Numbers 11:23
And the LORD said to Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? you shall see now whether my word shall come to pass to you or not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 11:23. Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? — Is the divine power diminished? Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 59:1. What has not God done to convince mankind that his power is always unlimited? And yet man is still ready to fall into the weakness of thinking that there are circumstances in which the power of God cannot afford relief or deliverance, but must, as it were, remain inactive.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.21-23. Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand … Shall the flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them?—The great leader, struck with a promise so astonishing as that of suddenly furnishing, in the midst of the desert, more than two millions of people with flesh for a whole month, betrayed an incredulous spirit, surprising in one who had witnessed so many stupendous miracles. But it is probable that it was only a feeling of the moment—at all events, the incredulous doubt was uttered only to himself—and not, as afterwards, publicly and to the scandal of the people. (See on [75]Nu 20:10). It was, therefore, sharply reproved, but not punished. Waxed short, i.e. less able to work such great and glorious miracles as I have done. And the Lord said unto Moses,.... In answer to his objection, without upbraiding him with his sin of unbelief:

is the Lord's hand waxed short? or his power diminished since the creation, when he formed all things out of nothing, and what is it then he is not able to do? or since he wrought the wonders in Egypt, divided the Red sea, rained down manna from heaven, and smote the rock at Horeb, from whence waters flowed sufficient for all this people, and their flocks and herds; and he that did all this could give them flesh that would suffice them a whole month, see Isaiah 59:1,

thou shall see now whether my words shall come to pass unto thee or no; whether I am able to make good my promise; a short time will decide it, it shall be seen presently whether I am and will do what I have said.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 23. - Is the Lord's hand waxed short? So that it cannot reach far enough to fulfill his purposes. This simple and expressive figure of speech is adopted by Isaiah (Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 59:1). There was good ground for his complaint. The burden of the office laid upon the shoulders of Moses was really too heavy for one man; and even the discontent which broke out in the complaint was nothing more than an outpouring of zeal for the office assigned him by God, under the burden of which his strength would eventually break down, unless he received some support. He was not tired of the office, but would stake his life for it if God did not relieve him in some way, as office and life were really one in him. Jehovah therefore relieved him in the distress of which he complained, without blaming the words of His servant, which bordered on despair. "Gather unto Me," He said to Moses (Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:17), "seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest as elders and officers (shoterim, see Exodus 5:6) of the people, and bring them unto the tabernacle, that they may place themselves there with thee. I will come down (see at Numbers 11:25) and speak with thee there, and will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, that they may bear the burden of the people with thee."
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