Numbers 14:43
For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword: because you are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
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(43) Are there before you.—Or, will be there before you. If the same persons are here spoken of as in Numbers 14:25, it will follow that they had left their temporary abode, and gone up into the hill country. It is possible however, that the reference is to different portions of the same nations.

14:40-45 Some of the Israelites were now earnest to go forward toward Canaan. But it came too late. If men would but be as earnest for heaven while their day of grace lasts, as they will be when it is over, how well would it be for them! That which has been duty in its season, when mistimed, may be turned into sin. Those who are out of the way of their duty, are not under God's protection, and go at their peril. God bade them go, and they would not; he forbade them, and they would go. Thus is the carnal mind enmity against God. They had distrusted God's strength; they now presume upon their own without his. And the expedition fails accordingly; now the sentence began to be executed, that their carcases should fall in the wilderness. That affair can never end well, which begins with sin. The way to obtain peace with our friends, and success against our enemies, is, to have God, as our Friend, and to keep in his love. Let us take warning from the fate of Israel, lest we perish after the same example of unbelief. Let us go forth, depending on God's mercy, power, promise, and truth; he will be with us, and bring our souls to everlasting rest.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. 40-45. they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain—Notwithstanding the tidings that Moses communicated and which diffused a general feeling of melancholy and grief throughout the camp, the impression was of very brief continuance. They rushed from one extreme of rashness and perversity to another, and the obstinacy of their rebellious spirit was evinced by their active preparations to ascend the hill, notwithstanding the divine warning they had received not to undertake that enterprise.

for we have sinned—that is, realizing our sin, we now repent of it, and are eager to do as Caleb and Joshua exhorted us—or, as some render it, though we have sinned, we trust God will yet give us the land of promise. The entreaties of their prudent and pious leader, who represented to them that their enemies, scaling the other side of the valley, would post themselves on the top of the hill before them, were disregarded. How strangely perverse the conduct of the Israelites, who, shortly before, were afraid that, though their Almighty King was with them, they could not get possession of the land; and yet now they act still more foolishly in supposing that, though God were not with them, they could expel the inhabitants by their unaided efforts. The consequences were such as might have been anticipated. The Amalekites and Canaanites, who had been lying in ambuscade expecting their movement, rushed down upon them from the heights and became the instruments of punishing their guilty rebellion.

No text from Poole on this verse. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you,.... Having removed from the valley, Numbers 14:25; or else had detached a party to defend the pass on the top of the mountain, and where perhaps they designed to feign a retreat if they found it proper, and draw them into a combat in the valley:

and ye shall fall by the sword: by the sword of the Amalekites and Canaanites:

because ye are turned away from the Lord: from the word of the Lord, from hearkening to and obeying his command:

therefore the Lord will not be with you; the consequence of which must be bad for them.

For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
But for the purpose of giving to the whole congregation a practical proof of the solemnity of the divine threatening of punishment, the spies who had induced the congregation to revolt, through their evil report concerning the inhabitants of Canaan, were smitten by a "stroke before Jehovah," i.e., by a sudden death, which proceeded in a visible manner from Jehovah Himself, whilst Joshua and Caleb remained alive.
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