Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:18

Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord , saying, "Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt." Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Government;   Inspiration;   Moses;   Prayer;   Sanitation;   Trouble;   Scofield Reference Index - Holy Spirit;   Thompson Chain Reference - Sanctification;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Manna;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Manna;   Sanctify;   Sanhedrin;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Appoint;   Holy Spirit;   Moses;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Prophet;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Meat;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Tabernacle;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Sanctification;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elder;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eldad;   Sanhedrin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Isaac (Abu Jacob) Bar Bahlul;   Sanhedrin;   Sidra;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And say thou unto the people,.... For what follows respects them, as what goes before regarded himself:

sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; or prepare yourselves, as the Targums of Onkelos, and Jonathan, either to receive mercies, or to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments; so Jarchi interprets it,"prepare for punishments,'for what is said should be, and what they had, was not as a blessing, but in a way of punishment:

and ye shall eat flesh; which they lusted after, wept for, and could not be easy without:

for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord; complaining of him, and which he has taken notice of:

saying, who shall give us flesh to eat? for though they so earnestly desired it, they despaired of it, and even called in question the power of God to give it:

for it was well with us in Egypt; where they had their fleshpots, as well as their cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic, Exodus 16:3; but they forgot how ill it went with them by reason of their hard bondage, when their lives were made bitter by it, notwithstanding their fleshpots, and of which there is not much reason to believe any great share came to them: like to them were their posterity in later times, Jeremiah 44:17,

therefore the Lord will give you flesh; to show his power:

and ye shall eat; to your shame and confusion, not for pleasure or profit.

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 11:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And say thou unto the people, l 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.

(l) Prepare yourselves that you may be clean.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-11.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Sanctify themselves — Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, in the way of his judgments. Prepare yourselves by true repentance, that you may either obtain some mitigation of the plague, or, whilst your bodies are destroyed by the flesh you desire and eat, your souls may be saved from the wrath of God. Sanctifying is often used for preparing, as Jeremiah 6:4; 12:3.

In the ears of the Lord — Not secretly in your closets, but openly and impudently in the doors of your tents, calling heaven and earth to witness.

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 11:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 11:18 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.

Ver. 18. Sanctify yourselves.] Ironice dictum; or, Sanctify; that is, Prepare yourselves for the day of slaughter, as in Jeremiah 12:3.

For ye have wept in the ears.] Tears, of what sort soever, have a voice in them, [Psalms 39:12] as blood hath. [Genesis 4:10]

For it was well with us in Egypt.] Such is the murmuring of those malcontents, that say, It was a merry world before there was so much preaching and teaching.

And ye shall eat.] Flesh with a vengeance; which ye shall eat on earth, but digest in hell. (a)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 11:18. Say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves Houbigant well observes, that the original word here might, with propriety, be rendered, be ye ready: the word is so used Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 12:3; Jeremiah 51:28. Having answered the request of Moses in the former verses, the Lord now proceeds to answer that of the people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". 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

Sanctify yourselves, i.e. prepare yourselves, either to receive the miraculous blessings of God, the flesh you desire; or rather,

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, in the way of his judgments, and to receive the punishment which God will inflict upon you; for it is evident, from Numbers 18:20, that God answered them with a curse instead of a blessing. Prepare yourselves by true repentance, that you may either obtain some mitigation of the plague, or, whilst your bodies are destroyed by the flesh you desire and eat, Numbers 11:33,34, your souls may be saved from the wrath of God. Sanctifying is oft used for preparing, as Jeremiah 6:4 12:3 51:28.

In the ears of the Lord; not secretly in your closets, but openly and impudently in the doors of your tents, Numbers 11:10, calling heaven and earth to witness your cries and complaints.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". 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

18.Sanctify yourselves — As a preparation for this extraordinary manifestation of the Holy One all physical and ceremonial defilement was to be put away from their clothes and persons. See Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10, notes.

For it was well with us in Egypt — This declared superiority of condition beneath the crushing yoke of Pharaoh to their present elevation in the service of the Lord, indicates a depth of moral degradation and spiritual stupor which provokes his just anger.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "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 11:18. Sanctify yourselves — Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, in the way of his judgments. Prepare yourselves by true repentance, that you may either obtain some mitigation of the plague, or, while your bodies are destroyed by the flesh you desire and eat, your souls may be saved from the wrath of God. Sanctifying is often used for preparing, as Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 12:3. In the ears of the Lord — Not secretly in your closets, but openly and impudently in the doors of your tents, calling heaven and earth to witness.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sanctified. Prepare yourselves to receive flesh. The word is often used in this sense, Jeremias vi. 4, &c. (Onkelos) --- Cease to murmur, and bewail your sin. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sanctify = separate. See note on "holy". Exodus 3:5.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow.—(Comp. Exodus 19:10.) The Israelites were required to sanctify themselves by purification for the more immediate manifestation of the Divine presence, although their request was a sinful one, and was granted in judgment as well as—or even more than—in mercy. Comp. Psalms 106:15 : “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Sanctify
Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10,15; Joshua 7:13
ye have wept
1,4-6; Exodus 16:3-7; Judges 21:2
it was well
4,5; 14:2,3; Acts 7:39
Reciprocal: Psalm 78:27 - He rained;  Proverbs 27:7 - full

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

18.And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves. This is another part of the answer, which is given respecting the matter in consideration, viz., that the people should prepare themselves to satiate their greediness. Although the word קדש (26) kadesh, signifies to prepare, yet its literal meaning seems to be most appropriate here; I have therefore retained the word sanctify, which is, however, here used ironically, for Moses does not exhort: them to purge themselves from all defilement’s, and piously and sincerely to receive the grace of God, but he chastises their profane and brutal gluttony. Others translate it simply, as if it were said, Whet your teeth, and make ready your bellies: but, in my judgment, there is a reproof implied, because they are polluted by a foul and wicked desire, so as to be incapable of receiving God’s paternal favor: for “ye shall eat flesh” follows, “because your weeping and complaining has reached the ears of God;” by which words he signifies that by their importunate cries they had provoked God’s anger, so that they should devour none but deadly food. And soon afterwards it is stated more clearly that by their insolence they had deserved to be destroyed by the bounty of God. For “a whole month,” he says, ye shall gormandize, “till it come out of your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you.” Thus he compares them to those guttlers who so overwhelm themselves with gluttony, that they are obliged soon afterwards to vomit what they have eaten too greedily, or who abominate the taste of their superfluous luxuries, as if they were something filthy. This is what is meant by to “come out,” or to be blown out, “at the nostrils.” זרא (27) tzara, which we have translated abomination, properly means dispersion; but Moses indicates by it that they shall vomit, or spit it out, like something unfit to be swallowed. If any should object that it is said in Psalms 78:30, “They were not yet estranged from their lust:” this is easily solved by understanding that their unrestrained gluttony is there rebuked, (28) as if he called them guttlers (gurgites,) whom no abundance can suffice to satisfy. Therefore the Prophet says, that although they were bursting with excess, they were not satiated; but were so inflamed by their boundless voracity, that God’s vengeance could alone repress it. But the reason alleged for this is especially to be observed, “because they had rejected God, who was in the midst of them.” By these words, the excuse of error or inadvertency is barred; for if, for the purpose of proving their patience God had withdrawn His power, the terror which they conceived at His absence might, perhaps, have been excusable; but now, when they knew by sure experience that their means of subsistence were supplied by Him, they betray their deliberate wickedness by despising His present beneficence. For that God was in the midst of them is equivalent to His giving manifest tokens both of His infinite power and His paternal favor. These words show us that the more immediately God manifests His grace to us, the more inexcusable we are, if we disparage it when it is thus liberally offered to us. What follows might appear not to deserve severe reproof, viz., that they “wept before God;” but the enormity of the sin is specified directly afterwards, i.e. that they were vexed by their departure from Egypt: for this was not merely to repudiate the deliverance, which they had so greatly longed for, but to quarrel with God, because He had listened to their cry, and had condescended to redeem them from their wretched and lost estate.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:18". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-11.html. 1840-57.