The LORD said to Moses, "How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?
"I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they."
But Moses said to the LORD, "Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from their midst,
and they will tell [it] to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O LORD, are in the midst of this people, for You, O LORD, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.
"Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will say,
'Because the LORD could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.'
"But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared,
'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth [generations].'
"Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."
So the LORD said, "I have pardoned [them] according to your word;