|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:5-10 Moses and Aaron were astonished to see a people throw away their own mercies. Caleb and Joshua assured the people of the goodness of the land. They made nothing of the difficulties in the way of their gaining it. If men were convinced of the desirableness of the gains of religion, they would not stick at the services of it. Though the Canaanites dwell in walled cities, their defence was departed from them. The other spies took notice of their strength, but these of their wickedness. No people can be safe, when they have provoked God to leave them. Though Israel dwell in tents, they are fortified. While we have the presence of God with us, we need not fear the most powerful force against us. Sinners are ruined by their own rebellion. But those who, like Caleb and Joshua, faithfully expose themselves for God, are sure to be taken under his special protection, and shall be hid from the rage of men, either under heaven or in heaven.
Verse 5. - Moses and Aaron fell on their faces. After making ineffectual efforts to reason with the people, or rather with their leaders (Deuteronomy 1:29-31). It was not, however, in this case an attitude of intercession, but the instinctive action of those who await in silent horror a catastrophe which they see to be inevitable; it testified to all who saw it that they were overwhelmed with shame and sorrow in view of the awful sin of the people, and of the terrible punishment which must follow.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces,.... Through shame and confusion of face for them, at hearing so shocking a proposal made, and such wretched ingratitude expressed; they blushed at it, and were in the utmost distress on account of it, and therefore threw themselves into this posture; or it may be this was done either to beg of them that they would lay aside all thoughts of this kind, or to supplicate the divine Majesty that he would convince them of their sin and folly, and give them repentance for it and forgiveness of it; and this they did
before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel; to affect them the more with a sense of their sin and danger.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
14:5 Fell on their faces - As humble and earnest suppliants to God, the only refuge to which Moses resorted in all such straits, and who alone was able to govern this stiff - necked people. Before all the assembly - That they might awake to apprehend their sin and danger, when they saw Moses at his prayers, whom God never failed to defend, even with the destruction of his enemies.
Numbers 14:5 Parallel Commentaries
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