The camp moved to Taberah where the people began to complain and were corrected by the God who later gave up his God-hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ.
These complaints were not about going to God and asking for his help to bring them relief, these folks in Sinai were complaining AGAINST God.
This is a repeated theme in Numbers and was recorded as an example for us, to teach us that we should not blame God and his Word for our trials, but that we should understand that such trials come to test their loyalty and steadfastness to God and his Word, and to build strength and character. See The Job studies.
Just as they received the fire of correction for falling away from the Word of God and failing the test, so today’s spiritual Ekklesia will also be corrected in the furnace of affliction.
Numbers 11:1 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.
The people repented, but they repented in name only to try and avoid correction.
They did not sincerely and wholeheartedly turn from their own ways to embrace their Husband and every Word of God!
How like them we are! We trust in our own ways and when things go wrong we repent in word only, and then we continue to compromise further and further away from any zeal to live by every Word of God!
11:2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. 11:3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
A mixed people [typical of tares amongst the wheat] took the opportunity to leave Egypt with Israel, and within the assembly they stirred up dissent against the sound doctrine of the Word of God and affected Israel by their example.
This is an instructional example of what has happened today’s church of God which has overall adopted the Business Model Outreach and knowingly allowed very many unconverted into the assembly; baptizing sincere people who may support the corporate entity, but who did not understand that they were making a commitment to live by every Word of God.
To this day the corporate Ekklesia commits the same error of baptizing those who are repentant in name only and without any depth of understanding, just to gain finances and to inflate numbers.
The mixed people longed to go back into Egypt because of the hardships involved and they infected Israel with the same longing: Even as some today long to go back into the spiritual Egypt of bondage to sin, and seek to do so by compromising with the Word of God and doing as they think good instead of doing as God commands.
11:4 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? 11:5 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:
These things are covered in Exodus 16
11:6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
The manna was a kind of granule out of which bread could be made
11:7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. 11:8 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 as the taste of fresh oil.
Manna came down in the night with the dew
11:9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
Christ was greatly angered by the complaints of the people, which began in the associated mixed people and increased until this unclean attitude had leavened the whole lump of Israel.
Brethren, this is why we are not to tolerate unclean doctrine or sin, or the willfully self-justifying sinful in our assemblies! Lest they corrupt us and leaven our whole assembly with spiritual uncleanness and false doctrine!
Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
Brethren, how long will it be before we learn the lesson of the clean and the unclean; and put a difference between the holy and the profane; to burn with zeal for the holy and to reject the profane? See our article on Clean and Unclean.
How long will it be before we STOP sinning and compromising with the Word of God, making it easy for Satan to sow his tares among us and pollute our assemblies with false teachings and sin?
How long will we lust after mammon or worldly pleasures, and fail to be totally faithful to the Word of God?
Numbers 11:10 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.
Moses was highly displeased, just as every true servant of God would be highly displeased by such a rebellious attitude.
11:11 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? 11:12 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? 11:13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
Moses was so disgusted that the people wanted to go back into Egypt and preferred the pleasures of bondage to sin above the perfection of the Word of God; that he wanted to die, for he saw no hope for Israel.
It is the same today, as the corporate Ekklesia compromises with the Word of God and idolizes men and corporations above their Deliverer, committing spiritual idolatry and adultery against the Husband of their baptismal covenant.
11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 11:15 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.
Jesus Christ commands that the 70 elders be brought before him; and promised that he will place his Spirit on the 70 so that they could assist Moses in judging and leading the people. This is the scripture used to establish the later Sanhedrin of 70 men plus one president. See The Mosaic Administration study.
11:16 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.11:17 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.
The people had desired to eat flesh, yet they had many flocks and herds; the real issue was that they were intimidated by the hardships and difficulties of coming out from the bondage of Egypt and were looking for an excuse to go back to the pleasures of bondage to sin typified by Egypt.
This is a lesson for us that Satan comes after us when we are delivered from his bondage; and pressures us and tempts us into thinking that his way, the worldly way is better, and that God’s way is a very heavy burden; which is of course a big lie!
God’s way is easy and his burden light; it is Satan’s attacks on the godly that are a heavy burden and are intended to get us to compromise with God’s ways and to cause us to give up and turn back into the bondage to worldliness that we were delivered from.
The mixed people and physical Israel had their great herds and flocks and yet lusted after flesh and the things of Egypt; therefore Jesus Christ gave them flesh and killed thousands with that flesh, because of their lust.
Many of us also compromise with the Word of God, lusting after the pleasures of this world; and Jesus Christ is just as angry with us today as he was with physical Israel at that time. He is preparing to correct us and to destroy our idols of men, false traditions and corporate groups.
11:18 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.
11:19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 11:20 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?
Moses is amazed that God promised to bring flesh to feed the multitudes and God tells him that his power will perform it.
11:21 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. 11:22 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? 11:23 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.
The 70 elders receive God’s Spirit and prophesy. Here is another of those places where people had God’s Holy Spirit given to them before Pentecost 31 A.D. God has been calling out people since Abel for six thousand years; at the end of which will be the resurrection of the chosen, followed by the millennial Sabbath of rest. That is the prophetic lesson of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
11:24 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. 11:25 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.
NOTICE the attitude of Moses and how godly it was, being the absolute opposite of the lusting for the chief seats of many ungodly elders and leaders in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
11:26 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. 11:27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
Here Joshua the “apprentice” of Moses; learns a lesson that will stay with him all of his life
11:28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his [Moses’ helpers] young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
11:29 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!
11:30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
After this God sent a strong wind which carried to the camp a dense concentration of quails about three feet deep over all the camp to a distance of about 15 miles or more, on either side.
11:31 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.
11:32 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.
These quails were brought to demonstrate the power of God, after which God corrected them for the sin of complaining against him and lusting to return to the pleasures of Egypt
11:33 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. 11:34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.
11:35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.