Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:15

So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Death;   Despondency;   Moses;   Murmuring;   Prayer;   Presumption;   Trouble;   Thompson Chain Reference - Afflictions;   Cheerfulness-Despondency;   Death;   Despair;   Despondency;   Hope-Despair;   Prayer;   Unwise Prayers;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Favour of God, the;   Manna;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Manna;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judge;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Grace;   Moses;   Prayer;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Meat;   Prayer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elder;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Prayer;   Text of the Old Testament;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Food;   Sanhedrin;   Scribes;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And if thou deal thus with me,.... Let the whole weight of government lie upon me, and leave the alone to bear it:

kill me, I pray thee, out of hand; take me out of the world at once, or "kill me now, in killing"F14הרגני נא הרג "occide me nunc occidendo", Drusius; "occide me jam, occide", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; dispatch me immediately, and make a thorough end of me directly:

if I have found favour in thy sight; if thou hast any love for me, or art willing to show me a kindness, to remove me by death, I shall take as one:

and let me not see my wretchedness; or live to be the unhappy man I shall be; pressed with such a weight of government, affected and afflicted with the wants of a people I cannot relieve, or seeing them bore down with judgments and punishments inflicted on them for their sins and transgressions I am not able to prevail upon them to abstain from: so the Targum of Jerusalem,"that I may not see their evil, who are thy people;'so Abendana, and in the margin of some Hebrew copies, it is read,"this is one of the eighteen words, the correction of the scribes;'who, instead of "my wretchedness" or evil, corrected it, "their wretchedness" or evil; but Aben Ezra says there is no need of this correction.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(i) I would rather die than see my grief and misery daily increased by their rebellion.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-11.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

My wretchedness — Heb. my evil, my torment, arising from the insuperable difficulty of my office and work of ruling this people, and from the dread of their utter extirpation, and the dishonour which thence will accrue to God and to religion, as if, not I only, but God also were an impostor.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 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.

Ver. 15. And if thou deal thus with me.] Here the word Thou, spoken to God, is of the feminine gender. At, for Atta, - ex magna perturbatione, saith a Rabbin. Moses was so exceedingly moved with anger and grief, these passions did so overcarry him, that he could not complere vocem, utter his whole speech; as he that groaneth or gapeth in the beginning of his sentence cannot make up his breath to speak what he intended.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 11:15. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, &c.— "If I must carry this heavy burden to the end of my days, I entreat of thee, O my God! as an especial grace, that thou wouldst hasten my last moment, that I may not see my wretchedness;—that I may not see myself reduced to still greater evils." To see death, and to die; to see salvation, and be saved; to see affliction, and be afflicted, are synonimous expressions in Scripture.

REFLECTIONS.—Moses heard the general murmur, and was justly displeased; and God also beheld with anger their base ingratitude. Had Moses rested here, he had done well; but impatience at their perverseness, and despair of supporting the burden of such a people, seem to have provoked him to speak unadvisedly with his lips. He finds fault with that charge which was his highest honour; and wishes for that death with impatience, which he should wait for with resignation. Note; (1.) In heavy trials we are too apt to wish ourselves rid of them by death, rather than glorify God under them by patient submission. (2.) Many have in a passion desired to die, who would gladly unsay their words, if God had granted their request. (3.) They, whom God calls to be rulers of others, have need to look peculiarly to the government of their own spirits.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-11.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Heb. my evil, i.e. my intolerable anguish and torment, arising from the insuperable difficulty of my office and work of ruling this people, and from the dread of their utter extirpation which they will bring upon themselves, and the dishonour which thence will accrue to God and to religion; as if not I only, but God also, were an impostor. Seeing is here put for feeling, as to see death, Psalms 89:48 Luke 2:26, is to suffer it; and to see the salvation of God, Psalms 50:23 91:16, is to enjoy it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15.Kill me’ out of hand — That is, outright, by an instantaneous stroke. The oppressiveness of his official responsibility, and the depth of his despair in this temporary eclipse of faith, are here strikingly portrayed.

My wretchedness — His apprehended future failure and disgrace. Faith alone spans the future with the bow of hope. Unbelief always forebodes evil. Some MSS. read, “their wretchedness.” Thus the Jerusalem Targum, which adds “who are thy people.” Though the spirit of this prayer is reprehensible, no rebuke is administered by the longsuffering Jehovah. He who knoweth our frame saw in the heart of his servant no wilful apostasy.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-11.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 11:15. If thou deal thus with me, kill me — He begs that God would be pleased either to ease him of the burdensome charge, or take him out of the world, and rid him of a life so troublesome and insupportable. See my wretchedness — Hebrew, my evil, my torment, arising from the difficulty of my office, and work of ruling this people, and from the dread of their utter extirpation, and the dishonour which will thence accrue to thee and religion; as if not only I, but thou also wast a deceiver. He speaks like an affectionate father of a people who makes their sufferings his own. And, indeed, what could make a ruler of such paternal tenderness more distressed than to see the people he was appointed to govern so untoward, not only toward himself, but God? and to see them, by their perverseness, drawing down upon themselves such dire calamities, and the enemies of God rejoicing in their ruin?

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Evils. Hebrew, "my misfortune." The Rabbins say their, or thy, was formerly written, but corrected by the scribes. (Calmet) --- Moses fears the anger of God falling upon the people. (Haydock) --- It is very wonderful that the Hebrew text here retains the feminine pronoun att, instead of atta; thy, thee; as if Moses were addressing himself to some woman; and this absurd peculiarity is more absurdly accounted for, by saying that Moses was "so exasperated during this his address to the divine Being, as to be incapable of pronouncing both syllables!" The same mistake occurs [in] 1 Kings xxiv. 19. (Kennicott, i. 412.) God does not reprehend Moses as guilty of any disrespect or pusillanimity. (Haydock) --- The holy man prays with due submission to the will of the most High. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

my wretchedness. Should be "thy evil", evil being put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6. One of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim. See App-33.

wretchedness. Hebrew. ra"a". See App-44, put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for punishment due, see above.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(15) Kill me, I pray thee, out of hand.—Or, Make an utter end of me.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
kill me
1 Kings 19:4; Job 3:20-22; 6:8-10; 7:15; Jonah 4:3,8,9; Philippians 1:20-24; James 1:4
let me not
Jeremiah 15:18; 20:18; Zephaniah 3:15
my wretchedness
Two of Dr. Kennicott's manuscripts read, "their wretchedness." The Jerusalem Targum has the same, and adds, by way of explanation, "who are thine own people."
Reciprocal: Genesis 27:46 - I am;  Genesis 30:1 - or else I die;  Genesis 30:27 - favour;  Exodus 5:22 - why is it;  Exodus 14:11 - wherefore;  Exodus 16:3 - we had;  Numbers 11:11 - Wherefore hast thou;  Numbers 14:2 - Would;  Numbers 20:12 - ye shall;  Job 3:21 - long;  Job 6:9 - that it would;  Job 10:1 - My soul;  Ecclesiastes 2:17 - I hated;  Isaiah 15:4 - his

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.