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CHAPTER 11 Mar. 29 
The People Complain and Moses Becomes Desperate
The people started complaining in the ears of Yahweh. When Yahweh heard it, His anger was kindled; and Yahweh’s fire burnt among them, and consumed some of those in the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried to Moses, and Moses prayed to Yahweh, and the fire abated. 3The name of that place was called Taberah, because Yahweh’s fire burnt among them. 4The mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly; and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who will give us flesh to eat? 5We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic; 6but now we have lost our appetite. There is nothing at all except this manna to look at. 7The manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like the appearance of bdellium. 8The people went around, gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh oil. 9When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. 10Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent; and the anger of Yahweh was kindled greatly; and Moses was displeased. 11Moses said to Yahweh, Why have You dealt with Your servant so badly? Why haven’t I found grace in Your sight- for You lay the burden of all this people on me? 12Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that You should tell me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant’, to the land which You swore to their fathers? 13From where can I get meat to give to all this people? For they weep to me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat’. 14I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15If You treat me this way, please kill me right now, if I have indeed found grace in Your sight; and don’t let me see my wretchedness. 16Yahweh 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 Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit which is on you, and will put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you not bear it yourself alone. 
The Giving of Quails
18Say to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and you will eat flesh; for you have wept in the ears of Yahweh, saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt. Therefore Yahweh will give you flesh, and you will eat. 19You will not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days, 20but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it is loathsome to you; because that you have rejected Yahweh Who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, Why did we come out of Egypt?’ 21Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand men on foot; and you have said, ‘I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month’. 22Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them? 23Yahweh said to Moses, Has Yahweh’s hand grown short? Now you will see whether My word will happen to you or not. 24Moses went out, and told the people the words of Yahweh; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around the Tent. 25Yahweh came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders: and it happened that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp! 28Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, My lord Moses, forbid them! 29Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all Yahweh’s people were prophets, that Yahweh would put His Spirit on them! 30Moses went into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. 31A wind from Yahweh went out and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the earth. 32The people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails. He who gathered least gathered ten homers, and they spread them all abroad for themselves around the camp. 33While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of Yahweh was kindled against the people, and Yahweh struck the people with a very great plague. 34The name of that place was called Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who lusted. 35From Kibroth Hattaavah the people travelled to Hazeroth, and they stayed at Hazeroth.


11:1 In the ears of Yahweh- They doubtless grumbled amongst themselves. But what we say secretly, as we think, to ourselves and to each other is spoke right into the ears of God Himself.
Those in the outskirts of the camp- The implication could be that it was those who camped furthest away from the tabernacle who complained. An encampment of three million people (:21) would’ve been large, and for them to walk to the tabernacle would’ve been quite a journey. If we are wholeheartedly devoted to God, we won’t want to be on the edge of God’s people, just peripherally associated with the things of God. 
11:5 They forgot their misery in the slave camps of Egypt, and imagined life had been much better there than it was. In our weakness, there are times on our wilderness journey towards the Kingdom when we look back to this world and think it was all far better than it was.
11:6 In the same way as Israel became ungrateful for the manna and became bored with it, so we can become bored with God’s word in Christ which it represents (Jn. 6:63 and context). It all can become the same old scene- unless we remember the daily miracle God is performing in giving us His word and guiding us as Israel were daily guided by the fire and cloud, with His presence clearly amongst them. These things were soon taken for granted by them. We at times long for a more visible declaration of God’s presence in our lives; but Israel had this daily, and yet it didn’t result in their faith remaining. For faith isn’t related to what we can see with our eyes (Heb. 11:1,2).
11:11 Moses earlier had had the same doubt, as to whether he had really found grace in God’s sight; and God had magnificently assured Moses that indeed he had (Ex. 33:13-17). Yet Moses still struggled to accept this; the complex difficulties of his life coupled with what appears to have been some form of depression led him to again doubt it. We too struggle with accepting our salvation by pure grace; one moment we may grasp it, but life’s difficulties trigger again the old doubt. Only perhaps at the day of judgment, as he see ourselves as it were from outside of ourselves, standing in the promised land of God’s Kingdom, shall we finally realize that all is ultimately OK, His grace to me is for real.
11:13 The disciples had the same question- from where to find food to feed a great multitude in the desert (Mk. 8:4). If their minds had been more spiritually attune, they would have perceived that they were in essence in the same situation as Moses- and God would likewise provide. The more we are familiar with Scripture, the more we will realize that our life situations and the crises we face have in fact been faced and overcome, in essence, in previous Biblical situations. 
11:15 Here we surely have Moses in depression; but God doesn’t seem to rebuke him (although He does rebuke him for other failures at other times). He recognizes our humanity with incredible sensitivity; and depression isn’t sin.
11:29 This incident has similarities with the disciples asking Jesus to forbid the disciples of John the Baptist from using the Spirit (Mk. 9:40). Because other believers aren’t with us or in our group, we aren’t to forbid them. This isn’t to say that unity amongst God’s people isn’t important; but where there is fracture amongst them, this doesn’t mean that God only works with one of the groups.
11:33 Ps. 78:31 adds the detail that those who were killed were the “fattest”- those who weren’t really hungry, but simply wanted a better life in the wilderness with the delicacies of Egypt, rather than the basic provision of daily food which God had faithfully promised His people. This attitude can easily happen amongst us- discontent because we seek both eternity in the future, and the life of Egypt right now too. Jesus clearly teaches that we must carry the cross in this life before we can enter the eternal joys of His future Kingdom.