't know if that's plausible in Hebrew. I'm also not sure about construing "that my wrath may burn" (wᵉyiḥar-ʾappı̂) without the jussive sense that it takes from its position in the clause.
Is it possible to read hannı̂ḥāh lı̂ as the protasis (= condition clause) of a conditional statement?