Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:26

But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Eldad;   Inspiration;   Intolerance, Religious;   Medad;   Moses;   Prayer;   Trouble;   Scofield Reference Index - Holy Spirit;   Thompson Chain Reference - Leaders;   Prophets;   Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Courts of Justice;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Manna;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Holy spirit;   Joshua the son of nun;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Holy Spirit;   Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Medad;   Prophet;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Council;   Eldad;   Prophet;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Eldad;   Meat;   Medad;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Register;   Tabernacle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Eldad;   Elidad;   Leviathan;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Tabernacle;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Eldad ;   Medad ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Medad;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Eldad;   Elder;   Smith Bible Dictionary - El'dad;   Law of Moses;   Mo'ses;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Eldad;   Elders;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bible, the;   Eldad;   Eldad and Modad, Book of;   Medad;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apocrypha;   Bildad;   Eldad and Medad;   Eschatology;   Lots;   Sanhedrin;   Tabernacle;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"But there remained two men in the camp, the name of one was Eldad, and the other Medad: and the Spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but had not gone out unto the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Art thou jealous for my sake? would that all Jehovah's people were prophets, that Jehovah would put his Spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel."

"There remained in the camp ... Eldad ... Medad ... of them that were written ..." (Numbers 11:26). We do not know why these two were not with the others before the Tent, for they were "written among them," meaning that they surely belonged. Amazingly, their absence did not prevent their also receiving the blessing.

Perhaps one reason for the inclusion of this incident by the Divine author was the typical nature of the response of Moses. Moses' unselfish forgiveness of others and his total lack of any desire for the glory of men were indeed typical of those same wonderful qualities in the Saviour himself. In a similar way, the disciples of John the Baptist were jealous for their leader and complained that the Lord's disciples were baptizing more people than were the followers of John the Baptist. The traits of men appear to be the same in all ages.

The efforts of Biblical critics who find in two accounts of the appointing of seventy men what they call "divergent accounts" of but one event "are unfounded and untrue."[23]

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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 11:26". "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

But there remained two of the men in the camp,.... Of the seventy who were summoned, that came not out of the camp of Israel to the tabernacle when the rest did:

the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: who, according to the Targum of Jonathan, were brethren of Moses by his mother's side; for it says, they were the sons of Elizaphan the son of Parnac, whom Jochebed the daughter of Levi brought forth at the time that Amram her husband dismissed her, and she was married to him before she brought forth Moses; but it is elsewhere saidF18Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 1. , that Elizaphan married her after the death of Amram; and Eldad and Medad were born unto them:

and the Spirit rested upon them; as it did upon the rest of the seventy that came to the tabernacle; these two had the same gifts of the Spirit bestowed upon them as they had:

and they were of them that were written; among the seventy whose names were put down in the summons Moses gave them to attend the tabernacle; for as for the notion of the Jews about schedules and pieces of paper put into an urn to draw lots with, there is no foundation in the text:

but went not out unto the tabernacle; out of the camp to it, when they were summoned to come together; which they declined, as is commonly said, out of modesty, thinking themselves unfit for such an high office; and therefore, as Saul hid himself among the stuff when he was about to be chosen king, so did they, or something like it: the Targum of Jonathan is express for it, which adds, because they hid themselves to flee from government; but the Spirit of God found them out, and filled them with his gifts, and constrained them to prophesy, whereby they were discovered:

and they prophesied in the camp; perhaps in a private manner, it may be in their own houses; which, how it came to be known is after related: what they prophesied of cannot be said; according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and other Jewish writersF19Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 17. 1. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc. , they prophesied of the quails, and of the death of Moses, and the succession of Joshua, of Gog and Magog, and their armies, and of their destruction by the Messiah, and of the resurrection of the dead; but these are things not to be depended on.

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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 11:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Observe, that those persons were written, that is appointed to this service, and then the blessing is the same. It is very precious to have our names enrolled among the LORD'S people. See what a distinguishing mark of approbation the Redeemer puts on this, Luke 10:20.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-11.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

In the camp — Not going to the tabernacle, as the rest did, either not having seasonable notice to repair thither: or, being detained in the camp by sickness, or some urgent occasion, not without God's special providence, that so the miracle might be more evident.

Were written — In a book or paper by Moses, who by God's direction nominated the fittest persons.

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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 11:26". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 11:26 But there remained two [of the] men in the camp, the name of the one [was] Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they [were] of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

Ver. 26. But there remained two of the men.] Being stayed by some lawful occasion, as in 1 Samuel 20:26, Jeremiah 36:5, or haply out of sense of their own insufficiency, as in 1 Samuel 10:22. Howsoever, hereby it appeared to all the people that these seventy seniors were set apart by God for the service.

And they prophesied in the camp.] Hermas, in his book called "Pastor" (chap. ii.), mentioneth a book of their prophesy, and citeth these words, "The Lord is near to all those that turn unto him, as it is written in Eldad and Medad, who prophesied in the wilderness to the people." But this book of Hermas is of small credit.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 11:26. Eldad, and—Medad: and the spirit rested upon them, &c.— Mr. Saurin observes, that this prophecy of Eldad and Medad has given handle to an impostor to forge a work under the name of the former: the author of the Book of Hermes says, he borrowed an oracle from thence. Witsius is of opinion, that St. James had the answer of Moses, Numbers 11:29 in view, when he made use of those difficult expressions in his epistle, ch. Numbers 4:5-6. Do ye think that the Scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? but he giveth more grace. Witsius cannot find, in any part of the Scripture, these words, unless in the case we are now upon; and he thus paraphrases St. James's words: "Do you imagine that the Spirit, which regenerates us, stirs us up to envy, or other passions of the like nature?—On the contrary, it affords us fresh occasion of thankfulness, and inspires us with new pleasure, when our neighbours receive its gifts as well as we: of this Moses is an instance, when he said, Art thou jealous on my account? I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". 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

In the camp; not going to the tabernacle, as the rest did; either modestly declining that high employment from a tremble sense of their own insufficiency, as Saul did, 1 Samuel 10:22; or not having sufficient or seasonable notice to repair thither; or, being detained in the camp and in their dwellings, whether by uncleanness, or sickness, or some urgent occasion, not without God’s special providence, that so the miracle might be more evident, and their call and authority more unquestionable, to all the people.

Were written, to wit, in a book or paper, by Moses, who by God’s direction nominated the fittest and worthiest persons.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". 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

26.But there remained two — For reasons satisfactory to the Lord, perhaps from excessive reserve and self-distrust, certainly not from obstinacy, Eldad and Medad did not go to the tabernacle, though they were of them that were written in the roll of the elect seventy. But the Spirit found them out and endowed them. The fire shut up in their bones finds a vent through their lips.

Went not out unto the tabernacle — This is by no means a proof that the tabernacle was at this time outside of the camp. “If a gentleman goes out of his yard into his house, it does not follow that his house is not in the yard. The camp, considered as the abode of the people, had its limits within as well as without. An open space, such as reverence required, separated the tents of the people from the tent of God; and this must be traversed in passing from one to the other. It was just as natural to distinguish the camp from the sacred enclosure of the tabernacle as it is for a person in New York city to speak of driving out to Central Park, which is nevertheless within the city limits.” — Dr. W.H. Green. There was, for a short time, at the foot of Mount Sinai, a tabernacle without the camp. See Exodus 33:7-11. This was because the sin of the golden calf ruptured the covenant and put an end to all proceedings under it. Without going on to construct the tabernacle according to the specifications given him, Moses sets before the eyes of the people a visible sign of their altered relation to Jehovah by pitching a provisional tabernacle some distance outside the camp, signifying that he would not dwell in the midst of them. But when THE TABERNACLE was built out of the gifts of Israel it was located in the midst of the camp. How wide of the truth is the assertion of Professor W.R. Smith, that Ezekiel paved the way for the sanctuary being located in the midst of the people!

They prophesied in the camp — This was deemed an irregularity and an infraction of good order. The unity of the Church in the wilderness was in danger of destruction by this independent centre of prophetic inspiration and authority separate from Moses and the tabernacle.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "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 11:26. In the camp — Not going to the tabernacle, as the rest did, either not having seasonable notice to repair thither, or, being detained in the camp by sickness, or some urgent occasion, not without God’s special providence, that so the miracle might be more evident. They were of them that were written — In a book or paper by Moses, who, by God’s direction, nominated the fittest persons.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Forth, being lawfully hindered, (Calmet) or out of humility. (St. Jerome, ep. 127.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

men. Hebrew, plural of "ish or "enosh. App-14.

them = the seventy.

written = enrolled. See note on Exodus 17:14.

went not out. Compare 1 Samuel 10:22.

in the camp. Compare Psalms 139:7.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
went not out
Exodus 3:11; 4:13,14; 1 Samuel 10:22; 20:26; Jeremiah 1:6; 36:5
Reciprocal: Numbers 11:24 - gathered;  1 Samuel 19:20 - when they;  2 Chronicles 20:14 - came the Spirit;  Isaiah 11:2 - the Spirit;  Ezekiel 2:2 - GeneralEzekiel 11:5 - the Spirit;  Mark 9:38 - Master;  John 3:26 - he that;  1 Peter 4:14 - for;  Revelation 11:3 - two

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

26.But there remained two of the men in the camp. It is not certain why they had not appeared amongst the others. I do not at all doubt but that they were called for by Moses; nor would they have been endued with the same grace of the Spirit as the others, if through idleness or contempt they had not come at the time appointed. We may, therefore, probably infer that they did not actually receive the invitation, because they could not be found; and hence it arose that God excused their ignorance. Still, however, it must be observed that they were kept back by the secret counsel of God, that His grace might be made known by this illustrious proof amongst the common people in general, when they were not all eye-witnesses of it: for the greater portion of them had not assembled at the Tabernacle. In order, therefore, that its fame might spread more widely, and might reach even to the most lowly, God chose that this new and extraordinary gift of His Spirit should be conspicuous in the midst of the camp, lest any of the dullest and grossest among them should pretend to be ignorant of it. In fact, it is plain that they were all aroused by the miracle; for the “young man,” who is spoken of, would not have run to bear the incredible news to Moses, unless struck by the novelty of the case.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-11.html. 1840-57.