Moses gathered 70 elders and the spirit of God descended upon them. This made Moses very happy because now he would not have to handle the whole load of dealing with the people himself. Hurrah for delegation!
Remember how yesterday God promised to send meat until the Israelites get sick of it? Today he does so. However, he loses his temper (again) in the midst of it all.
But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.Maybe God was mad at them because they were drying some of the quail. We know that he does not like the manna to be saved. Maybe he does not like any miraculous food to be saved.
Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses for marrying a Cushite woman. Are they complaining about Zipporah? But she was a Midianite woman. Are they the same thing? Or was this a second wife? How confusing!
In any case, God gets mad at Aaron and Miriam for criticizing Moses (Moses did not get mad because he is humble). God curses Miriam with leprosy which she has to suffer from for a week. Why did God punish Miriam with leprosy and not Aaron? That seems unfair.
But I think that the criticism against Moses and the punishment for it was not the real point of the story. The real point was to give God a chance to say this,
“If there were prophets among you,This passage seems to attempt to explain why God never talks to anyone directly anymore even though he chatted with Moses nearly constantly. Moses was special!
I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions.
I would speak to them in dreams.
But not with my servant Moses.
Of all my house, he is the one I trust.
I speak to him face to face,
clearly, and not in riddles!
He sees the Lord as he is.
So why were you not afraid
to criticize my servant Moses?”
A bunch of scouts investigate the land the Israelites are going to and find that it is wonderful and fertile and full of well established and powerful people. The scouts were scared enough of these people that they tried to spread the rumor that
All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!
Jesus offers bread and wine as his body and blood. He tells the disciples that they will deny him. He prays at Gethsemane. Judas betrays him. Jesus is arrested. The disciples flee. This is all very similar to Matthew's version.
Psalms and Proverbs
The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales,God is particular about measuring things accurately. He's a nerd. =)
but he delights in accurate weights.