|Numbers 11 |
1 Now the people complained, grumbling about their hardships on the journey;1 the LORD heard it, he was displeased, and his anger was kindled against them; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed those who were in the outer most parts of the camp.
2 And the people cried to Moses; and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched.
3 And he called the name of the place Taberah because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell to lusting [for more of a variety of food than what they had in the desert]; and the children of Israel wept again, and said, "Who shall give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.
6 But now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all, beside this manna [the supernatural food provided by God], before our eyes.
7 And the manna was like the coriander seed, and its color was brown.
8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of fresh oil.
9 When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna also fell upon it.
10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent, and the anger of the LORD was greatly kindled; Moses also was displeased.
11 And Moses said to the LORD, "Why have you afflicted your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all these people upon me?
12 Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten them, that you should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father bears the sucking child, to the land which you swore to their fathers?'
13 From where should I find flesh to give to all this people? For they weep to me, saying, 'Give us flesh to eat.'
14 I am not able to bear all these people alone because it is too heavy for me.
15 And if you are going to deal this way with me, kill me, I pray you, out of hand, if I have found favor in your sight; and let me not see my wretchedness."
16 And the LORD said to Moses, "Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them to the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with you.
17 And I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon you, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you bear it not yourself alone.
18 And say you to the people, 'Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and you shall eat flesh because 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 flesh, and you shall eat it.
19 You shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20 But you shall eat even for a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it becomes loathsome to you because you have despised the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt?"'"
21 And Moses said, "The people, among whom I am one, are six hundred thousand men on foot; and you have said, 'I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.'
22 Shall the flocks 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?"
23 And the LORD said to Moses, "Has the LORD's hand grown short? You shall see now whether my word shall come to pass to you or not."
24 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.
25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it to the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
26 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 those who were written, but they did not go to the tabernacle; and they prophesied in the camp.
27 A young man there ran and told Moses, and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, "My lord Moses, forbid them."
29 And Moses said to him, "Do you envy [their prophesying] for my sake? Would God [make it so] that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"
30 And Moses went back into the camp along with the elders of Israel.
31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, which brought quails from the sea, and the Lord let them fall by the camp in an area covered by a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and in a pile three feet deep all over the surface of the earth.
32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails. He who gathered least, gathered one hundred bushels; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it had been chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah because there they buried the people that had lusted for flesh.2
35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah to Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.
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1 the people complained and grumbled about their hardships on the journey. The first of the ways the Israelites displeased the Lord. Christendom, note! The Israelites journey through the desert wilderness of Sinai, is an allegory of the spiritual journey necessary to arrive at salvation, the rest, union, and the Kingdom.
Life, chronicled in the Old Testament, before Jesus opened up the opportunity of the Kingdom to anyone with faith in his name, was used to create an indelible allegory of the individual's purification experience — for reference, benchmark, understanding, warnings, and encouragement. Instead of purity of an individual, it was purity of his chosen people; they were punished when they didn't obey, and they were told to destroy any other race in their country. The Kings that Joshua destroyed are the allegory of the elements of our own reigning spirits that have to be destroyed. As individuals, we are disciplined, scourged, and chastised by God in our purification, Heb 12:6-8; but all to our benefit — so that we can be rid of our sinful natures and participate in the divine nature.
2 they buried the people that had lusted for flesh. Lust of the flesh is for foods, drink, alcohol, drugs, sex. Now what makes this particularly bad is that the Lord was providing the people the heavenly bread, but that was not enough for them. The heavenly bread allegory is the words we listen to, hear, and obey spoken by the Spirit of God within our hearts:
Now suppose we are daily waiting on God, silently listening, hoping to hear his words, with intent to obey what we hear; but we tire of that, just as the Israelites tired of the light fare of small bread. Some are not satisfied with listening for hours and only hearing a few words, often even nothing heard. We remember the satisfaction of reading the Bible for hours, of listening to preachers talk for hours, of singing many hymns — and we complain about scanty words heard to the Lord, or we decide it is too hard to listen silently, or just not worth the effort. This is grumbling and complaining, which we must not do, remembering the Israelites that were destroyed by plague for doing the same.
Just as the living Father sent Me and I live by (through, because of) the Father,
even so whoever continues to feed on Me shall live through and because of Me.
(We lose our life to find Life. As Paul said: It is no longer I that live, but Christ within me.)
This is the Bread that came down from heaven.
It is not like the manna which our forefathers ate, and yet died;
he who takes this Bread for his food shall live forever.
He said these things in a synagogue while He was teaching at Capernaum.
When His disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it?
But Jesus, knowing within Himself that His disciples were complaining and protesting and grumbling about it, said to them:
Is this a stumbling block and an offense to you?
What then if you should see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever.
The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life. John 6:57-63
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