And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Why is this that you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To kill us.—This was no exaggeration. Thirst kills as surely as hunger, and more quickly. Whole armies have died of it. (Herod. iii. 26.) Ships’ crews have perished of it on the ocean, with “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” Unless a supply could somehow or other have been provided speedily, the whole people must have been exterminated.
and the people murmured against Moses; became more impatient and enraged, and threw out their invectives against him with much acrimony and severity:
wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt? where it would have been much better for us to have continued:
to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst: which is intolerable to any, and especially to children and cattle, which require frequent drinking: they could not suppose that Moses had such a murderous view in bringing them out of Egypt, or that this was his intention in it, but that this would be the issue and event of it.And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. murmured] see on Exodus 15:24.
Wherefore, &c.] cf. Numbers 20:4-5; also Exodus 14:11 f., Exodus 16:3.
brought us up] into the high ground of the Sin. Peninsula.
us, &c.] Heb. me, and my children, and my cattle,—the first pers. sing denoting the people. So Numbers 20:19 al.
Verse 3. - The people thirsted there for water. There is probably no physical affliction comparable to intense thirst. His thirst was the only agony which drew from the Son of Man an acknowledgment of physical suffering, in the words "I thirst." Descriptions of thirst in open boats at sea are among the most painful of the records of afflicted humanity. Thirst in the desert can scarcely be less horrible. The people murmured and said When the worst comes on men, if they are alone, they bear it silently; but if they can find a scapegoat, they murmur. To lay the blame of the situation on another is a huge satisfaction to the ordinary human mind, which shrinks from responsibility, and would fain shift the burthen on some one else. To kill us. Compare Exodus 14:11, 16:3. The circumstances of their life in the wilderness were such, that, until accustomed to them, the people thought that, at each step, they must perish. It may be freely admitted, that without continual miraculous aid this would have been the natural denouement. And our cattle. It is interesting to see that the "cattle" still survived, and were regarded as of great importance. How far they served as a secondary head of subsistance to the people during the 40 years, is a point not yet sufficiently elaborated. Exodus 16:34, Exodus 16:35, by way of anticipation, for the purpose of summing up everything of importance relating to the manna) "before Jehovah," or speaking still more exactly, "before the testimony," i.e., the tables of the law (see Exodus 25:16), or according to Jewish tradition, in the ark of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4). צנצנת, from צנן to guard round, to preserve, signifies a jar or bottle, not a basket. According to the Jerusalem Targum, it was an earthenware jar; in the lxx it is called στάμνος χρυσοῦς, a golden jar, but there is nothing of this kind in the original text.
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