Study Guide

Book of Numbers Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Welcome To Complainerville

  • Not quite. Things aren't good for long.
  • See, right away the people start moaning and complaining about this trip.
  • God hears and is a bit ticked off. So he sets fire to the camp. The people freak out, and ask Moses for help. So, Moses prays to God and he puts out the fire. Okay, point taken, Lord. Right?
  • Nope. No one learns their lesson.
  • Lots of people keep whining about how hungry they are. Even though God has given them delicious manna, which they're able to collect every morning and make into some tasty cakes, the people want meat.
  • They keep reminiscing about how good the food was back in Egypt. They had fish and leeks and melons. So delicious.
  • Of course, they were slaves back then, too, but oh, the food was good.
  • Moses hears them complaining and is super annoyed.
  • He goes to God and gives him a piece of his mind. Why did God give him such a bunch of whiners to lead? After all, God is the one who created them, he should be feeding them. Moses can't take it anymore. If God has any sense of decency, he'll just kill Moses right now.
  • Dramatic much? Okay, Moses, God hears your complaints and they will be addressed.
  • God tells Moses to gather up seventy elders in the community so he can share his spirit with them and they can help Moses manage the people. Ah, at last, some middle management.
  • God also tells Moses that he's gonna give the people meat. Lots of meat. In fact, they'll get so much meat that they're gonna end up hating it. This is also known in the biz as the Radish Cure.
  • Moses wonders just how God is gonna get enough meat to feed all these people. And God tells him, Dude, I'm God. I can do whatever I want. It's kind of in the job description. Point taken.

God Follows Through On The Whole Meat Thing

  • Sure enough, God delivers. He shares the spirit that Moses has with seventy other dudes and they all prophesy. Sadly, this is a one-time-only deal. So, don't get out your lottery tickets yet, ancient Israel.
  • But two guys manage to keep the divine gifts going. When Joshua (Moses's assistant) sees them prophesying around camp, he tries to stop them.
  • But Moses isn't worried. He wishes everyone had these super special gifts from God. It would make his whole job a lot easier.
  • After this, God sends some meat in the form of quails. Tons of quails. The birds blow in and fall all over the camp. For miles and miles around them, there are just quails everywhere. Like three feet deep. It's kind of like a quail flood.
  • The people gather up loads of quails and start to eat them up when God decides to lay a little wrath on them. They get hit with a plague and tons of people die. Yikes.
  • Guess they won't be eating quail again anytime soon.

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