tn The emphasis of the line is clear enough—it begins literally “mouth to mouth” I will speak with him. In human communication this would mean equality of rank, but Moses is certainly not equal in rank with the Lord. And yet God is here stating that Moses has an immediacy and directness with communication with God. It goes beyond the idea of friendship, almost to that of a king’s confidant.
tn The word מַרְאֶה (mar’eh) refers to what is seen, a vision, an appearance. Here it would have the idea of that which is clearly visible, open, obvious.
tn The word “form” (תְּמוּנָה, témunah) means “shape, image, form.” The Greek text took it metaphorically and rendered it “the glory of the Lord.” This line expresses even more the uniqueness of Moses. The elders saw God on one special occasion (Exod 24:10), and the people never (Deut 4:12, 15), but Moses has direct and familiar contact with God.