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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Numbers 14

 

 

Verses 1-45

Numbers 14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.

Numbers 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

Numbers 14:1-2Comments - Hardened Hearts- The children of Israel hardened hearts despite the miracles, just as people did in the time of Jesus ( Mark 6:52). They were carnal mindedness and wanted to go back to the world and back to bondage ( Romans 8:6).

Mark 6:52, "For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened."

Romans 8:6, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

Numbers 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

Numbers 14:8"If the Lord delight in us" - Scripture References - Note:

Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he Isaiah , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Numbers 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Numbers 14:9Comments - Spiritual-mindedness is life and peace ( Romans 8:6).

Romans 8:6, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

Numbers 14:12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

Numbers 14:12Comments- God treated unbelief the same way He did idolatry.

Exodus 32:10, "Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation."

Numbers 14:11-12Comments - Israel Provokes God to Wrath- God said "Go," but Israel said "No"; Song of Solomon , God said "Woe." We must walk by faith, for there is other way to have peace in life.

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 14:18Scripture References - Note:

Exodus 34:6-7, "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children"s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;

Numbers 14:22Word Study on "ten times" - The Hebrew phrase "ten times" ( פְּעָמִ֔ים עֶ֣שֶׂר) is made up of two words, "ten" ( עֶשֶׂר) (H 6235), and "times" ( פַּעַם) (H 6471). Although the literal translation Isaiah , "ten times," John Gill understands the phrase "ten times" in Numbers 14:22 as an idiom to mean a rounded number, which is equivalent to "time after time," thus "numerous times." He says that although the Jews counted ten literal occasions when Israel tempted the Lord during the wilderness journeys, Aben Ezra gives this phrase a figurative meaning of "many times." 26] E. T. Espin adds to the figurative meaning of Numbers 14:22 by saying that Israel had tempted the Lord to its fullness, so that the Lord would now pass judgment upon them, even denying them access into the Promised Land, which is clearly stated in the next verse. 27]

26] Gill lists ten literal occasions, "twice at the sea, Exodus 14:11; twice concerning water, Exodus 15:23; twice about manna, Exodus 16:2; twice about quails, Exodus 16:12; once by the calf, Exodus 32:1; and once in the wilderness of Paran, Numbers 14:1, which last and tenth was the present temptation." John Gill, Numbers , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Numbers 14:22.

27] E. T. Espin and J. F. Thrupp, Numbers , in The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 1, part 1, ed. F. C. Cook (London: John Murray, 1871), 702.

Comments- We can see this same phrase used as an idiom in several passages in the Scriptures:

Genesis 31:7, "And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me."

Numbers 14:22, "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;"

Nehemiah 4:12, "And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you."

The NAB translates this phrase in Genesis 31:7 as "time after time."

New American Bible, "yet your father cheated me and changed my wages time after time. God, however, did not let him do me any harm."

The number ten represents a counting system that is based on ten units. Thus, the number ten can be interpreted literally to represent the numerical system, or it can be given a figurative meaning to reflect the concept of multiple occurrences.

Illustration- Jesus told Peter that we are to forgive seventy seven times ( Matthew 18:22). In this passage, Jesus did not literally mean that we were to forgive only seventy seven times, but that we were to forgive as often as was necessary to forgive, which is many times.

Matthew 18:22, "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

Illustration - When my son was seven years old, he was learning how to add and subtract numbers in the first grade. One day he ran up to his mother to convince her that he knew what he was doing. He said, "Mommy, I know how to do it. I've done it many times. I've done it ten times." Even without being conscience of it, he was using the number ten symbolically to represent the numerical system that he had recently learned (October 2012).

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Numbers 14:24Comments- Caleb was of the tribe of Judah, the tribe of praise.

Numbers 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

Numbers 14:25Scripture References - Note:

Numbers 14:43, "For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you."

Numbers 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

Numbers 14:27Comments- Murmuring is the early stages of rebellion against God. It is an expression of discontentment within the heart.

Numbers 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

Numbers 14:29Scripture References - Note a reference to those whose carcases fell in the wilderness in the book of Joshua:

Joshua 5:6, "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey."

Numbers 14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,

Numbers 14:36Comments- Murmuring is the early stages of rebellion against God. It is an expression of discontentment within the heart.

Numbers 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.

Numbers 14:36-37Comments - God Judges the Men of the Evil Report- God destroyed these evil men immediately who made the congregation to rebel against the Lord. The congregation died over a period of forty years, but these ten men died immediately by a plague.

Numbers 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.

Numbers 14:43Scripture References - Note:

Numbers 14:25, "(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 14:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/numbers-14.html. 2013.

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Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
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