Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:17

Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Government;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   Jury;   Moses;   Prayer;   Prophets;   Trouble;   Scofield Reference Index - Holy Spirit;   Thompson Chain Reference - Moses;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Courts of Justice;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Manna;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Manna;   Sanhedrin;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judge;   Ruler;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Age, Old (the Aged);   Appoint;   Burden;   Elder;   Fulfillment;   Grace;   Haggai, Theology of;   Holy Spirit;   Leadership;   Moses;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Elder;   Prophet;   Sanhedrim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Council;   Helps;   Numbers, the Book of;   Prophet;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Elder;   Eye;   Judge (Office);   Meat;   Ordination, Ordain;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Holy Spirit;   Numbers, Book of;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Holy Spirit (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Elders;   Sanhedrin or Sanhedrim;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Judges;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elder;   Smith Bible Dictionary - San'hedrin;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Judges;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Burden;   Eldad;   Holy Spirit;   Sanhedrin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aẓ;   Exodus, Book of;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   Sanhedrin;   Sidra;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will take of the spirit which is upon thee - From this place Origen and Theodoret take occasion to compare Moses to a lamp, at which seventy others were lighted, without losing any of its brightness. To convince Moses that God had sufficiently qualified him for the work which he had given him to do, he tells him that of the gifts and graces which he has given him he will qualify seventy persons to bear the charge with him. This was probably intended as a gracious reproof. Query. Did not Moses lose a measure of his gifts in this business? And is it not right that he whom God has called to and qualified for some particular office, should lose those gifts which he either undervalues or refuses to employ for God in the way appointed? Is there not much reason to believe that many cases have occurred where the spiritual endowments of particular persons have been taken away and given to others who made a better use of them? Hence the propriety of that exhortation, Revelation 3:11; : Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. The gracious God never called a man to perform a work without furnishing him with adequate strength; and to refuse to do it on the pretense of inability is little short of rebellion against God. This institution of the seventy persons to help Moses the rabbins consider as the origin of their grand council called the Sanhedrin. But we find that a council of seventy men, elders of Israel, had existed among the people a year before this time. See Exodus 24:9; (note); see the advice given to Jethro to Moses, Exodus 18:17; (note), etc., and the notes there.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-11.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I will come down and talk with thee there,.... Descend from heaven, by some visible token of his power and presence, and in a friendly manner converse with him face to face; which was an instance of great condescension and grace, and especially when Moses had showed a very froward peevish spirit; yet all is overlooked, and the Lord vouchsafes the most intimate communion with him, and does him honour before the people:

and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee; the spirit of government, and the spirit of prophecy, the gifts of the spirit qualifying for these things, of which Moses had a large measure:

and will put it upon them; that is, gifts of the same kind with his; not that his gifts were diminished, or that properly speaking anything was taken from Moses and given to the seventy elders; but from the same fountain and fulness of the spirit Moses partook of, they were furnished with like gifts and qualifications, he having not at all the less for what was communicated to them; see 1 Corinthians 12:4; several of the Jewish writers, and particularly Jarchi, illustrate it by the lamp in the golden candlestick in the sanctuary, which was always burning, and at which all the rest were lighted, without any diminution of its light at all:

and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone: assist in the government of them, take part in all weighty and difficult matters, hear the complaints of the people, and bear a share of the blame and reproach they at any time should cast upon their rulers.

Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And I will come down and talk with thee there: k 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.

(k) I will distribute my spirit among them, as I have done to you.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I will come down — that is, not in a visible manner or by local descent, but by the tokens of the divine presence and operations.

and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee — “The spirit” means the gifts and influences of the Spirit (Numbers 27:18; Joel 2:28; John 7:39; 1 Corinthians 14:12), and by “taking the spirit of Moses, and putting it upon them,” is not to be understood that the qualities of the great leader were to be in any degree impaired but that the elders would be endowed with a portion of the same gifts, especially of prophecy (Numbers 11:25) - that is, an extraordinary penetration in discovering hidden and settling difficult things.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-11.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Not that the LORD lessened the influences of his HOLY SPIRIT on the mind of Moses, in order to impart the same to others. There is enough in GOD to supply all. One sun warms and enlightens the whole world. Reader! how sweet the thought; there is enough in our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Sun of righteousness, to warm and enlighten all his people. And though he hath been, and still is, and ever will be, supplying out of his fullness the millions of his churches, in all ages and in eternity itself; yet has he, in himself, the same unlessened fulness. Hebrews 13:8; Colossians 2:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-11.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

I will come down — By my powerful presence and operation.

I will put it on them — That is, I will give the same spirit to them which I have given to thee. But as the spirit was not conveyed to them from or through Moses, but immediately from God, so the spirit or its gifts were not by this means impaired in Moses. The spirit is here put for the gifts of the spirit, and particularly for the spirit of prophecy, whereby they were enabled, as Moses had been and still was, to discern hidden and future things, and resolve doubtful and difficult cases, which made them fit for government. It is observable, that God would not, and therefore men should not, call any persons to any office for which they were not sufficiently qualified.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 11:17 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.

Ver. 17. And I will take of the spirit,] i.e., I will bestow the same spirit upon them as upon thee; and this shall be nothing at all to thy loss or disadvantage. Habet Hispania montem ex sale magnum, de quo quantum demas, tantum accrescit.

Shall bear the burden of the people.] Who are in nothing more a burden than in this, that with them αει το παρον βαρυ, (a) Praesens imperium semper grave, They are ever grumbling at the present government, though never so gentle. Alleva iugum, Ease the yoke that thy father put upon us, said they to Rehoboam, forgetting the golden age they had lived in under his father Solomon. [1 Kings 12:4]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I will come down, not by local motion, but by my powerful presence and operation. See Genesis 11:5 Exodus 34:5.

Will put it upon them, i.e. I will give the same Spirit to them which I have given to thee. But as the Spirit was not conveyed to them from or through Moses, but immediately from God, so the Spirit or its gifts were not by this means impaired in Moses. The Spirit is here put for the gifts of the Spirit, as it is Numbers 27:18 Joel 2:28 John 7:39 Acts 19:2,6 1 Corinthians 14:12,32; and particularly for the Spirit of prophecy, Numbers 11:25, whereby they were enabled, as Moses had been and still was, to discern hidden and future things, and resolve doubtful and difficult cases, which made them fit for government. It is observable, that God would not, and therefore men should not, call any persons to any office for which they were not sufficiently fit and qualified.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". 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

17.I will come down — Not figuratively, but by a literal descent in the pillar of cloud, as in Numbers 11:25. Chaldee, “I will manifest myself.” Targum of Palestine, “I will be revealed in the glory of my shekinah.” There is no record of the words of Jehovah to Moses on this occasion.

I will take of the spirit — The Hebrew for take is an unusual word here, signifying to divide into portions. The elders were to share, but probably in a less degree, the charismata, or special gifts of wisdom and administration which Moses possessed. There was to be no diminution of the endowment of Moses. The Targum of Palestine says: “I will amplify the spirit of prophecy that is upon thee, and bestow it upon them.” Hence Origen and Theodoret take occasion to compare Moses to a lamp at which seventy others were lighted without diminishing its lustre. Dr. Adam Clarke, however, queries whether Moses did not lose a measure of his gifts at this time because he had undervalued them, in accordance with the great law that a spiritual gift unused or slighted declines.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "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 11:17. I will come down — By my powerful presence and operation. I will put it on them — That is, I will give the same spirit to them which I have given to thee. The spirit is here put for the gifts of the Spirit, and particularly for the spirit of prophecy, whereby they were enabled, as Moses had been and still was, to discern hidden and future things, and resolve doubtful and difficult cases, which made them fit for government. It is observable that God would not, and therefore men should not, call any persons to any office for which they were not sufficiently qualified.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Thy spirit. St. Augustine (q. 18) reads "of the spirit which is on thee;" (Septuagint) referring it to the indivisible spirit of God, so that these ancients received what was sufficient for them, while Moses suffered no diminution. Thus one lamp communicates light to another, without being impaired. (Origen, hom. 6.) Theodoret (q. 18,) also adds, that a person confers baptism on thousands, and yet loses no part of the grace himself. Selden (Syn. ii. 4,) shews that the Jews explain this spirit of a certain emanation of divine light, or inspiration, which causes the prophets to speak. They have not in general, a distinct belief of the blessed Trinity. "I will make an increase of the spirit, which is upon thee, and will place it upon them." (Chaldean; ver. 25.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

take of = withdraw.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach, spirit, put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Compare 1 Corinthians 12:4. See App-9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) And I will come down . . . —The cloud which hovered over the Tabernacle appears to have descended to the entrance of it (Numbers 11:25). (Comp. Exodus 33:9; Numbers 12:5; Deuteronomy 31:15).

I will take of the spirit which is upon thee . . . —These words do not imply that there was any diminution of the gifts bestowed upon Moses, but that a portion of those spiritual gifts was bestowed upon the seventy. Rashi compares the mode of bestowal with the manner in which the other lamps of the Sanctuary were lighted at the golden candlestick without diminishing the light from which theirs was taken.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
I will come
25; 12:5; Genesis 11:5; 18:21; Exodus 19:11,20; 34:5; John 3:13
talk with
12:8; Genesis 17:3,22; 18:20-22,33
I will take
27:18; 1 Samuel 10:6; 2 Kings 2:9,15; Nehemiah 9:20; Isaiah 44:3; 59:20,21; Joel 2:28; John 7:39; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 12:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:22; Jude 1:19
they shall
Exodus 18:22; Acts 6:3,4
Reciprocal: Genesis 6:3 - My;  Exodus 33:9 - talked;  Numbers 1:16 - the renowned;  Numbers 16:25 - GeneralNumbers 27:20 - put some;  Deuteronomy 1:9 - I am not;  Deuteronomy 1:13 - Take;  Deuteronomy 31:28 - Gather unto me;  Deuteronomy 34:9 - full of the spirit;  Judges 3:10 - the Spirit;  1 Samuel 16:13 - the Spirit;  Isaiah 28:6 - for a spirit;  Isaiah 63:11 - where is he that put;  Daniel 4:8 - and in;  Luke 10:2 - the Lord;  Acts 7:34 - and am;  1 Corinthians 12:28 - helps;  James 1:17 - good

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.