שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל־זְכוּרְךָ אֶל־פְּנֵי הָאָדֹן יְהוָהExodus 23:17 (KJV):
Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.The Masoretic text vowels the word יֵרָאֶה, translated "appear," as a Niphal. This means the verb should be read passively. The verb r'h means "to see," which renders the reading provided by the Masoretes "appear." This formula (appear three times a year before the Lord) appears, or is alluded to, in Exod 34:20; 34:23–24; Deut 16:16; 31:11; 1 Sam 1:22 (possibly); Isa 1:12; and Ps 42:3.
Some of these attestations, however, call into question the reading provided by the Masoretes. In Exod 34:24, Deut 31:11, and Isa 1:12, the verb appears in the infinitive construct, but the Niphal reading is complicated by a missing h. The infinitive construct normally takes the ləhiqqātēl form, but here the h seems to have elided. This happens more frequently with the Hiphil. There are five other examples of an elided h in the Niphal infinitive in the Hebrew Bible, although a Qal reading is not precluded in any of them. The infinitive of r'h, however, only ever appears without the h in verses alluding to our formula, and in the MT there are no examples of our formula with an unambiguously Niphal r'h. The elided form without the vocalization would be identical to the Qal infinitive construct, and many conclude that the reading was originally Qal.
If the Niphal reading should be read as Qal it would render the verse, "Three times in the year all thy males shall see the face of the Lord God." The conclusion has been promulgated by many that the reading was originally Qal, but was altered to minimize anthropomorphizing tendencies.While we can conjecture about the legitimacy of the Niphal infinitive with the elided h, several manuscripts do give us evidence that supports an originally Qal reading.
The Mekhiltas of R. Simeon b. Yohai and R. Ishmael, in interpreting Exodus 23:17, exempt the blind. Later Talmudsic readings seem to recognize the ambiguity of the verse, but don't commit to either reading. For Isa 1:12 and Ps 42:3, several manuscripts (de Rossi MSS 575, 337, 368, 670, 864, 879, primo 43, 380, 683) attest to a Qal punctuation. The Syriac has Qal for Isa 1:12.
Exod 33:20 would seem to agree with a Niphal reading of Exod 23:17, but several scriptures exist which clearly assert that God's face can and has been seen. The verses in question were most likely read Qal prior to Niphal, meaning God's face was most likely sought in the early Israelite temple.
 See Gary Rendsburg, “Laqtil Infinitives: Yiphil or Hiphil?” Orientalia 51.2 (1982): 231–38. The verses are Exod 10:3; Job 33:30; Ezek 26:15; Prov 24:17; and Lam 2:11.
 1 Samuel 1:22 contains a clearly Nipahl r’h, but it’s not clear if the phrase is an allusion to the formula in question. Carmel McCarthy concludes it is, but posits a 1st person plural jussive reading. See Carmel McCarthy, The Tiqqune Sopherim (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981), 199–200. The Samaritan Pentateuch has the full ləhiqqātēl form in Exod 34:24 in most manuscripts, but several exist without the h.