4The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at. 7Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color was like the color of gum resin. 8The people went around and gathered it, ground it in mills or beat it in mortars, then boiled it in pots and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna would fall with it. 10Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. 11So Moses said to the Lord, Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, Give us meat to eat! 14I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. 15If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at onceif I have found favor in your sightand do not let me see my misery.
16So the Lord said to Moses, Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you. 17I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself. 18And say to the people: Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wailed in the hearing of the Lord, saying, If only we had meat to eat! Surely it was better for us in Egypt. Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20but for a whole monthuntil it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to youbecause you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, Why did we ever leave Egypt? 21But Moses said, The people I am with number six hundred thousand on foot; and you say, I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month! 22Are there enough flocks and herds to slaughter for them? Are there enough fish in the sea to catch for them? 23The Lord said to Moses, Is the Lords power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.
24So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. 26Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27And a young man ran and told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp. 28And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, My lord Moses, stop them! 29But Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lords people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011