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Numbers 11:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the mixt multitude that [was] among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the mixed multitude that [was] among them fell to lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the mixed multitude that was among them lusted; and the children of Israel also wept again and said, Who will give us flesh to eat?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Moreover, the mixed multitude that was in their midst, concealed not their lusting,—and so even the sons of Israel, fell away and wept, and said: Who will grant us to eat, flesh?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the rabble who [are] in its midst have lusted greatly, and the sons of Israel also turn back and weep, and say, 'Who doth give us flesh?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For a mixt multitude of people, that came up with them, burned with desire, sitting and weeping, the children of Israel also being joined with them, and said: Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the mixt multitude that was among them, fell a lusting, and the children of Israel also wept againe, and said, Who shal giue vs flesh to eate?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the mixed multitude among them lusted exceedingly; and they and the children of Israel sat down and wept and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And the mixt multitude that [was] among them fell a lusting: and the children of Yisrael also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And the mixt multitude 628
{0628} Prime
אֲסַפְסֻף
'acp@cuph
{as-pes-oof'}
By reduplication from H0624; gathered up together, that is, a promiscuous assemblage (of people).
that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[was] among 7130
{7130} Prime
קֶרֶב
qereb
{keh'-reb}
From H7126; properly the nearest part, that is, the centre, whether literally, figuratively or adverbially (especially with preposition).
them fell a lusting: 183
{0183} Prime
אָוַה
'avah
{aw-vaw'}
A primitive root; to wish for.
8378
{8378} Prime
תַּאֲוָה
ta'avah
{tah-av-aw'}
From H0183 (abbreviated); a longing; by implication a delight (subjectively satisfaction, objectively a charm).
z8694
<8694> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 157
and the children 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
also x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
wept 1058
{1058} Prime
בָּכָה
bakah
{baw-kaw'}
A primitive root; to weep; generally to bemoan.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
again, 7725
{7725} Prime
שׁוּב
shuwb
{shoob}
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Who x4310
(4310) Complement
מִי
miy
{me}
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
shall give us flesh 1320
{1320} Prime
בָּשָׂר
basar
{baw-sawr'}
From H1319; flesh (from its freshness); by extension body, person; also (by euphemism) the pudenda of a man.
to eat? 398
{0398} Prime
אָכַל
'akal
{aw-kal'}
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 11:4

_ _ the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting — These consisted of Egyptians. [See on Exodus 12:38.] To dream of banquets and plenty of animal food in the desert becomes a disease of the imagination; and to this excitement of the appetite no people are more liable than the natives of Egypt. But the Israelites participated in the same feelings and expressed dissatisfaction with the manna on which they had hitherto been supported, in comparison with the vegetable luxuries with which they had been regaled in Egypt.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers 11:4-15

_ _ These verses represent things sadly unhinged and out of order in Israel, both the people and the prince uneasy.

_ _ I. Here is the people fretting, and speaking against God himself (as it is interpreted, Psalms 78:19), notwithstanding his glorious appearances both to them and for them. Observe,

_ _ 1. Who were the criminals. (1.) The mixed multitude began, they fell a lusting, Numbers 11:4. The rabble that came with them out of Egypt, expecting only the land of promise, but not a state of probation in the way to it. They were hangers on, who took hold of the skirts of the Jews, and would go with them only because they knew not how to live at home, and were disposed to seek their fortunes (as we say) abroad. These were the scabbed sheep that infected the flock, the leaven that leavened the whole lump. Note, A few factious, discontented, ill-natured people, may do a great deal of mischief in the best societies, if great care be not taken to discountenance them. Such as these are an untoward generation, from which it is our wisdom to save ourselves, Acts 2:40. (2.) Even the children of Israel took the infection, as we are informed, Numbers 11:4. The holy seed joined themselves to the people of these abominations. The mixed multitude here spoken of were not numbered with the children of Israel, but were set aside as a people God made no account of; and yet the children of Israel, forgetting their own character and distinction, herded themselves with them and learned their way, as if the scum and outcasts of the camp were to be the privy-counsellors of it. The children of Israel, a people near to God and highly privileged, yet drawn into rebellion against him! O how little honour has God in the world, when even the people which he formed for himself, to show forth his praise, were so much a dishonour to him! Therefore let none think that their external professions and privileges will be their security either against Satan's temptations to sin or God's judgments for sin. See 1 Corinthians 10:1, 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Corinthians 10:12.

_ _ 2. What was the crime: they lusted and murmured. Though they had been lately corrected for this sin, and many of them overthrown for it, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and the smell of the fire was still in their nostrils, yet they returned to it. See Proverbs 27:22. (1.) They magnified the plenty and dainties they had had in Egypt (Numbers 11:5), as if God had done them a great deal of wrong in taking them thence. While they were in Egypt they sighed by reason of their burdens, for their lives were made bitter to them with hard bondage; and yet now they talk of Egypt as if they had all lived like princes there, when this serves as a colour for their present discontent. But with what face can they talk of eating fish in Egypt freely, or for nought, as if it cost them nothing, when they paid so dearly for it with their hard service? They remember the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick (precious stuff indeed to be fond of!), but they do not remember the brick-kilns and the task-masters, the voice of the oppressor and the smart of the whip. No, these are forgotten by these ungrateful people. (2.) They were sick of the good provision God had made for them, Numbers 11:6. It was bread from heaven, angels' food. To show how unreasonable their complaint was, it is here described, Numbers 11:7-9. It was good for food, and pleasant to the eye, every grain like an orient pearl; it was wholesome food and nourishing; it was not to be called dry bread, for it tasted like fresh oil; it was agreeable (the Jews say, Wisd. 16:20) to every man's palate, and tasted as he would have it; and, though it was still the same, yet, by the different ways of dressing it, it yielded them a grateful variety; it cost them no money, nor care, for it fell in the night, while they slept; and the labour of gathering it was not worth speaking of; they lived upon free quarter, and yet could talk of Egypt's cheapness and the fish they ate there freely. Nay, which was much more valuable than all this, the manna came from the immediate power and bounty of God, not from common providence, but from special favour. It was, as God's compassion, new every morning, always fresh, not as their food who live on shipboard. While they lived on manna, they seemed to be exempted from the curse which sin has brought on man, that in the sweat of his face should he eat bread. And yet they speak of manna with such scorn, as if it were not good enough to be meat for swine: Our soul is dried away. They speak as if God dealt hardly with them in allowing them no better food. At first they admired it (Exodus 16:15): What is this? “What a curious precious thing is this!” But now they despised it. Note, Peevish discontented minds will find fault with that which has no fault in it but that it is too good for them. It is very provoking to God to undervalue his favours, and to put a but upon our common mercies. Nothing but manna! Those that might be very happy often make themselves very miserable by their discontents. (3.) They could not be satisfied unless they had flesh to eat. They brought flocks and herds with them in great abundance out of Egypt; but either they were covetous, and could not find in their hearts to kill them, lest they should lessen their flocks (they must have flesh as cheap as they had bread, or they would not be pleased), or else they were curious, beef and mutton would not please them; they must have something more nice and delicate, like the fish they did eat in Egypt. Food would not serve; they must be feasted. They had feasted with God upon the peace-offerings which they had their share of; but it seems God did not keep a table good enough for them, they must have daintier bits than any that came to his altar. Note, It is an evidence of the dominion of the carnal mind when we are solicitous to have all the delights and satisfactions of sense wound up to the height of pleasurableness. Be not desirous of dainties, Proverbs 23:1-3. If God gives us food convenient, we ought to be thankful, though we do not eat the fat and drink the sweet. (4.) They distrusted the power and goodness of God as insufficient for their supply: Who will give us flesh to eat? taking it for granted that God could not. Thus this question is commented upon, Psalms 78:19, Psalms 78:20, Can he provide flesh also? though he had given them flesh with their bread once, when he saw fit (Exodus 16:13), and they might have expected that he would do it again, and in mercy, if, instead of murmuring, they had prayed. Note, It is an offence to God to let our desires go beyond our faith. (5.) They were eager and importunate in their desires; they lusted a lust, so the word is, lusted greatly and greedily, till they wept again for vexation. So childish were the children of Israel, and so humoursome, that they cried because they had not what they would have and when they would have it. They did not offer up this desire to God, but would rather be beholden to any one else than to him. We should not indulge ourselves in any desire which we cannot in faith turn into prayer, as we cannot when we ask meat for our lust, Psalms 78:18. For this sin the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly against them, which is written for our admonition, that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted, 1 Corinthians 10:6. (6.) Flesh is good food, and may lawfully be eaten; yet they are said to lust after evil things. What is lawful of itself becomes evil to us when it is what God does not allot to us and yet we eagerly desire it.

_ _ II. Moses himself, though so meek and good a man, is uneasy upon this occasion: Moses also was displeased. Now, 1. It must be confessed that the provocation was very great. These murmurings of theirs reflected great dishonour upon God, and Moses laid to heart the reproaches cast on himself; they knew that he did his utmost for their good, and that he neither did nor could do any thing without a divine appointment; and yet to be thus continually teased and clamoured against by an unreasonable ungrateful people would break in upon the temper even of Moses himself. God considered this, and therefore we do not find that he chided him for his uneasiness. 2. Yet Moses expressed himself otherwise than became him upon this provocation, and came short of his duty both to God and Israel in these expostulations. (1.) He undervalues the honour God had put upon him, in making him the illustrious minister of his power and grace, in the deliverance and guidance of that peculiar people, which might have been sufficient to balance the burden. (2.) He complains too much of a sensible grievance, and lays too near his heart a little noise and fatigue. If he could not bear the toil of government, which was but running with the footman, how would he bear the terrors of war, which was contending with horses? He might easily have furnished himself with considerations enough to enable him to slight their clamours, and make nothing of them. (3.) He magnifies his own performances, that all the burden of the people lay upon him; whereas God himself did in effect ease him of all the burden. Moses needed not to be in care to provide quarters for them, or victuals; God did all. And, if any difficult case happened, he needed not to be in any perplexity, while he had the oracle to consult, and in it the divine wisdom to direct him, the divine authority to back him and bear him out, and almighty power itself to dispense rewards and punishments. (4.) He is not so sensible as he ought to be of the obligation he lay under, by virtue of the divine commission and command, to do the utmost he could for his people, when he suggests that because they were not the children of his body therefore he was not concerned to take a fatherly care of them, though God himself, who might employ him as he pleased, had appointed him to be a father to them. (5.) He takes too much to himself when he asks, Whence should I have flesh to give them (Numbers 11:13), as if he were the housekeeper, and not God. Moses gave them not the bread, John 6:32. Nor was it expected that he should give them the flesh, but as an instrument in God's hand; and if he meant, “Whence should God have it for them?” he too much limited the power of the Holy One of Israel. (6.) He speaks distrustfully of the divine grace when he despairs of being able to bear all this people, Numbers 11:14. Had the work been much less, he could not have gone through it in his own strength; but had it been much greater, through God strengthening him, he might have done it. (7.) It was worst of all passionately to wish for death, and desire to be killed out of hand, because just at this time his life was made a little uneasy to him, Numbers 11:15. Is this Moses? Is this the meekest of all the men on the earth? The best have their infirmities, and fail sometimes in the exercise of that grace for which they are most eminent. But God graciously overlooked Moses's passion at this time, and therefore we must not be severe in our animadversions upon it, but pray, Lord, lead us not into temptation.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Numbers 11:4

Israel also — Whose special relation and obligation to God should have restrained them from such carriage. Flesh — This word is here taken generally so as to include fish, as the next words shew. They had indeed cattle which they brought out of Egypt, but these were reserved for breed to be carried into Canaan, and were so few that they would scarce have served them for a month.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Numbers 11:4

And the mixt (a) multitude that [was] among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

(a) Which were of those strangers that came out of Egypt with them, (Exodus 12:38).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the mixed:

Exodus 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.
Leviticus 24:10-11 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father [was] an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish [woman] and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; ... And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name [of the LORD], and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name [was] Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)
Nehemiah 13:3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

fell a lusting:
Heb. lusted a lust

the children:

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

wept again:
Heb. returned and wept

Who shall:

Psalms 78:18-20 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. ... Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
Psalms 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
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Ex 12:38. Lv 24:10. Ne 13:3. Ps 78:18; 106:14. Ro 13:14. 1Co 10:6; 15:33.

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