|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:10-15 The provocation was very great; yet Moses expressed himself otherwise than became him. He undervalued the honour God had put upon him. He magnified his own performances, while he had the Divine wisdom to direct him, and Almighty power to dispense rewards and punishments. He speaks distrustfully of the Divine grace. 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. Let us pray, Lord, lead us not into temptation.
Verse 10. - Throughout their families. Every family weeping by itself. Such was the contagion of evil, that every family was infected. Compare Zechariah 12:12 for a description of a weeping similar in character, although very different in its cause. Every man in the door of his tent. So that his wailing might be heard by all. So public and obtrusive a demonstration of grief must of course have been pre-arranged. They doubtless acted thus under the impression that if they made themselves sufficiently troublesome and disagreeable they would get all they wanted; in this, as in much else, they behaved exactly like ill-trained children. Moses also was displeased. The word "also" clearly compares and unites his displeasure with that of God. The murmuring indeed of the people was directed against God, and against Moses as his minister. The invisible King and his visible viceroy could not be separated in the regard of the people, and their concerted exhibition of misery was intended primarily for the eye of the latter. It was, therefore, no wonder that such conduct roused the wrath of Moses, who had no right to be angry, as well as the wrath of God, who had every right to be. angry. Moses sinned because he failed to restrain his temper within the exact limits of what befits the creature, and to distinguish carefully between a righteous indignation for Cod and an angry impatience with men. But he sinned under very sore provocation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families,.... So general was their lusting after flesh, and their discontent for want of it; and so great their distress and uneasiness about it, that they wept and cried for it, and so loud and clamorous, that Moses heard the noise and outcry they made:
every man in the door of his tent: openly and publicly, were not ashamed of their evil and unbecoming behaviour, and in order to excite and encourage the like temper and disposition in others; though it may have respect, as some have observed, to the door of the tent of Moses, about which they gathered and mutinied; and which better accounts for his hearing the general cry they made; and so in an ancient writing of the Jews it is said (l), they were waiting for Moses until he came out at the door of the school; and they were sitting and murmuring:
and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; because of their ingratitude to him, their contempt of the manna he had provided for them, and their hankering after their poor fare in Egypt, and for which they had endured so much hardship and ill usage, and for the noise and clamour they now made:
Moses also was displeased; with the people on the same account, and with the Lord also for laying and continuing so great a burden upon him, as the care of this people, which appears by what follows.
(l) Siphri apud Yalkut in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10-15. Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant, &c.—It is impossible not to sympathize with his feelings although the tone and language of his remonstrances to God cannot be justified. He was in a most distressing situation—having a mighty multitude under his care, with no means of satisfying their clamorous demands. Their conduct shows how deeply they had been debased and demoralized by long oppression: while his reveals a state of mind agonized and almost overwhelmed by a sense of the undivided responsibilities of his office.
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