Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:24

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord . Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Government;   Inspiration;   Intolerance, Religious;   Jury;   Moses;   Prayer;   Seventy;   Trouble;   Scofield Reference Index - Holy Spirit;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Courts of Justice;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Manna;   Sanhedrin;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ruler;   Sanhedrin;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Appoint;   Holy Spirit;   Moses;   Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Medad;   Prophet;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Meat;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Ordination, Ordain;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Sanhedrin;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Elders;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Eldad;   Elder;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Law of Moses;   Tabernacle;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Eldad;   Elders;   Judges;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eldad;   Elder in the Old Testament;   Number;   Sanhedrin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Midrashim, Smaller;   Numbers and Numerals;   Sanhedrin;   Tabernacle;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And Moses went out, and told the people the words of Jehovah: and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tent. And Jehovah came down in the cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more."

"And Moses went out ..." (Numbers 11:24). It is not stated in this chapter that Moses went into the tabernacle to register his complaint; but the statement here that "he went out," "obviously implies that he did."[18]

"Round about the Tent ..." (Numbers 11:24). "This does not mean on all four sides, but in a semi-circle in front of the Tent."[19]

"They prophesied, but they did so no more ..." (Numbers 11:25). The diverse opinions about this verse are a bit perplexing, but we feel perfectly safe in receiving the meaning to be as it is in our version. Wade noted that, "Their gift was only temporary."[20] "The gift was temporary, solely to mark their entrance into their sacred office."[21] Unger also pointed out that the Hebrew here literally has, "and added not"; and from this Owen gave as an alternate meaning of the passage that: "They prophesied only that which the Spirit gave them and did not add anything to it."[22]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/numbers-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Moses went out,.... Either out of his own tent, about which the people assembled, complaining and weeping, Numbers 11:10; or rather, as Aben Ezra, out of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the sanctuary where he had been conversing with God, about the affairs complained of both by the people and by himself; so the Targum of Jonathan says, he went out of the tabernacle, the house of the Shechinah or divine Majesty:

and told the people of the words of the Lord; what he had ordered him to do for his ease in the government of them, and how he had promised to give them flesh on the morrow:

and gathered the seventy men of the elders of Israel; sent for them by name, and ordered them to assemble at such a time and place; and though two of them came not, after mentioned, Numbers 11:26, yet the full number of seventy is given:

and set them round about the tabernacle; they seem to be set not promiscuously in a body together, but distinctly, one by another, in a circular form; that they might be seen, observed, and taken notice of by the people that came about the tabernacle, who they were, what were done to them, and what befell them.

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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.
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 11:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Moses … gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, etc. — The tabernacle was chosen for the convocation, because, as it was there God manifested Himself, there His Spirit would be directly imparted - there the minds of the elders themselves would be inspired with reverential awe and their office invested with greater respect in the eyes of the people.

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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 11:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-11.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

Moses went out — Out of the tabernacle, into which he entered to receive God's answers from the mercy-seat.

The seventy men — They are called seventy from the stated number, though two of them were lacking, as the Apostles are called the twelve, Matthew 26:20, when one of that number was absent.

Round the tabernacle — Partly that the awe of God might be imprinted upon their hearts, that they might more seriously undertake and more faithfully manage their high employment, but principally, because that was the place where God manifested himself, and therefore there he would bestow his spirit upon them.

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 11:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 11:24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

Ver. 24. And set them roundabout the tabernacle.] That the fear of the Lord might be upon them, &c., [2 Chronicles 19:6-7] and that they might carry themselves worthy of God, who had set them in places of judicature. To the company of the Areopagites (judges in Athens) none were admitted, but wise, wealthy, and noble men, famous for good life and innoceney. Nay, men whose behaviour was intolerable, after they were chosen into the college of the Areopagites, abhorring and blushing at their former disposition, changed their natures and embraced virtue. (a)

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Moses went out of the tabernacle, into which he entered to receive God’s answers from the mercy-seat, Numbers 7:89.

The seventy men, either they are called seventy from the stated number, though two of them were lacking, Numbers 11:26, as the apostles are called the twelve, Matthew 26:20, when one of that number was absent; or he is said to have gathered them, when he gave command to gather them.

Round about the tabernacle; partly, that the awe of God might be imprinted upon their hearts, that they might more seriously undertake and more faithfully manage their high employment; partly, to gain them the more authority and respect from the people; and principally, because that was the place where God manifested himself, and gave his blessings, and therefore there he would bestow his Spirit upon them.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". 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

THE SEVENTY ELDERS ARE APPOINTED AND QUALIFIED, Numbers 11:24-30.

24.Moses’ told the people — In order to quiet their murmurings, not to secure a popular election of the seventy. Moses was the sole judge of their fitness. See Numbers 11:16, note.

Round about the tabernacle — Why the elders were assembled around the tabernacle and not at the door, the usual place of important gatherings, is unknown. This unique place was in keeping with the unique purpose of the meeting.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "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 11:24. Moses went out — Either from the sanctuary, into which he had entered to receive God’s answers from the mercy-seat, or he went out from his tent to the people. And gathered the seventy men — They are called seventy from the stated number, though two of them were lacking, as the apostles are called the twelve, (Matthew 26:20,) when one of that number was absent. Round the tabernacle — Partly that the awe of God might be imprinted upon their hearts, that they might more seriously undertake, and more faithfully manage their high employment; but principally, because that was the place where God manifested himself, and therefore there he would bestow his Spirit upon them.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-11.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

People. Some codices, with The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Vulgate, read "Israel".

tabernacle. Hebrew. "ohel, tent. See App-40.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

Moses ... gathered the seventy ... and set them round about the tabernacle ... That place was chosen for the convocation, because, as it was there God manifested Himself, there His Spirit would be directly imparted-there the minds of the elders themselves would be inspired with reverential awe, and their office invested with greater respect in the eyes of the people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) And Moses went out . . . —i.e., as it should seem, from the tabernacle of the congregation, where he had been conversing with God.

Round about the tabernacle.—This does not necessarily imply that the seventy men were placed so that they surrounded the whole of the tent of meeting. Comp. Exodus 7:24, where the word means on both sides of the river; also Job 29:5, where the same word is rendered about.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
gathered
16,26
Reciprocal: Exodus 24:1 - seventy;  Luke 10:1 - other seventy

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

24.And Moses went out and told the people the words. We here see how greatly Moses profited by his brief rebuke, for he now actively sets about what he was commanded. Doubt had given him a check, so that he stopped in the middle of his course; whereas he now testifies by the promptitude of his obedience that his distrust is overcome. For just as unbelief discourages men, so that they sink down into inactivity, so faith inspires both body and mind with rigor for the effectual discharge of their duties.

Although the narrative does not expressly state that he spoke to them respecting the flesh, it declares in general terms that he omitted nothing; and, indeed, it would have been very inappropriate to speak only of the Seventy Elders, when the origin of all the evil had been the craving for flesh. Briefly stating, then, that he had reported the commands of God to the people, he includes both parts of the matter, the second of which he then follows up. And, first, he says that the elders were called to the Tabernacle, that they might there be appointed rulers and officers. When be states that they were “set round about,” I do not interpret the words so precisely as to suppose that eighteen were ranged on each side, and, of the rest, half were placed before the court, and half behind the Tabernacle; but that they were so arranged, as to surround some part of the Tabernacle. Now, this was equivalent to their being set before God, so that they might hereafter exercise their office with more authority, as being sent by Him; and at the same time that they might devote themselves to God, and dedicate themselves to His service; and also, that being invested with the necessary endowments, they might bear the tokens of their calling. For this reason, it is soon afterwards added, that enough of the spirit of Moses was given them for the discharge of their official duties; for, although Moses by God’s command had chosen men of approved virtue and experience, yet He would have them prepared anew, in order that their call might be effectual. When they are said to have “prophesied,” this was a visible sign of the gift of the Spirit, which, nevertheless, had reference to a different object; for they were not appointed to be. prophets, though God would testify by this outward mark that they were new men, in order that the people might receive them with greater reverence. In my opinion, however, prophecy here is equivalent to a special faculty of discoursing magnificently of secret things or mysteries. We know that poets were called prophets by profane writers, (31) because poetry itself savors of inspiration ( ἐνθουσιασμὸν); in the same way that extraordinary ability, (32) in which the afflatus of the Spirit shone forth, obtained the name of prophecy. Thus, the gift of prophecy in Saul was a kind of mark of royalty; so that he might not ascend the throne without credentials. (1 Samuel 10:10.) Thus, then, this Spirit of Prophecy was only accorded to these persons for a short time; since it was sufficient that they should be once marked out by God: for so I understand what Moses says afterwards, “and they added not.” (33) it is too forced an interpretation to refer it, as some do, to the past. I confess, indeed, that they were not previously prophets; but I have no doubt but that Moses here indicates that the gift was a temporary one: as we are also told in the case of Saul: for, as soon as this token of God’s grace had manifested itself in him, (34) he ceased to prophesy. The meaning, therefore, is that their call was thus substantiated for a short period, so that this unusual circumstance should awaken the more admiration.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-11.html. 1840-57.