Numbers 11

1Meanwhile, there arose a murmur among the people against the Lord, as if they were grief-stricken because of their labors. And when the Lord had heard it, he was angry. And when the fire of the Lord was enflamed against them, it devoured those who were at the extreme end of the camp. 2And when the people had cried out to Moses, Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire was consumed. 3And he called the name of that place, ‘The Burning,’ because the fire of the Lord had burned against them. 4So then, the mix of common people, who had ascended with them, were enflamed with desire, and sitting and weeping, with the sons of Israel joining them, they said, “Who will give us flesh to eat? 5We remember the fish that we ate freely in Egypt; we call to mind the cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and garlic. 6Our life is dry; our eyes look out to see nothing but manna.” 7Now the manna was like coriander seed, but with the color of bdellium. 8And the people wandered about, gathering it, and they crushed it with a millstone, or ground it with a mortar; then they boiled it in a pot, and made biscuits out of it, with a taste like bread made with oil. 9And when the dew descended in the night over the camp, the manna descended together with it. 10And so, Moses heard the people weeping by their families, each one at the door of his tent. And the fury of the Lord was greatly enflamed. And to Moses also the matter seemed intolerable. 11And so he said to the Lord: “Why have you afflicted your servant? Why do I not find favor before you? And why have you imposed the weight of this entire people upon me? 12Could I have conceived this entire multitude, or have given birth to them, so that you might say to me: Carry them in your bosom, as a nursemaid usually carries a little infant, and bring them into the land, about which you have sworn to their fathers? 13From where would I obtain the flesh to give to so great a multitude? They weep against me, saying, ‘Give us flesh, so that we may eat.’ 14I alone am unable to sustain this entire people, because it is too heavy for me. 15But if it seems to you otherwise, I beg you to put me to death, and so may I find grace in your eyes, lest I be afflicted with such evils.” 16And the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be elders, as well as teachers, of the people. And you shall lead them to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, and you shall cause them to stand there with you, 17so that I may descend and speak to you. And I will take from your spirit, and I will deliver it to them, so that, with you, they may sustain the burden of the people, and so that you will not be weighed down alone. 18You shall also say to the people: Be sanctified. Tomorrow you will eat flesh. For I have heard you say: ‘Who will give us flesh to eat? It was well with us in Egypt.’ So then, may the Lord give you flesh. And you will eat, 19not for one day, nor for two, nor for five, nor for ten, nor even for twenty, 20but for up to a month of days, until it exits from your nostrils, and until it turns into nausea for you, because you have slipped away from the Lord, who is in your midst, and because you have wept before him, saying: ‘Why did we go forth out of Egypt?’ ” 21And Moses said: “There are six hundred thousand footmen of this people, and yet you say, ‘I will give them flesh to eat for a whole month.’ 22Could a multitude of sheep and oxen be slain, so that there would be enough food? Or will the fishes of the sea be gathered together, in order to satisfy them?” 23And the Lord answered him: “Can the hand of the Lord be ineffective? Soon now, you shall see whether my word will be fulfilled in this work.” 24And so, Moses went and explained the words of the Lord to the people. Gathering together seventy men from the elders of Israel, he caused them to stand around the tabernacle. 25And the Lord descended in a cloud, and he spoke to him, taking from the Spirit which was in Moses, and giving to the seventy men. And when the Spirit had rested in them, they prophesied; nor did they cease afterwards. 26Now there had remained in the camp two of the men, of whom one was called Eldad, and the other Medad, upon whom the Spirit rested; for they also had been enrolled, but they did not go forth to the tabernacle. 27And when they were prophesying in the camp, a boy ran and reported to Moses, saying: “Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp.” 28Promptly, Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses and chosen from many, said: “My lord Moses, prohibit them.” 29But he said, “Why are you jealous on my behalf? Who decides that any of the people may prophesy and that God may give to them his Spirit?” 30And Moses returned, with those greater by birth of Israel, into the camp. 31Then a wind, going out from the Lord and moving forcefully across the sea, brought quails and cast them into the camp, across a distance of one day’s journey, in every part of the camp all around, and they flew in the air two cubits high above the ground. 32Therefore, the people, rising up, gathered quails all that day and night, and the next day; he who did least well gathered ten homers. And they dried them throughout the camp. 33The flesh was still between their teeth, neither had this kind of food ceased, and behold, the fury of the Lord was provoked against the people, and he struck them with an exceedingly great scourge. 34And that place was called, ‘The Graves of Lust.’ For there, they buried the people who had desired. Then, departing from the Graves of Lust, they arrived in Hazeroth, and they stayed there.
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