Numbers 11

Complaints about Hardship

1 Now the people began complaining openly before
Lit in the ears of
the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, His anger burned, b and fire c from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp.
2Then the people cried out to Moses, and he prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. 3So that place was named Taberah,
= blaze
e because the Lord’s fire had blazed among them.

Complaints about Food

4 Contemptible people
Or The mixed multitude; Hb obscure
among them g had a strong craving h for other food. The Israelites cried again and said, “Who will feed us meat?
5We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, i along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6But now our appetite is gone;
Or our lives are wasting away, or our throat is dry
there’s nothing to look at but this manna!”

7The manna k resembled coriander seed, and its appearance was like that of bdellium.
A yellowish, transparent gum resin
8The people walked around and gathered it. They ground it on a pair of grinding stones or crushed it in a mortar, then boiled it in a cooking pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil. 9When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it. m

10 Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents. The Lord was very angry; n Moses was also provoked.
Lit and it was evil in the eyes of Moses
11So Moses asked the Lord, “Why have You brought such trouble on Your servant? Why are You angry with me, and why do You burden me with all these people? p 12Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth so You should tell me, ‘Carry them at your breast, as a nursing woman carries a baby,’ q to the land that You
One Hb ms, Sam, LXX, Syr, Tg read I
swore to give their fathers? s
13 Where can I get meat to give all these people? For they are crying to me: ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I can’t carry all these people by myself. They are too much for me. 15 If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. t If You are pleased with me, u don’t let me see my misery
Ancient Jewish tradition reads Your misery

Seventy Elders Anointed

16 The Lord answered Moses, “Bring Me 70 men from Israel known to you as elders and officers of the people. Take them to the tent of meeting and have them stand there with you. 17Then I will come down and speak with you there. I will take some of the Spirit who is on you and put the Spirit on them. w They will help you bear the burden of the people, so that you do not have to bear it by yourself. x

18 “Tell the people: Purify yourselves in readiness for tomorrow, and you will eat meat because you cried before the Lord: ‘Who will feed us meat? We really had it good in Egypt.’ The Lord will give you meat and you will eat. 19You will eat, not for one day, or two days, or five days, or 10 days, or 20 days, 20but for a whole month – until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes nauseating to you – because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and cried to Him: ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’” y

21But Moses replied, “I’m in the middle of a people with 600,000 foot soldiers, z yet You say, ‘I will give them meat, and they will eat for a month.’ 22If flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?” aa

23The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited?
Lit Lord’s arm too short
ac You will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.”

24 Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. He brought 70 men from the elders of the people and had them stand around the tent. 25Then the Lord descended in the cloud and spoke to him. ad He took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the 70 elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, ae but they never did it again. 26 Two men had remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the other Medad; the Spirit rested on them – they were among those listed, but had not gone out to the tent – and they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28 Joshua son of Nun, assistant to Moses since his youth,
LXX, some Sam mss read Moses, from his chosen ones
responded, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29But Moses asked him, “Are you jealous on my account? ag If only all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would place His Spirit on them!” 30Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel.

Quail in the Camp

31 A wind sent by the Lord ah came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them at the camp all around, three feet
Lit two cubits
Or on, or above
the ground, about a day’s journey in every direction. ak
32The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail – the one who took the least gathered 50 bushels
Lit 10 homers
– and they spread them out all around the camp.
To dry or cure the meat; 2Sa 17:19; Ezk 26:5,14

33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord’s anger burned ao against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague. ap 34So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah,
= Graves of Craving
because there they buried the people who had craved the meat.

35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people moved on to Hazeroth
= settlements; Nm 12:16; 33:16-17
as and remained there.
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