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Numbers 11 International Standard Version (ISV)

Israel Complains

11 Eventually, the people began complaining about their distress, and the Lord heard them. When the Lord heard, his anger flared up and the Lord’s fire incinerated some of them within the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he[a] prayed to the Lord and the fire stopped. He then named that place Taberah,[b] because the Lord’s fire had incinerated some of them.

Meanwhile, certain riff-raff among the people[c] had an insatiable appetite[d] for food. As a result, they wept and turned back, and the Israelis cried out, “If only somebody would feed us some meat! How we remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt for free! And the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic! But now we can’t stand it anymore,[e] because there’s nothing in front of us except this manna.”

Now manna was reminiscent of coriander seed, with an appearance similar to amber.[f] People would go out to gather it, then they would grind it in mills or pound it in mortars, and then they would boil it in pots or make cakes out of it that tasted like butter cakes. When the dew fell in the camp, the manna came with it.

Moses Responds

10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their entire families. Everyone gathered at the entrance to their tents so that the Lord was very angry. Moses thought the situation was bad, 11 so he[g] asked the Lord, “Why did you bring all this trouble to your servant? Why haven’t I found favor in your eyes? After all, you’re putting the burden of this entire people on me! 12 Did I conceive this people or give birth to them, so that you would tell me to carry them near my heart like a wet nurse carries a suckling baby to the land that you promised to their forefathers? 13 Where am I going to get meat to give this people? After all, they’re crying in front of me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry this whole nation! The burden is too heavy for me! 15 If this is how you treat me, please kill me right now, if I’ve found favor in your eyes, because I don’t want to keep staring at all of this[h] misery!”

The Appointment of 70 Elders

16 Then the Lord told Moses, “Gather together for me 70 men who are elders of Israel, men whom you know to be elders of the people and officers over them. Then bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them stand there with you. 17 Then I’ll come down and speak with you. I’ll take some of the spirit that rests on you and apportion it among them, so that they may help you bear the burden of the people. That way, you won’t bear it by yourself.”

God Threatens to Provide Meat

18 “But give this command to the people: ‘You are to consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow you’re going to eat meat, since you’ve complained where the Lord can hear it, “Who can give us meat to eat? After all, life was better with us in Egypt.” Therefore, the Lord is going to give you meat and you’ll eat— 19 not only for a day, or for two days, or for five days, or for ten days, or for 20 days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out your nostrils and makes you vomit. This is because you’ve despised the Lord, who is among you, and you cried out in his presence by complaining, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Moses Doubts God’s Ability

21 Moses responded, “I’m with 600,000 people on foot and you’re saying I am to give them enough[i] meat to eat for a whole month? 22 What if we were to slaughter our entire inventory of[j] flocks and herds for them? Would that be enough? What if we could gather all the fish in the sea in nets for them? Would that be enough, either?”

God Rebukes Moses

23 But the Lord responded to Moses, “Is the Lord short on power?[k] You’re now going to witness whether what I say will come to pass or not.”

24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He gathered 70 men from the elders of the people and stationed them around the tent. 25 The Lord came down in a cloud, spoke to Moses,[l] and made an apportionment from the spirit who rested on him to the 70 elders. When the spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but that was it.[m]

26 Now two men had remained in camp. One was named Eldad and the other was named Medad. When the spirit rested on them, since they were among those who were listed but had not gone out to the tent, they stayed behind[n] and prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”

28 In response, Nun’s son Joshua, Moses’ attendant and one of his choice men, exclaimed, “My master Moses! Stop them!”

29 “Are you jealous on account of me?” Moses asked in reply. “I wish all of the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” 30 Then Moses—that is, he and the elders of Israel—returned to the camp.

Quails Come to the Camp

31 Just then, a wind burst forth from the Lord, who brought quails from the sea and spread them all around the camp, about a day’s journey in each direction, completely encircling the camp about two cubits[o] deep on top of the ground! 32 The people stayed up all that day, all that night, and all through the next day, gathering quails. The one who gathered least gathered enough to fill ten omers,[p] as they spread out all around the camp. 33 But even as they were chewing the meat and before they had swallowed it, the Lord became very angry with the people and struck them with a disastrous plague. 34 That’s why the place was named Kibroth-hattaavah,[q] because they buried the people there who had an insatiable appetite for meat.[r] 35 Later, the people left Kibroth-hattaavah for Hazeroth and camped there.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 11:2 Lit. Moses
  2. Numbers 11:3 The Heb. name Taberah means “burning”
  3. Numbers 11:4 Lit. among them
  4. Numbers 11:4 Lit. craved for a craving
  5. Numbers 11:6 Lit. now our strength is dried up
  6. Numbers 11:7 Lit. bdellium; i.e. a clear gum resin
  7. Numbers 11:11 Lit. Moses
  8. Numbers 11:15 Lit. at my
  9. Numbers 11:21 The Heb. lacks enough
  10. Numbers 11:22 The Heb. lacks our entire inventory
  11. Numbers 11:23 Lit. hand
  12. Numbers 11:25 Lit. him
  13. Numbers 11:25 Lit. prophesied, and not again
  14. Numbers 11:26 The Heb. lacks stayed behind and
  15. Numbers 11:31 I.e. about three feet; a cubit was about eighteen inches
  16. Numbers 11:32 I.e. in dry capacity about two and a half gallons by volume
  17. Numbers 11:34 The Heb. name means Graves of Desire
  18. Numbers 11:34 Lit. who had great cravings
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Numbers 11 New International Version (NIV)

Fire From the Lord

11 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah,[a] because fire from the Lord had burned among them.

Quail From the Lord

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.

24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

31 Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits[b] deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. 32 All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers.[c] Then they spread them out all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. 34 Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah,[d] because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 11:3 Taberah means burning.
  2. Numbers 11:31 That is, about 3 feet or about 90 centimeters
  3. Numbers 11:32 That is, possibly about 1 3/4 tons or about 1.6 metric tons
  4. Numbers 11:34 Kibroth Hattaavah means graves of craving.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Numbers 11 King James Version (KJV)

11 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.

And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.

And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

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 as the taste of fresh oil.

And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna 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 kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye 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 ye shall eat.

19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

21 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast 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 unto Moses, Is the Lord'S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee 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 spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto 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 them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy 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 unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord'S people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face 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 that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was 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 lusted.

35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

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