The Israelites complain, and God becomes angry
Some of the Israelites were complaining. God was mad at them for complaining. God sent fire and burned the people in one part of the camp. The Israelites cried and asked Moses to help them. Moses prayed to God, and God stopped the fire.
 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.
The word "taberah" means burning. Moses named this place Taberah because God sent fire there.
 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
The Israelites complain about their food. Moses is frustrated, and God gives him some assistants.
Some of the people who traveled with the Israelites were complaining about the food. They wanted more meat to eat. Then the Israelites began to want more meat, too. They said they remembered the fish they ate in Egypt. They also remembered eating cucumbers, melon, leeks, onions, and garlic (leeks are plants that are like onions).
 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
|Photo courtesy of the Bible Revival|
They complained about the manna. Manna is the food that God sent from the
sky every morning. To read earlier parts of the
Bible about manna, please click here. The
manna was like small white-yellow seeds. The people picked it up every
morning. They crushed it and
made it into a powder. Then they baked cakes with it. Manna tasted like fresh olive
 But our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.
When the dew (water) fell on the ground, the manna fell on top of it.
 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
Moses heard the people complaining and crying in their tents. God was very mad. Moses was also upset.
 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
Moses was upset and talked to God. He was frustrated with the Israelites. He felt pressure from being responsible for the Israelites. He asked God why He was punishing him. He asked God what he had done wrong.
 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
Moses said that the Israelites were not his own children. He asked God why he should carry them to Canaan like children.
 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?
Moses said that the Israelites wanted more meat to eat. But he didn't know how he could find meat for them.
 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
Moses said he couldn't take the pressure by himself. It was too stressful. He would prefer to be dead than to continue.
 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
 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.
God talked to Moses. He told Moses to get 70 other men to help him. Moses should bring the 70 men to the tabernacle.
 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
God said that He will talk to Moses again in the tabernacle. God will take some of Moses' spirit and give it to the 70 men. God will give the 70 men some of Moses' responsibilities.
 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.
God heard the Israelites complaining about meat. He heard them saying they should have stayed in Egypt. God was angry with the Israelites. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to make themselves clean. The next day they would have meat to eat. They would have meat to eat everyday for the whole next month. They would have so much meat to eat that they would get sick of it.
 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.
 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
Moses told God that there were at least 600,000 Israelite men. There were also more women and children. He didn't where they could get enough meat for a whole month. He said that if they killed all of their sheep and cows, it would not be enough. He said that if they caught all of the fish in the sea, it would not be enough.
 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?
God talked to Moses. He said that His power was not limited. Moses would see soon what would happen.
 And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.
Moses told the Israelites what God said. He had a meeting with his 70 new assistant leaders. They met at the tabernacle. God came down in a cloud and talked to Moses. God took some of the spirit of Moses and gave it to the 70 other assistant leaders. When the spirit was on the new assistant leaders, they began to prophesy. This means that they now understood more things about God, and they started talking about Him and praising him.
 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.
 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
There were 2 of the 70 new assistant leaders who did not come to the meeting in the tabernacle. Their names were Eldad and Medad. But even though they were not with the other new leaders, the spirit was on them, too. They started to prophesy out in the camp.
 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.
A boy in the camp saw Eldad and Medad. He ran to tell Moses. Joshua was with Moses. Joshua was a young man who helped Moses. Joshua's father was named Nun. Joshua told Moses that he should make Eldad and Medad stop. Moses asked Joshua if he thought that other people prophesying made him (Moses) a weaker leader. Moses said that he wished everyone could have God's spirit.
 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 servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
God sends a lot of meat to the
God made the wind blow, and quails (birds) flew to the Israelite camp. They fell out of the sky by the camp. There were many, many quails on the ground. They were piled up about 3 feet high and covered many miles on each side of the camp.
 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
The people picked up the quail all day and night and another day. Every person picked up at least 50 bushel baskets of quail. Then they spread them out to dry so they could eat the meat.
 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
God was very angry because the
Israelites complained. When the meat was in their mouths and before they
chewed it, God sent a plague (sickness). Many people got sick and died.
 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
They gave a new name to that place. They called it Kibroth-hattaavah. This means "graves of the craving". Craving means to want something very much. The people who had craved meat died. They were buried at that place.
 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.