Numbers 14:9
Only rebel not you against the LORD, neither fear you the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
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(9) Their defence is departed from them.—Literally, their shadow. This is a natural and frequently recurring figure of speech in the East, where protection from the scorching rays of the sun is a boon of incalculable worth. (Comp. Genesis 19:8; Psalm 17:8; Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 30:2.) The measure of the iniquity of the Canaanites was now full, and they were ripe for

destruction. (Comp. Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:25; Leviticus 20:23.)

14:5-10 Moses and Aaron were astonished to see a people throw away their own mercies. Caleb and Joshua assured the people of the goodness of the land. They made nothing of the difficulties in the way of their gaining it. If men were convinced of the desirableness of the gains of religion, they would not stick at the services of it. Though the Canaanites dwell in walled cities, their defence was departed from them. The other spies took notice of their strength, but these of their wickedness. No people can be safe, when they have provoked God to leave them. Though Israel dwell in tents, they are fortified. While we have the presence of God with us, we need not fear the most powerful force against us. Sinners are ruined by their own rebellion. But those who, like Caleb and Joshua, faithfully expose themselves for God, are sure to be taken under his special protection, and shall be hid from the rage of men, either under heaven or in heaven.Their defense - literally, "their shadow," i. e. their shelter as from the scorching sun: an Oriental figure. Compare the marginal references. 9. their defence is departed—Hebrew, "their shadow." The Sultan of Turkey and the Shah of Persia are called "the shadow of God," "the refuge of the world." So that the meaning of the clause, "their defence is departed from them," is, that the favor of God was now lost to those whose iniquities were full (Ge 15:16), and transferred to the Israelites. They are bread for us; we shall destroy them as easily as we do our bread or common food. Compare Numbers 24:8 Psalm 14:4.

Their defence, i.e. their counsel, conduct, and courage, and especially God, who was pleased to afford them his protection till their iniquities were full, Genesis 15:16, is utterly departed from them, and hath given them up as a prey to us.

The Lord is with us, by his special grace and almighty power, to save us from them; and from all our enemies. Only rebel not ye against the Lord,.... Nothing, it is suggested, could hinder them from the, possession of it but their rebellion against the Lord; which might provoke him to cut them off by his immediate hand, or to deliver them into the hands of their enemies; for rebellion is a dreadful sin, and highly provoking, 1 Samuel 15:23,

neither fear ye the people the land; on account of their number, strength, the walled cities they dwell in; they had nothing to fear from them, so be it they feared the Lord, and were not disobedient to him:

for they are bread for us; as easy to be cut to pieces, and to be devoured, consumed, and destroyed as thoroughly, as bread is when eaten; and their fields, vineyards, all they have without and within, even all their substance, will be a prey to us, and furnish out sufficient provision for us, on which we may pleasantly and plentifully live, as on bread: see Psalm 14:4,

their defence is departed from them; they had no heart nor spirit left in them; no courage to defend themselves, and therefore the strength of their bodies and their walled towns would be of no avail unto them; see Joshua 2:9; or "their shadow" (r), which covered and protected them, the providence of God which was over them, and continued them in the land, and quiet possession of it, until the measure of their iniquity was filled up, and the time come for his people Israel to inhabit it; but now it was departed:

and the Lord is with us; as was evident by the cloud upon the tabernacle, and by the manna being spread around their camp every morning: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are,"the Word of the Lord is for our help:"

fear them not; the Canaanites, notwithstanding the strength of their bodies, or of their cities, the Lord is mightier than they.

(r) "umbra eorum", Montanus, Tigurine version, Fagius, Vatablus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are {e} bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

(e) We shall easily overcome them.

9. they are our bread] i.e. we shall swallow them up, annihilate them; cf. Psalm 14:4 = Psalm 53:4, Numbers 24:8.

their defence] Lit. ‘shadow’ (as R.V. marg. states); a common metaphor of great significance in a hot country; see Jdg 9:15, Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 32:2, and the name Bezalel (Exodus 31:2) which denotes ‘in the shadow of El (God).’ The passage means that the gods in whom the Canaanites trust will be powerless against Jehovah the God of Israel. Cf. Deuteronomy 32:31 ‘their rock is not as our Rock.’Verse 9. - They are bread for us. "They are our food," i.e., we shall easily devour them (cf. Numbers 24:8; Psalm 14:4). Perhaps it has the further significance that their enemies would be an absolute advantage to them, because they would (however unwillingly) supply them with the necessaries of life. So apparently the Septuagint: μὴ φοβηθῆτε τὸν λαὸν τῆς γῆς ὅτι κατάβρωμα ὑμῖν ἐστιν. <ΒΤΤ·Ξομμενταρψ Ωορδ>Their defense is departed from them. Literally, "their shadow," that which shielded them for a while from the fierce blast of Divine wrath. This "shadow" was not positively the Divine protection (as in Psalm 91:1, and elsewhere), but negatively that Providence which left them a space wherein to walk in their own ways (cf. τὸ κατέχον of 2 Thessalonians 2:6). Uproar among the People. - Numbers 14:1-4. This appalling description of Canaan had so depressing an influence upon the whole congregation (cf. Deuteronomy 1:28 : they "made their heart melt," i.e., threw them into utter despair), that they raised a loud cry, and wept in the night in consequence. The whole nation murmured against Moses and Aaron their two leaders, saying "Would that we had died in Egypt or in this wilderness! Why will Jehovah bring us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should become a prey (be made slaves by the enemy; cf. Deuteronomy 1:27-28)? Let us rather return into Egypt! We will appoint a captain, they said one to another, and go back to Egypt."
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