Numbers 14:35
I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
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14:20-35 The Lord granted the prayer of Moses so far as not at once to destroy the congregation. But disbelief of the promise forbids the benefit. Those who despise the pleasant land shall be shut out of it. The promise of God should be fulfilled to their children. They wished to die in the wilderness; God made their sin their ruin, took them at their word, and their carcases fell in the wilderness. They were made to groan under the burden of their own sin, which was too heavy for them to bear. Ye shall know my breach of promise, both the causes of it, that it is procured by your sin, for God never leaves any till they first leave him; and the consequences of it, that will produce your ruin. But your little ones, now under twenty years old, which ye, in your unbelief, said should be a prey, them will I bring in. God will let them know that he can put a difference between the guilty and the innocent, and cut them off without touching their children. Thus God would not utterly take away his loving kindness.My breach of promise - In the original, a word, found elsewhere only in Job 30:10, and meaning "my withdrawals" "my turning away." See the margin. 34. ye shall know my breach of promise—that is, in consequence of your violation of the covenant betwixt you and Me, by breaking the terms of it, it shall be null and void on My part, as I shall withhold the blessings I promised in that covenant to confer on you on condition of your obedience. No text from Poole on this verse.

I the Lord have said,.... Determined, resolved on doing what I have declared, and again repeat it; the decree is absolute and peremptory, and will never be revoked:

I will surely do it to all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me; against his ministers, Moses the chief magistrate, and Aaron the high priest; and this is interpreted gathering, conspiring, and rebelling against the Lord himself, on account of which they might be truly called an evil congregation, and therefore it was a determined point with him to destroy them:

in this wilderness they shall be consumed; by wasting diseases:

and there they shall die; as they wished they might, Numbers 14:22; with respect to which this was so often repeated, Exodus 16:3; and which the Jews interpret not only of a corporeal death, but of an eternal one; for they say (c)"the generation of the wilderness (of those that died there) have no part in the world to come, nor shall stand in judgment, as it is said, "in this wilderness", &c. Numbers 14:35.''

(c) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 3.

I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
Numbers 14:35As surely as Jehovah had spoken this, would He do it to that evil congregation, to those who had allied themselves against Him (נועד, to bind themselves together, to conspire; Numbers 16:11; Numbers 27:3). There is no ground whatever for questioning the correctness of the statement, that the spies had travelled through Canaan for forty days, or regarding this as a so-called round number - that is to say, as unhistorical. And if this number is firmly established, there is also no ground for disputing the forty years' sojourn of the people in the wilderness, although the period during which the rebellious generation, consisting of those who were numbered at Sinai, died out, was actually thirty-eight years, reaching from the autumn of the second year after their departure from Egypt to the middle of the fortieth year of their wanderings, and terminating with the fresh numbering (ch. 26) that was undertaken after the death of Aaron, and took place on the first of the fifth month of the fortieth year (Numbers 20:23., compared with Numbers 33:38). Instead of these thirty-eight years, the forty years of the sojourn in the desert are placed in connection with the forty days of the spies, because the people had frequently fallen away from God, and been punished in consequence, even during the year and a half before their rejection; and in this respect the year and a half could be combined with the thirty-eight years which followed into one continuous period, during which they bore their iniquity, to set distinctly before the minds of the disobedient people the contrast between that peaceful dwelling in the promised land which they had forfeited, and the restless wandering in the desert, which had been imposed upon them as a punishment, and to impress upon them the causal connection between sin and suffering. "Every year that passed, and was deducted from the forty years of punishment, was a new and solemn exhortation to repent, as it called to mind the occasion of their rejection" (Kurtz). When Knobel observes, on the other hand, that "it is utterly improbable that all who came out of Egypt (that is to say, all who were twenty years old and upward when they came out) should have fallen in the desert, with the exception of two, and that there should have been no men found among the Israelites when they entered Canaan who were more than sixty years of age," the express statement, that on the second numbering there was not a man among those that were numbered who had been included in the numbering at Sinai, except Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 26:64.), is amply sufficient to overthrow this "improbability" as an unfounded fancy. Nor is this statement rendered at all questionable by the fact, that "Aaron's son Eleazar, who entered Canaan with Joshua" (Joshua 14:1, etc.), was most likely more than twenty years old at the time of his consecration at Sinai, as the Levites were not qualified for service till their thirtieth or twenty-fifth year. For, in the first place, the regulation concerning the Levites' age of service is not to be applied without reserve to the priests also, so that we could infer from this that the sons of Aaron must have been at least twenty-five or thirty years old when they were consecrated; and besides this, the priests do not enter into the question at all, for the tribe of Levi was excepted from the numbering in ch. 1, and therefore Aaron's sons were not included among the persons numbered, who were sentenced to die in the wilderness. Still less does it follow from Joshua 24:7 and Judges 2:7, where it is stated that, after the conquest of Canaan, there were many still alive who had been eye-witnesses of the wonders of God in Egypt, that they must have been more than twenty years old when they came out of Egypt; for youths from ten to nineteen years of age would certainly have been able to remember such miracles as these, even after the lapse of forty or fifty years.
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