Numbers 11


God is displeased with our complaints


1 The people complained and it was evil in the ears of the LORD: and the LORD heard it and his anger burned; and the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed them that were in the outer edges of the camp. 2 And the people cried to Moses; and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched. 3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burned among them. 4 And the mixed multitude that was among them lusted a lust: and the children of Israel wept again and said, Who will give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish that we ate freely in Egypt; the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic: 6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes. 7 The manna was like coriander seed, and the eye/color of it like the eye of bdellium. 8 And the people went around, gathered it, ground it in mills or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: it tasted like cakes made with fresh oil. 9 And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. 10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD burned greatly; Moses also was displeased.


  • They were complaining about the manna, the bread from heaven, the angel‘s food that God rained on them from heaven (verses 4-7).
  • God gave them perfect food. It had all the needed nutrients (Deuteronomy 8:4).
  • Deuteronomy 8:3-4 And he humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live. 4 … neither did your foot swell, these forty years.
  • Psalm 78:25 Man ate angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.


11 And Moses said to the LORD, Why have you afflicted your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Have I conceived all of this people? Have I begotten them so that you should say to me, Carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father bears the sucking child, into the land that you swore to their fathers? 13 Where can I get flesh to give to all of this people? For they weep to me saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 And if you deal this way with me, please kill me right now, if I have found favor in your sight; do not let see my wretchedness.


  • Moses thought he was carrying the responsibility for all the people, but it was really God. God carries our burdens.
  • Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you: he will never allow the righteous to be moved.

16 And the LORD said to Moses, Gather to me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them to the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with you. 17 And I will come down and talk with you there: and I will take of the spirit that is on you, and will put it on them; and they will carry the burden of the people with you, so that you not bear it alone.


  • God divided the responsibility.
  • He puts His Spirit on us.
  • Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?


18 Say to the people, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, and you will eat flesh: for you have wept in the ears of the LORD saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and you will eat. 19 You will not eat one day, or two days, or five days, not ten days, or twenty days; 20 But a whole month, until it comes out your nostrils and is loathsome to you: because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before him saying, Why have we come out of Egypt?


  • Too much of anything will come out the nostrils, in your breath.
  • The bigger lesson is that anything in life that we desire more than God is a trap and will lead us into a place where God cannot bless.
  • To get us out of those places God gives us too much of that thing so that we can see clearly that it in itself is not happiness.


21 And Moses said, This people whom I am among, are 600,000 footmen; and you have said, I will give them flesh to eat a whole month. 22 Will the flocks and the herds be killed for them, to be enough for them? Or will all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be enough for them? 23 And the LORD said to Moses, Is the LORD'S power limited? Now you will see whether my word will come to pass to you or not. 24 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 around the tabernacle. 25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, spoke to him, and took of the spirit that was on him, gave it to the seventy elders: and the spirit rested on them, they prophesied but that was the only time.


  • “Prophesied” is to tell forth the words of God (Exodus 20:19, Amos 3:8).
  • God can do all things.
  • We choose either God or evil.
  • There is no middle ground.
  • Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
  • Matthew 19:26… with God all things are possible.
  • Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that does not gather with me scatters abroad.


26 But two of the men stayed in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested on them; and they were of them that were written, but did not go out to the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses and said, Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said to him, Do you envy for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD's people were prophets, and the LORD would put his spirit on them! 30 And Moses went into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.


God gave them what they lusted for until they were sick of it


31 And a wind went out from the LORD, bringing quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, surrounding the camp, two cubits high on the face of the ground. 32 And the people rose up all that day, all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves around the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was burned against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hatta'avah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 35 And the people journeyed from Kibroth-hatta'avah unto Hazeroth; and stayed at Hazeroth.


  • Kibroth-hattaavah means the graves of lust.
  • Lust is a desire out of control.
  • Desires are not sin unless we let them control us.
  • Birds fell all around the camp of Israel 3 feet deep and twenty miles wide. They were alive, but fallen to the ground since they were forbidden in the law to eat anything that died by itself.
  • Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he will give you the desires of your heart.


                                           Numbers 12


1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he taken: he taken an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Has the LORD spoken only by Moses? Has he not spoken by us also? And the LORD heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all the men that were on the face of the earth.) 4 And the LORD spoke suddenly to Moses, to Aaron, and to Miriam, You three come out to the tabernacle of the congregation. And those three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forward. 6 And he said, Now hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not like that: He is faithful in all of my house. 8 I speak with him mouth to mouth clearly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD: why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?


  • God hears our criticism of our leaders.
  • This Ethiopian woman was Moses second wife.
  • Zipphorah, daughter of Jethro the Midianite, was Moses first wife.
  • Moses’ humility was submission to God, not being everyone’s doormat.
  • God personally stood up for Moses and praised him.
  • He reveals Himself to those who seek Him (Acts 17:24-28). _


9 And the anger of the LORD burned against them; and he left. 10 The cloud turned away from off the tabernacle; and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said to Moses, Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not lay this sin on us by which we have done foolishly, and by which we have sinned. 12 Do not let her be as one dead whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb. 13 And Moses cried to the LORD saying, Heal her now, O God, I beg you. 14 And the LORD said to Moses, If her father had spit in her face, would she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. 15 And Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days: and the people did not travel until Miriam was brought in again. 16 And afterward the people moved from Hazeroth, and camped in the wilderness of Paran.


  • This verse shows us that Miriam was the instigator of the criticism.
  • One assistant pastor was arrested for doing illegal things over the internet. At his trial he was released with a warning. Within the year he was arrested for the same thing and served the full sentence. The gentle warning was not sufficient.
  • Hebrews 12:6-9 what son is he whom the father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh that corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
  • Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


                                           Numbers 13


God sent His leaders to search the promised land


1 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2 Send men to search the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel: send a man from every tribe of their fathers, every one a ruler among them. 3 So by the command of the LORD Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were leaders of the children of Israel. 4 These were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. 5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 From the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 From the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. 9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. 10 From the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. 12 From the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 14 From the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men that Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea, the son of Nun, Jehoshua. 17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, Go up this way toward the south, go up into the mountain: 18 look at the land, see what it is like; and the people that live in it, see whether they are strong or weak, few or many; 19 See what the land is like that they live in, whether it is good or bad; and what the cities that they dwell in are like, whether tents, or strong holds; 20 And what the land is like, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood in it, or not. Be of good courage, bring some of the fruit of the land. Now it was the time of the first ripe grapes.


  • The land God was giving them was the best land on earth.
  • He has also given us His Promised Land for each of us.
  • For us, this would be a command to search the scriptures to see all that God has promised us and claim it for our lives
  • Ezekiel 20:6 to bring them out …to a land … flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
  • Deuteronomy 8:7 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him.


21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, as men come toward Hamath. 22 And they ascended by the south, and came to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 And they came to the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it between two on a staff; and they brought pomegranates, and figs. 24 The place was called the brook Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes that the children of Israel cut down from there.


  • This large cluster of grapes carried on a pole between two men is the very picture seen today as the symbol of Israel’s ministry of tourism.
  • The fruit of the land was abundant.
  • Zoan was a royal city in Egypt built by the Jews before the Exodus.
  • This location shows us that their reconnaissance was extensive.
  • The most ‘abundant with wonder’ place in the universe is our position ‘in Christ.’
  • John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.


25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 26 They traveled and came to Moses, to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word to them, and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They reported to him and said, We came to the land where you sent us, and it definitely flows with milk and honey; this is its fruit. 28 But the people that live in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great: also, we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the land of the south: the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites, live in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.


  • God gave the Israelites evidence of the wonder and fruitfulness of the land.
  • Milk is a completely full food, containing every nutrient in needed proportions for children as well as adults.
  • Honey is natural sweetness.
  • Anak were the descendants of a race of giants.
  • God is bigger than giants and God was with the Israelites.
  • These people had just seen God deliver by His awesome power from the slavery of Egypt.
  • Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.


God is pleased by faith


30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses and said, Certainly we will go up and seize it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men that went up with him said, We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought an evil report of the land that they had searched to the children of Israel saying, The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And we saw the giants there, the sons of Anak, which come from eyes.


  • Faith is based on fact.
  • Caleb’s eyes were on God; the other 10 men had their eyes on the giants.
  • If your faith is small, feast your heart on more of God’s word.
  • Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.




SUMMARY: Numbers 11-13


  • God is displeased with our complaints
  • He gave the people what they asked for until they were sick of it
  • His anger burns when we speak against His appointed leaders
  • He sent the leaders to search out the promised land
  • He is pleased with faith