Numbers 11:20
But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 11:20. Until it come out at your nostrils — That is, till your impatient appetites be glutted; and by another instance of divine power, you be convinced to your shame how irreligiously, distrustfully, and ungratefully you have acted toward God amidst all his merciful providences toward you. The expression presents a very strong, though disagreeable idea of satiety and surfeit, when the overloaded stomach disburdens itself at the mouth and nostrils. Ye have despised the Lord — You have lightly esteemed his bounty and manifold blessings; you have slighted and distrusted his promises and providence after so long and large experience of it. The Lord who is among you — Who is present and resident with you, to observe all your carriage, and to punish your offences. This is added as a great aggravation of the crime, to sin in the presence of the judge. Why came we forth out of Egypt? — Why did God do us such an injury? Why did we so foolishly obey him in coming forth?

11:16-23 Moses is to choose such as he knew to be elders, that is, wise and experienced men. God promises to qualify them. If they were not found fit for the employ, they should be made fit. Even the discontented people shall be gratified too, that every mouth may be stopped. See here, I. The vanity of all the delights of sense; they will cloy, but they will not satisfy. Spiritual pleasures alone will satisfy and last. As the world passes away, so do the lusts of it. 2. What brutish sins gluttony and drunkenness are! they make that to hurt the body which should be its health. Moses objects. Even true and great believers sometimes find it hard to trust God under the discouragements of second causes, and against hope to believe in hope. God here brings Moses to this point, The Lord God is Almighty; and puts the proof upon the issue, Thou shalt see whether my word shall come to pass or not. If he speaks, it is done.I will take of the spirit which is upon thee - Render rather separate from the spirit, etc.; i. e. they shall have their portion in the same divine gift which thou hast.18-20. say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and ye shall eat flesh—that is, "prepare yourselves," by repentance and submission, to receive to-morrow the flesh you clamor for. But it is evident that the tenor of the language implied a severe rebuke and that the blessing promised would prove a curse. Till it come out at your nostrils; which meat loathed and violently vomited up frequently doth;

and it be loathsome unto you, being glutted with the abundance of it. Thus God destroys them by granting their desires, and turns even their blessings into curses; whilst he deals much more favourably with Moses, though he also fell into the same sin with the people, i.e. impatience and murmuring. But God will make a great difference between persons and persons, and between Moses’s sins of infirmity and the people’s presumptuous and oft-repeated provocations.

Ye have despised the Lord, i.e. you have lightly esteemed his bounty and manifold blessings in manna and other things, and have preferred the leeks, onions, &c. of Egypt before them all; you have slighted and distrusted his promises and providence after so long and large experience of it.

Which is among you; who is present and resident with you to observe all your carriages, and to punish your offences. This is added as a great aggravation of the crime, to sin in the presence of the Judge.

Why came we forth out of Egypt? Why did God do us such an injury? Why did we so foolishly follow and obey him in coming forth?

But even a whole month,.... So long the Israelites continued at Taberah or Kibrothhattaavah, as the Jews (o) conclude from this clause:

until it come out at your nostrils; being vomited up, through a nausea of it, the stomach being overfilled and glutted with it; in which case, it will make its way through the nostrils, as well as out of the mouth:

and it be loathsome unto you; being surfeited with it; or it shall be for "dispersion" (p), scattered about from the mouth and nostrils:

because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you; who dwelt in the tabernacle that was in the midst of them, whom they despised by treating the manna with contempt he so plentifully spread about their camp, and by distrusting his power to give them flesh, and by murmuring and complaining against him on the account of their having none: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are,"because ye have loathed the Word of the Lord, whose Shechinah (or the glory of whose Shechinah, as Jonathan) dwelleth among you;''the essential Word, and who was figured by the manna they tasted and despised:

and have wept before him; complaining of him, and murmuring against him:

saying, why came we forth out of Egypt? suggesting it would have been better for them if they had stayed there; thus reflecting on the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, displayed in the deliverance of them, and for which they had the utmost reason to be thankful.

(o) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 8. p. 24. (p) "in dispersionem", Munster, Fagius, Montanus: so R. Joseph Kimchi, apud Kimchi Sepher Shorash rad. "et Aben dana".

But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have {m} despised the LORD which is {n} among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

(m) Or, cast him off, because you refused manna, which he appointed as most suitable for you.

(n) Who leads and governs you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 20. - But even a whole month. There is some little difficulty about these words, because the Israelites do not seem to have made a long stay at Kibroth-Hattaavah, and the miraculous supply does not seem to have followed them. The words are words of stern irony and displeasure, and need not be literally pressed: it was enough that animal food was given them in quantity sufficient to have gorged the whole nation for a month, if they had eared to go on eating it (see below on verse 33). Numbers 11:20Jehovah would also relieve the complaining of the people, and that in such a way that the murmurers should experience at the same time the holiness of His judgments. The people were to sanctify themselves for the next day, and were then to eat flesh (receive flesh to eat). התקדּשׁ (as in Exodus 19:10), to prepare themselves by purifications for the revelation of the glory of God in the miraculous gift of flesh. Jehovah would give them flesh, so that they should eat it not one day, or two, or five, or ten, or twenty, but a whole month long (of "days," as in Genesis 29:14; Genesis 41:1), "till it come out of your nostrils, and become loathsome unto you," as a punishment for having despised Jehovah in the midst of them, in their contempt of the manna given by God, and for having shown their regret at leaving the land of Egypt in their longing for the provisions of that land.
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