1 The Lord Sends Fire Among the People
1 The people weren't happy about the hard times they were having. The Lord heard what they were saying. It made him burn with anger. Then the Lord sent fire on them. It blazed out among the people. It burned up some of the outer edges of the camp.
2 The people cried out to Moses. Then he prayed to the Lord. And the fire died down.
3 So that place was named Taberah. That's because fire from the Lord had blazed out among them there.
4 The Lord Sends Meat for the People
4 Some people who were with them began to long for other food. Again the people of Israel began to cry out. They said, "We wish we had meat to eat. 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt. It didn't cost us anything. We also remember the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we've lost all interest in eating. We never see anything but this manna!"
7 The manna was like coriander seeds. It looked like sap from a tree. 8 The people went around gathering it. Then they ground it in a small mill they held in their hands. Or they crushed it in a stone bowl. They cooked it in a pot. Or they made cakes out of it. It tasted like something made with olive oil. 9 When the dew came down on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
10 Moses heard people from every family crying. They were sobbing at the entrances to their tents.
10 The Lord burned with hot anger. So Moses became troubled. 11 He asked the Lord, "Why have you brought this trouble on me? Why aren't you pleased with me? Why have you loaded me down with the troubles of all of these people?
12 "Am I like a mother to them? Are they my children? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms? Do I have to carry them the way a nurse carries a baby? Do I have to carry them to the land you promised? You took an oath and promised the land to their people of long ago.
15 "Is this how you are going to treat me? If you are pleased with me, just put me to death right now. Don't let me live if I have to see myself destroyed anyway."
16 The Lord said to Moses, "Bring me 70 of Israel's elders. Bring men that you know are leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting. I want them to stand there with you. 17 I will come down. I will speak with you there. I will take some of my Spirit that is on you. And I will put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the people's load. Then you will not have to carry it alone.
18 "Tell the people, 'Set yourselves apart for tomorrow. At that time you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you cried out. You said, "We wish we had meat to eat. We were better off in Egypt."
18 " 'Now the Lord will give you meat. And you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one or two days. You will not eat it for just five, ten or 20 days. 20 Instead, you will eat it for a whole month. You will eat it until it comes out of your nose. You will eat it until you hate it.
20 " 'The Lord is among you. But you have turned your back on him. You have cried out while he was listening. You have said, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?" ' "
21 But Moses said, "Here I am among 600,000 men on the march. And you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month'! 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were killed for them? Would they have enough even if all of the fish in the ocean were caught for them?"
23 The Lord answered Moses, "Am I not strong enough? Now you will see whether what I say will come true for you."
24 So Moses went out. He told the people what the Lord had said. He gathered 70 of their elders together. He had them stand around the Tent of Meeting.
25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud. He spoke with Moses. He took some of his Spirit that was on Moses. And he put the Spirit on the 70 elders. When the Spirit came on them, they prophesied. But they didn't do it again.
26 Two men had remained in the camp. Their names were Eldad and Medad. They were listed among the elders. But they didn't go out to the Tent of Meeting. In spite of that, the Spirit came on them too. So they prophesied in the camp.
27 A young man ran up to Moses. He said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 Joshua spoke up. He was the son of Nun. Joshua had been Moses' helper from the time he was young. He said, "Moses! Please stop them!"
29 But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for me? I wish that all of the Lord's people were prophets. And I wish that the Lord would put his Spirit on them." 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
31 The Lord sent out a wind. It drove quail in from the Red Sea. It brought them down all around the camp. They were about three feet above the ground. They could be seen in every direction as far as a person could walk in a day.
32 The people went out all day and gathered quail. They gathered them all night and all the next day. No one gathered less than 60 bushels. Then they spread the quail out all around the camp.
33 But while the meat was still in their mouths, the Lord acted. Before the people could swallow it, his anger burned against them. He struck them with a terrible plague.
34 So the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah. That's where the bodies of the people who had longed for other food were buried.
35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth. And they stayed there.
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