¶ And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the
people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
.3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
.4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
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Congregation ... wept They had refused to listen to Joshua and Caleb
who came back with a good report. And, after all, had God not promised
to be with them when they entered the land?
2 - That we had died ... in the wilderness This rash oath would be accepted by God.
4 - Make a captain And they did. They appointed a leader to replace Moses ne0917.
¶ Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly
of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
.7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
.10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
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Rent their clothes It was a customary way to express grief
10 - Stone them It hardly seems logical but the angry people weren't desiring righteous behavior. They had already rejected the report which harmonized with God's plan. So it will be before the coming of Christ. See on re1616. Many believe that a rapture will come first, but the Scriptures do not support this idea re0107b.
¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke
me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which
I have shewed among them?
12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
- How long ... ere ... believe Jewish people have placed great importance
in their descent from Abraham but have neglected to honor his God ge1506,
This as kept them (and us) from entering into the promised rest he0319.
11 - Signs Or evidence that God has been worthy of their honor ex1431, jn1237.
And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou
broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
- Egyptians shall hear The Hebrews were to have been a witness to
them. Also ex3212, de0928,
14 - This land That the people refused to enter.
¶ And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
.21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
.22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
.23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
.24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
.25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
- I have pardoned As in v19.
21 - Earth will be filled with glory ha0214, is6001. In the context here, the rebellious Israelites would not be the ones to reflect that glory. They were refusing to show God's mighty power in driving out the people of the land, although they had seen His miracles.
22 - Tempted ... ten times Likely the reason for the commandments being ten ex3428.
24 - Caleb ... another spirit A challenge for us. When all the religious world rejects the instructions of God, the final remnant, as individuals, will show His glory.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
.27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
.28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
.29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
.30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
.31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
.33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
- As ye have spoken ... so will I do The people were angry because
God had led to the border of a land which they felt too week to conquer
They doubted His power and they said they would rather die. See v1.
30 - Ye shall not come into the land While they were to die in the wilderness, this did not mean that those who turned to the Lord in repentance would be excluded from the heavenly Canaan. That, after all, is the ultimate goal.
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty
days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years,
and ye shall know my breach of promise.
.35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
36 ¶ And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.
Day for a year I expect that many who rebelled learned their lesson
before they died during the 40 years. We will see them in the heavenly
The day-for-a-year principle is applied to the iniquity of the house of Israel in Ezekiel's experience ez0404-6. And the Lord used the principle to represent the rebellion of 2300 years. See the note on this topic linked from da0814.
34 - My breach of promise Or "my rejection" (NKJV). The verb may mean "to hinder," "to frustrate, " "to restrain." de3005,8,11. Or "as in ps03310.
37 - By the plague The same word means "stroke." See it in nu1648, 1sa0417, 2sa1709.
37 - Before the Lord That is, with the Lord as judge.
38 - Joshua ... and Caleb ... lived still The faithful are generally a minority.
And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people
40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
- Into ... mountain The mountains of the Amorites de0119.
40 - We be here ... go up As Caleb and Joshua had urged v25. But it was too late.
And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD?
but it shall not prosper.
42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
.44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
.45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.
- Transgress The Lord had ordered them to turn back v25.
42 - Go not up ... Lord is not among That meant no ark and no cloud. v44, js0608.
45 - Amalekites See on ex1708.
45 - Hormah The word means "devoted to destruction." See de0144 for details. "Hormah" was a city given to Judah or Simeon. See map, NE. It is mentioned in nu2103 . "also called Zephath; a city in the extreme south of Canaan, near which the rebellious Hebrews were defeated, in the second year after leaving Egypt, Nu 14:45; it was afterwards laid waste, Jg 1:16,17. The Simeonites repeopled it, Jos 19:4, and David sent them some of his spoils taken from the Amalekites, 1Sa 30:30." (ATS Dict.)