Numbers 11

1The burning at Taberah is quenched by Moses' prayer. 4The people lust for flesh, and lothe manna. 10Moses complaineth of his charge. 16God promiseth to divide the burden of it among seventy elders, and to give the people flesh for a month. 21Moses' faith is staggered. 24God giveth of his spirit unto the seventy elders. 31Quails are given in wrath at Kibroth-hattaavah.

1ANDa1when the people complained, 2it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; andb3the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

a Deut. 9:22.

1 Other, and the people were as it were pitying themselves, that is, full of complaints. Or, showing themselves sullen, much displeased, disgusted and dissatisfied, full of grumbling and finding fault with everything. The reason hereof seems to have been the frequent troubles and inconveniences of the journey.

2 That is, much displeased Him; thus men are said to be evil in the sight of the LORD when they displease Him greatly. See Gen. 38 on verse 7. Compare below, verse 10 and the annotation.

b Psalm 78:21.

3 This fire the LORD had caused to fall down from heaven in a wonderful manner, either by lightning, or otherwise; so that they perceived well that it came from the LORD, punishing their evil and refractory complaining. Compare 2 Kings 1:10 and see the annotation.

2And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

3And he called the name of the place 4Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

4 This word signifies a kindling or burning. In this place the Israelites had pitched their camp, and it was otherwise called Kibroth-Taäva, verses 34, 35; Num. 33:16. The diversity of the names implies the several situations of the camps, being Taberah, situated nearer to Egypt, and Kibroth-Taäva nearer unto Canaan. In the counting of the camping places Taberah is passed over, and Kibroth-Taäva is only mentioned. Num. 33:16.

4¶Andc5the mixt multitude that was among them 6fell a lusting: 7and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Whod shall give us flesh to eat?

c Exod. 12:38; Psalm 106:14; 1 Cor. 10:6.

5 Or, the crowding or gathering together multitude. Understand hereby such as were come forth with the Israelites out of Egypt and used to the diet of that country, continually talking of it, whereby they now had caused the Israelites to murmur. See of these Exod. 12:38.

6 Hebr. they were lusted with lusting, or lusted the lusting; that is, they lusted exceedingly to eat flesh again, see 2 Chron. 36 on verse 14.

7 Hebr. therefore the children of Israel also turned and wept, that is, wept again. The verb to turn, being joined to another active verb signifies but a renewing and repeating of the same action.

d Exod. 16:3.

5We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

6But now our 8soul is 9dried away: there is nothing at all, 10beside this manna, before our eyes.

8 That is, our life. See Gen. 19 on verse 17.

9 That is, faint, through want of that refreshing we had by change and variety of diet.

10 Hebr. besides our eyes to the manna, that is, our eyes sees nothing but manna.

7And thee manna was as corianderf seed, and the 11colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

e Exod. 16:14, 31; Psalm 78:24; John 6:31, 49.

f plant with small round white spicy seeds

11 Hebr. eye, for the color is discerned by the eye. The meaning is that the manna in its outward shape and hue had the color of the bdellium; whereof see Gen. 2 on verse 12. It is probable that the name bdellium here signifies the gum dropping from the tree of that name and being very transparent.

8And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in 12pans, and made 13cakes of it: and the 14taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

12 Or, kettles.

13 See Gen. 18 on verse 6.

14 That is, uppermost part of the oil, which was altogether free from dregs and had a certain sweet savor. See Exod. 16 on verse 31.

9And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

10¶Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also 15was displeased.

15 That is, it much displeased him. See of this manner of speaking, Gen. 21 on verse 11, and compare the annotation on verse 1 above.

11And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found 16favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

16 See Gen. 6 on verse 8. Also below, verse 15.

12Have I conceived all this people? have I 17begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

17 Or, engendered.

13Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

14I am not able to bear 18all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

18 That is, the entire burden of this people. See verse 11.

15And if thou deal thus with me, 19kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my 20wretchedness.

19 Hebr. killing kill me, that is, let me rather die forthwith, that I may be relieved of this burden.

20 Hebr. my evil, that is, my vexation and continual grievous trouble. Compare the annotation at Gen. 19 on verse 19.

16¶And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of 21the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest 22to be the elders of the people, and 23officers over them; and 24bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

21 Of those see Exod. 3 on verse 16 and Lev. 4 on verse 15.

22 That is, those who in their calling have not only the name, but also the practice.

23 Understand officers and commanders. Compare Exod. 5:6; Deut. 16:18.

24 Hebr. take, that is, having taken or made choice of, and bring.

17And I will 25come down and talk with thee there: and I will take 26of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

25 Spoken of God after the manner of man. See Gen. 11:5; 35:13 with the annotation. So likewise below verse 25 and Num. 12:5.

26 That is, of the same gifts of the Spirit and that without impairing the gifts of Moses. The word Spirit is frequently used for the gifts of the Spirit; as Num. 27:18; Psalm 51:12; Joel 2:28; John 7:39, etc.

18And say thou unto the people, 27Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was 28well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

27 See Lev. 11 on verse 44.

28 Hebr. it was well, or good with us.

19Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20But even a 29whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, 30Whyg came we forth out of Egypt?

29 Hebr. month of days, that is, a full complete month, every day thereof. See Gen. 29 on verse 14, and also in the next verse.

30 Or, Why did we come forth out of Egypt now, or thus, or hitherwards?

g Num. 21:5.

21And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are 31six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat 32a whole month.

31 Num. 1:46 there is added to this number three thousand five hundred and fifty more. From which it appears that since this numbering, the number was now diminished or that Moses contented himself to make use of the round sum in lieu of the odd. See the like in Exod. 12:37. Compare Gen. 15:13 and see the annotation there.

32 Hebr. a month of days.

22Shallh the flocks and the herds be slain for them, 33to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?

h John 6:7.

33 Hebr. to find for them, namely, flesh to satisfy them. The Hebrew word properly signifies to find, but here it is taken for to be enough; as also Joshua 17:16; Judges 21:14.

23And the LORD said unto Moses, Isi the LORD’S 34hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

i Isa. 50:2; 59:1.

34 That is, His power to be so small that He would not be able to perform what He has spoken?

24¶And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and 35gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the 36tabernacle.

35 According as God had commanded him, verse 16, though two of them stayed behind, verse 26.

36 Namely, the tent of the congregation. See verse 16.

25And the LORD came down 37in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the 38spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, 39they prophesied, and 40did not cease.

37 Namely, which covered the tabernacle, Exod. 40:38. Other, in the cloud. This cloud was a token of the majesty and present appearance of God. Also Num. 12:5.

38 See on verse 17.

39 This word signifies here, to utter and declare through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the great virtues and mighty deeds of God. See the same word used in the same sense, 1 Sam. 10:5, 6; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17.

40 Namely, to prophecy, that is, from that day forward the Spirit of prophecy forsook them not. Other, but afterwards no more, namely, afterwards they prophesied no more. This visible sign being sufficient for once, to render them assured within themselves of their calling unto this charge, and to get them established before the people; as likewise happened to Saul, 1 Sam. 10:6, 10, 13.

26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were 41written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

41 That is, out of the number of those whom Moses had called unto his assistance; as appears in verses 24, 25.

27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.

28And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one 42of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

42 Other, from his very youth.

29And Moses said unto him, 43Enviest thou for my sake? 44would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

43 That is, doth envy seize upon thee, or, dost thou grudge unto any that he hath the same gifts of the Holy Spirit as I have? Compare herewith the jealousy of the disciples of John the Baptist, John 3:26.

44 Hebr. Who shall give? A Hebrew phrase of wishing. See of the same Deut. 5 on verse 29.

30And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

31¶And there wentj forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

j Exod. 16:13; Psalm 78:26.

32And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten 45homers: and they 46spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

45 Of the word homer, signifying a certain measure, see Lev. 27 on verse 16. Other, heaps.

46 Hebr. spreading they spread them.

33And whilek the flesh was yet between their teeth, 47ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

k Psalm 78:30, 31.

47 From verse 20 is inferred that this happened at the end of a month; thus long they satisfied their lusting after flesh.

34And he called the name of that place 48Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

48 That is, lust-graves. A camping-place so called, by reason that there were so many buried, who, having loathed the manna, had gluttoned themselves with flesh, which the LORD indeed had given them, but in His anger.

35And the people journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah unto 49Hazeroth; and 50abode at Hazeroth.

49 Another camping-place of the Israelites in the wilderness. See of this likewise Num. 33:17 and Deut. 1:1.

50 Hebr. they were.