But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested on them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out to the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Numbers 11:26. In the camp — Not going to the tabernacle, as the rest did, either not having seasonable notice to repair thither, or, being detained in the camp by sickness, or some urgent occasion, not without God’s special providence, that so the miracle might be more evident. They were of them that were written — In a book or paper by Moses, who, by God’s direction, nominated the fittest persons.In the camp; not going to the tabernacle, as the rest did; either modestly declining that high employment from a tremble sense of their own insufficiency, as Saul did, 1 Samuel 10:22; or not having sufficient or seasonable notice to repair thither; or, being detained in the camp and in their dwellings, whether by uncleanness, or sickness, or some urgent occasion, not without God’s special providence, that so the miracle might be more evident, and their call and authority more unquestionable, to all the people.
Were written, to wit, in a book or paper, by Moses, who by God’s direction nominated the fittest and worthiest persons.
the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: who, according to the Targum of Jonathan, were brethren of Moses by his mother's side; for it says, they were the sons of Elizaphan the son of Parnac, whom Jochebed the daughter of Levi brought forth at the time that Amram her husband dismissed her, and she was married to him before she brought forth Moses; but it is elsewhere said (r), that Elizaphan married her after the death of Amram; and Eldad and Medad were born unto them:
and the Spirit rested upon them; as it did upon the rest of the seventy that came to the tabernacle; these two had the same gifts of the Spirit bestowed upon them as they had:
and they were of them that were written; among the seventy whose names were put down in the summons Moses gave them to attend the tabernacle; for as for the notion of the Jews about schedules and pieces of paper put into an urn to draw lots with, there is no foundation in the text:
but went not out unto the tabernacle; out of the camp to it, when they were summoned to come together; which they declined, as is commonly said, out of modesty, thinking themselves unfit for such an high office; and therefore, as Saul hid himself among the stuff when he was about to be chosen king, so did they, or something like it: the Targum of Jonathan is express for it, which adds, because they hid themselves to flee from government; but the Spirit of God found them out, and filled them with his gifts, and constrained them to prophesy, whereby they were discovered:
and they prophesied in the camp; perhaps in a private manner, it may be in their own houses; which, how it came to be known is after related: what they prophesied of cannot be said; according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and other Jewish writers (s), they prophesied of the quails, and of the death of Moses, and the succession of Joshua, of Gog and Magog, and their armies, and of their destruction by the Messiah, and of the resurrection of the dead; but these are things not to be depended on.But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. them that were written] i.e. registered as being of the number of the elders and officers. They were not of the number of the seventy, for Numbers 11:24 says that seventy were present at the Tent.Verse 26. - There remained two of the men in the camp. No reason is here given why they did not accompany the rest to the tabernacle; but as they did not thereby forfeit the gift designed for them, it is certain that some necessity or duty detained them. They were of them that were written. This incidental notice shows how usual the practice of writing was, at any rate with Moses, who was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). And they prophesied in the camp. As a sign that they too had received the charisma from the Lord. Seeing that it was the work of the Holy Spirit, there was of course nothing really more wonderful in their case than in the ease of the others, but no doubt it seemed so. That men in the camp, and away from the visible center and scene of Divine manifestations, should be accessible to the heavenly afflatus was a vast astonishment to an ignorant people. We may compare the surprise felt by the Jewish Christians when the sign of tongues was shown among the Gentiles (Acts 10:45, 46). 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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