Bible: Numbers 14:1-20


The Israelites Respond in Unbelief


Then all the community raised a loud cry, 2  and the people wept 3  that night. 14:2 And all the Israelites murmured 4  against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died 5  in the land of Egypt, or if only we had perished 6  in this wilderness! 14:3 Why has the Lord brought us into this land only to be killed by the sword, that our wives and our children should become plunder? Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt? 14:4 So they said to one another, 7 Let’s appoint 8  a leader 9  and return 10  to Egypt.”

14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces to the ground 11  before the whole assembled community 12  of the Israelites. 14:6 And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of those who had investigated the land, tore their garments. 14:7 They said to the whole community of the Israelites, “The land we passed through to investigate is an exceedingly 13  good land. 14:8 If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 14  14:9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. 15  Their protection 16  has turned aside from them, but the Lord is with us. Do not fear them!

14:10 However, the whole community threatened to stone them. 17  But 18  the glory 19  of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the tent 20  of meeting.

The Punishment from God

14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise 21  me, and how long will they not believe 22  in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them? 14:12 I will strike them with the pestilence, 23  and I will disinherit them; I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!

14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 24  it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 25  of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 26  that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 27  this entire people at once, 28  then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 29  be great, just as you have said, 14:18 The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 30  forgiving iniquity and transgression, 31  but by no means clearing 32  the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 33  14:19 Please forgive 34  the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 35  just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”

14:20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 36 

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