Numbers 11:10
Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
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(10) Moses also was displeased.—Or, And it was evil (or, displeasing) in the eyes of Moses. Moses was displeased with the people on account of their murmuring, and he was oppressed with the heavy burden of responsibility to which he felt himself unequal.

Numbers 11:10-14. Every man in the door of his tent — To denote they were not ashamed of their sin. Have I not found favour — Why didst thou not hear my prayer when I desired thou wouldst excuse me, and commit the care of this unruly people to some other person? Have I begotten them? —

Are they my children, that I should be obliged to provide food and all things for their necessity and desire? To bear — The burden of providing for and satisfying them. Alone — Others were only assistant to him in smaller matters; but the harder and greater affairs, such as this unquestionably was, were brought to Moses and determined by him alone.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.The weeping was general; every family wept (compare Zechariah 12:12), and in a manner public and unconcealed.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. In the door of his tent; to note, that they were not ashamed of their sin.

Moses was displeased; partly, for their great unthankfulness; partly, foreseeing the dreadful judgments coming upon them, and partly, for his own burden expressed in the following verses. 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.

Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
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. The first impulse to this came from the mob that had come out of Egypt along with the Israelites. "The mixed multitude:" see at Exodus 12:38. They felt and expressed a longing for the better food which they had enjoyed in Egypt, and which was not to be had in the desert, and urged on the Israelites to cry out for flesh again, especially for the flesh and the savoury vegetables in which Egypt abounded. The words "they wept again" (שׁוּב used adverbially, as in Genesis 26:18, etc.) point back to the former complaints of the people respecting the absence of flesh in the desert of Sin (Exodus 16:2.), although there is nothing said about their weeping there. By the flesh which they missed, we are not to understand either the fish which they expressly mention in the following verse (as in Leviticus 11:11), or merely oxen, sheep, and goats; but the word בּשׂר signifies flesh generally, as being a better kind of food than the bread-like manna. It is true they possessed herds of cattle, but these would not have been sufficient to supply their wants, as cattle could not be bought for slaughtering, and it was necessary to spare what they had. The greedy people also longed for other flesh, and said, "We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt for nothing." Even if fish could not be had for nothing in Egypt, according to the extravagant assertions of the murmurers, it is certain that it could be procured for such nominal prices that even the poorest of the people could eat it. The abundance of the fish in the Nile and the neighbouring waters is attested unanimously by both classical writers (e.g., Diod. Sic. i. 36, 52; Herod. ii. 93; Strabo, xvii. p. 829) and modern travellers (cf. Hengstenberg, Egypt, etc., p. 211 Eng. tr.). This also applies to the vegetables for which the Israelites longed in the desert. The קשּׁאים, or cucumbers, which are still called katteh or chate in the present day, are a species differing from the ordinary cucumbers in size and colour, and distinguished for softness and sweet flavour, and are described by Forskal (Flor. Aeg. p. 168), as fructus in Aegypto omnium vulgatissimus, totis plantatus agris. אבטּחים: water-melons, which are still called battieh in modern Egypt, and are both cultivated in immense quantities and sold so cheaply in the market, that the poor as well as the rich can enjoy their refreshing flesh and cooling juice (see Sonnini in Hengstenberg, ut sup. p. 212). חציר does not signify grass here, but, according to the ancient versions, chives, from their grass-like appearance; laudatissimus porrus in Aegypto (Plin. h. n. 19, 33). בּצלים: onions, which flourish better in Egypt than elsewhere, and have a mild and pleasant taste. According to Herod. ii. 125, they were the ordinary food of the workmen at the pyramids; and, according to Hasselquist, Sonnini, and others, they still form almost the only food of the poor, and are also a favourite dish with all classes, either roasted, or boiled as a vegetable, and eaten with animal food. שׁוּמים: garlic, which is still called tum, tom in the East (Seetzen, iii. p. 234), and is mentioned by Herodotus in connection with onions, as forming a leading article of food with the Egyptian workmen. Of all these things, which had been cheap as well as refreshing, not one was to be had in the desert. Hence the people complained still further, "and now our soul is dried away," i.e., faint for want of strong and refreshing food, and wanting in fresh vital power (cf. Psalm 22:16; Psalm 102:5): "we have nothing (כּל אין, there is nothing in existence, equivalent to nothing to be had) except that our eye (falls) upon this manna," i.e., we see nothing else before us but the manna, sc., which has no juice, and supplies no vital force. Greediness longs for juicy and savoury food, and in fact, as a rule, for change of food and stimulating flavour. "This is the perverted nature of man, which cannot continue in the quiet enjoyment of what is clean and unmixed, but, from its own inward discord, desires a stimulating admixture of what is sharp and sour" (Baumgarten). To point out this inward perversion on the part of the murmuring people, Moses once more described the nature, form, and taste of the manna, and its mode of preparation, as a pleasant food which God sent down to His people with the dew of heaven (see at Exodus 16:14-15, and Exodus 16:31). But this sweet bread of heaven wanted "the sharp and sour, which are required to give a stimulating flavour to the food of man, on account of his sinful, restless desires, and the incessant changes of his earthly life." In this respect the manna resembled the spiritual food supplied by the word of God, of which the sinful heart of man may also speedily become weary, and turn to the more piquant productions of the spirit of the world.
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