Day 6

Written on 05/28/2021


Numbers 10:29-11:29

29 Moshe said to Hovav the son of Re‘u’el the Midyani, Moshe’s father-in-law, “We are traveling to the place about which Adonai said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well, because Adonai has promised good things to Isra’el.” 

30 But he replied, “I will not go; I would rather go back to my own country and my own kinsmen.” 

31 Moshe continued, “Please don’t leave us, because you know that we have to camp in the desert, and you can serve as our eyes. 

32 If you do go with us, then whatever good Adonai does for us, we will do the same for you.”

33 So they set out from Adonai’s mountain and traveled for three days. Ahead of them on this three-day journey went the ark of Adonai’s covenant, searching for a new place to stop. 

34 The cloud of Adonai was over them during the day as they set out from the camp. 

35 When the ark moved forward, Moshe said,

“Arise, Adonai! May your enemies be scattered!
Let those who hate you flee before you!”

36 When it stopped, he said,

“Return, Adonai of the many, many
thousands of Isra’el!”

But the people began complaining about their hardships to Adonai. When Adonai heard it, his anger flared up, so that fire from Adonai broke out against them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. 

Then the people cried to Moshe, Moshe prayed to Adonai, and the fire abated. 

That place was called Tav‘erah [burning] because Adonai’s fire broke out against them.

Next, the mixed crowd that was with them grew greedy for an easier life; while the people of Isra’el, for their part, also renewed their weeping and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 

We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt — it cost us nothing! — and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic! 

But now we’re withering away, we have nothing to look at but this man.

The man, by the way, was like coriander seed and white like gum resin. 

The people would go around gathering it and would grind it up in mills or pound it to paste with mortar and pestle. Then they would cook it in pots and make it into loaves that tasted like cakes baked with olive oil. 

When the dew settled on the camp during the night, the man came with it.

10 Moshe heard the people crying, family after family, each person at the entrance to his tent; the anger of Adonai flared up violently; and Moshe too was displeased. 

11 Moshe asked Adonai, “Why are you treating your servant so badly? Why haven’t I found favor in your sight, so that you put the burden of this entire people on me? 

12 Did I conceive this people? Was I their father, so that you tell me, ‘Carry them in your arms, like a nurse carrying a baby, to the land you swore to their ancestors?’ 

13 Where am I going to get meat to give to this entire people? — because they keep bothering me with their crying and saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 

14 I can’t carry this entire people by myself alone — it’s too much for me! 

15 If you are going to treat me this way, then just kill me outright! — please, if you have any mercy toward me! — and don’t let me go on being this miserable!”

16 Adonai said to Moshe, “Bring me seventy of the leaders of Isra’el, people you recognize as leaders of the people and officers of theirs. Bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them stand there with you. 

17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the Spirit which rests on you and put it on them. Then they will carry the burden of the people along with you, so that you won’t carry it yourself alone.

18 “Tell the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you will eat meat; because you cried in the ears of Adonai, “If only we had meat to eat! We had the good life in Egypt!” All right, Adonai is going to give you meat, and you will eat it. 

19 You won’t eat it just one day, or two days, or five, or ten, or twenty days, 

20 but a whole month! — until it comes out of your nose and you hate it! — because you have rejected Adonai, who is here with you, and distressed him with your crying and asking, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

21 But Moshe said, “Here I am with six hundred thousand men on foot, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 

22 If whole flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would it be enough? If all the fish in the sea were collected for them, would even that be enough?” 

23 Adonai answered Moshe, “Has Adonai’s arm grown short? Now you will see whether what I said will happen or not!”

24 Moshe went out and told the people what Adonai had said. Then he collected seventy of the leaders of the people and placed them all around the tent. 

25 Adonaicame down in the cloud, spoke to him, took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied — then but not afterwards.

26 There were two men who stayed in the camp, one named Eldad and the other Medad, and the Spirit came to rest on them. They were among those listed to go out to the tent, but they hadn’t done so, and they prophesied in the camp. 

27 A young man ran and told Moshe, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 

28 Y’hoshua, the son of Nun, who from his youth up had been Moshe’s assistant, answered, “My lord, Moshe, stop them!” 

29 But Moshe replied, “Are you so zealous to protect me? I wish all of Adonai’s people were prophets! I wish Adonaiwould put his Spirit on all of them!”