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the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 11

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-35

Murmuring at Taberah and at Kibroth-Hattaavah

1. In the uttermost parts of the camp] What is meant is that the fire began, where probably the murmuring began, at the extremity of the camp, perhaps among the ’mixed multitude’ (cp. Numbers 11:4).

3. Taberah] ’burning.’

4. The mixt multitude] see Exodus 12:38, where, however, a different word is used. Fell a lusting] longed for the delicacies of Egypt (Numbers 11:5). Wept again] This may refer to the story in Exodus 16.

15. My wretchedness] i.e. the failure of my attempts to lead this people: cp. the despairing complaint of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4 and of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:10.

16. Later Jewish writers saw in this command of God the origin of their Sanhedrim, or Council of Seventy, who regulated the affairs of the nation in later times: cp. Mark 15:1.

18. Sanctify] see Exodus 19:10, Exodus 19:15.

25. They prophesied] This does not mean that they were able to predict the future, but that they broke out into the praise of God, and declared His will and goodness, while in a state of spiritual exaltation and ecstasy: see on Exodus 7:1.

26. Were written] enrolled among the seventy. The fact that Eldad and Medad also received the spirit shows that the spirit of God is not limited to certain places or individuals, and that He is no respecter of persons: cp. Acts 10:34-35, Acts 10:44-48;

28. Cp. Mark 9:38, Mark 9:39.

29. A good example of the magnanimity and unselfishness of Moses: see on Numbers 27:15.

31. Two cubits high upon the face of the earth] The simplest interpretation of these words is that the quails were flying at this height (about 3 ft.) above the ground, which allowed the people to capture them easily.

Quails usually fly low, and with the wind (see on Exodus 16:13).

32. A homer is about ten bushels. The quails were spread out to dry for preservation.

33. The plague was probably due to surfeit: cp. Psalms 78:26-31; Psalms 106:13-15.

34. Kibroth-hattaavah] ’the graves of lusting’: this and Hazeroth were between Sinai and Kadesh.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/numbers-11.html. 1909.
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