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And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afficted thy servant ? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Are all these people my children, 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 ?
Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
And I will come down and talk with thee there ; and I will take of 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.
And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow,
Alesh (for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt) therefore the Lord will give you Aesh, and ye shall eat.
Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days neither ten days, nor twenty days ; but even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be
loathsome unto you : because that you have despised the LORD which is among you,
and have wept before him, saying, Why came ye forth out of Egypt?
And Moses said, The people amongst whoni I am, are six hundred thousand footmen ; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
Shall the focks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?
And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee, or not.
And Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle,
And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and
gave it unto the seventy elders : and it came to pass that when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
But 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 written, but went not
unto the tabernacle, and they prophesied in the ·camp.
And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? Would to God that all the Lord's people were pro
phets, and that the Lord', would put his spirit upon them.
And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
And there went 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.
And 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 homers ; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp:
And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very
And he called the name of that place,' Kibrothhattaavah ; because there, they buried the people that Justed.'
And the people journeyed from Kibroth-hattaa vah unto Hazeroth ; and abode at Hazeroth.
Though we are told that the Israelites did eat manna for forty years, there is no reason to suppose, that they were consided entirely to that kind of food ; on the contrary, it
appears, that they were allowed by their law, nay required, to eat a part of the beasts which were offered in sacrifices, with this restriction, that they
should not eat either the blood or fat. Of bread indeed they wete destitute, for 'they were mere sojourners in the wilderness, and, having no fixed abode, they would have found it very inconvenient, if not impossible, to cultivate the earth, so as to supply themselves with corn and vegetables. Besides, sowing of grain would have been a sort of appropriation of that land, which was not given to them; and harvest work would have been extremely fatiguing in a barren wilderness ; so that manna, being sent for bread, was a very signal mercy, for which they ought to have been daily thankful ; no wonder that such ungrateful behaviour should provoke Di. vine justice to send judgments upon them.
The mixt multitude consisted of a number of people who went with the Israelites out of Egypt ; who not being of the lineage of Jacob, were not numbered with the others. It seems to have been, by their suggestion, that the Israelites repined at their condition the second time ; but the people of God onght not to have been influenced by those who tempted them from their duty.
It appears strange that Moses should express any doubts of the Lord's ability to effect his purpose; but we must consider, that he was not above the infirmities of human nature, and that he had a very severe trial of his meekness and patience. There was great reasonableness in his remonstrances ; and God, who never exacts of his creatures what is inconsistent with the circumstances in which He is pleased to place them, suffered his arguments to prevail.God did not require Moses to bear the people alone, who were become too turbulent for his sole management; but endued others with a proportionable share of that Divine wisdom, which had hítherto directed the judgment of Moses in
his government, that they might be able to assist him in the arduous task.
The two men who are said to have prophesied in the camp, are supposed to have declined the summons of Moses through excessive modesty, and a sense of unworthiness ; but being approved of the Lord, they exercised the gifts of praying, preaching, and praising God, in some private tent, with evident marks of Divine inspiration. When the friends of Moses, through zeal for his honour, requested him to forbid them, he 'gave a striking instance of his zeal and public spirit. “ Enviest thou for my sake (said he). Would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put His spirit upon them." - Every idea of personal honour, or distinction, vanished with Moses, when brought into competition with the good of his countrymen ; and he could cheerfully see others distinguished by the same powers with himself, if by this means the general interest might be promoted.
We may conclude that quails were very delicious food, by the Lord's sending them to gratify the people's desire of dainties, and by the avidity with which they gathered them up. The threatening which had been denounced, was enough, one would think, to caution them against eating to excess ; but they set no bounds to their appetites, and soon found the fatal effects of inordinate indulgence. From this portion of Scripture we learn, that it is a duty to be contented with such things as God bestows ; and that it is very wicked to desire any kind of enjoyment, which the state of life we are placed in by Providence will not admit of. And all Christians are admonished by it, not to desire to be under the bondage of sin for the sake of gratifying their sensual appetites, but rather to gather up with patience 1.4.