N U M B E R S
Hitherto things had gone pretty well in Israel;
little interruption had been given to the methods of God's favour
to them since the matter of the golden calf; the people seemed
teachable in marshalling and purifying the camp, the princes devout
and generous in dedicating the altar, and there was good hope that
they would be in Canaan presently. But at this chapter begins a
melancholy scene; the measures are all broken, God has turned to be
their enemy, and fights against them—and it is sin that makes all
this mischief. I. Their murmurings kindled a fire among them, which
yet was soon quenched by the prayer of Moses, ver. 1-3. II. No sooner was the fire of
judgment quenched than the fire of sin breaks out again, and God
takes occasion from it to magnify both his mercy and his justice.
1. The people fret for want of flesh, ver. 4-9. 2. Moses frets for want of help,
ver. 10-15. Now, (1.)
God promises to gratify them both, to appoint help for Moses
(ver. 16, 17), and to
give the people flesh, ver.
18-23. And, (2.) He presently makes good both these
promises. For, [1.] The Spirit of God qualifies the seventy elders
for the government, ver.
24-30. [2.] The power of God brings quails to feast the
people, ver. 31, 32. Yet
[3.] The justice of God plagued them for their murmurings,
ver. 33, &c.