Bible: Numbers 11:1-20


The Israelites Complain


When the people complained, 2  it displeased 3  the Lord. When the Lord heard 4  it, his anger burned, 5  and so 6  the fire of the Lord 7  burned among them and consumed some of the outer parts of the camp. 11:2 When the people cried to Moses, he 8  prayed to the Lord, and the fire died out. 9  11:3 So he called the name of that place Taberah 10  because there the fire of the Lord burned among them.


Complaints about Food


Now the mixed multitude 12  who were among them craved more desirable foods, 13  and so the Israelites wept again 14  and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 15  11:5 We remember 16  the fish we used to eat 17  freely 18  in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 11:6 But now we 19  are dried up, 20  and there is nothing at all before us 21  except this manna! 11:7 (Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. 11:8 And the people went about and gathered it, and ground it with mills or pounded it in mortars; they baked it in pans and made cakes of it. It tasted like fresh olive oil. 22  11:9 And when the dew came down 23  on the camp in the night, the manna fell 24  with it.)


Moses’ Complaint to the Lord


Moses heard the people weeping 26  throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and when the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly, Moses was also displeased. 27  11:11 And Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you afflicted 28  your servant? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that 29  you lay the burden of this entire people on me? 11:12 Did I conceive this entire people? 30  Did I give birth to 31  them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your arms, as a foster father 32  bears a nursing child,’ to the land which you swore to their fathers? 11:13 From where shall I get 33  meat to give to this entire people, for they cry to me, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat!’ 34  11:14 I am not able to bear this entire people alone, 35  because it 36  is too heavy for me! 11:15 But if you are going to deal 37  with me like this, then kill me immediately. 38  If I have found favor in your sight then do not let me see my trouble.” 39 


The Response of God


The Lord said to Moses, “Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know are elders of the people and officials 41  over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting; let them take their position there with you. 11:17 Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take part of the spirit that is on you, and will put it on them, and they will bear some of the burden of the people with you, so that you do not bear it 42  all by yourself.

11:18And say to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves 43  for tomorrow, and you will eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing 44  of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat, 45  for life 46  was good for us in Egypt?” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat. 11:19 You will eat, not just one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 11:20 but a whole month, 47  until it comes out your nostrils and makes you sick, 48  because you have despised 49  the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why 50  did we ever come out of Egypt?”’

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