Numbers 16:22
And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be wroth with all the congregation?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 16:22. The God of the spirits of all flesh — And this is no empty title here, but very emphatical. Thou art the Maker of spirits, destroy not thy own workmanship. O thou who art the preserver of men, and of their spirits, the Lord of spirits, (Job 12:10,) who, as thou mayest justly destroy this people, so thou canst preserve whom thou pleasest; the Father of spirits, the souls. Deal mercifully with thy own children: the Searcher of spirits, thou canst distinguish between those who have maliciously raised this tumult, and those whose ignorance and simple credulity hath made them a prey to crafty seducers. Of all flesh — Of all mankind: the word flesh is often put for men. One man — Korah, the ringleader of this division.16:16-22 The same glory of the Lord that appeared to place Aaron in his office at first, Le 9:23, now appeared to confirm him in it; and to confound those who set up against him. Nothing is more terrible to those who are conscious of guilt, than the appearance of the Divine glory. See how dangerous it is to have fellowship with sinners, and to partake with them. Though the people had treacherously deserted them, yet Moses and Aaron approved themselves faithful shepherds of Israel. If others fail in their duty to us, that does not take away the obligations we are under to seek their welfare. Their prayer was a pleading prayer, and it proved a prevailing one.Wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? - i. e. "blind them to the fact that you keep none of your promises;" "throw dust in their eyes." 22. they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh—The benevolent importunity of their prayer was the more remarkable that the intercession was made for their enemies. Of the spirits, i.e. of souls, as the word spirit in Scripture is oft used, as Psalm 31:5 77:3 Proverbs 17:22 Ecclesiastes 12:7 Luke 23:46 Acts 7:59. And this is no empty title here, but very emphatical and argmmentative, thus, Thou art the Maker of spirits, Zechariah 12:1, destroy not thy own workmanship, Isaiah 64:8. O thou who art the preserver of men, and of their spirits; the Lord of spirits, Job 12:10; who as thou mayst justly destroy this people, so thou canst preserve whom thou pleasest: the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9; O deal mercifully with thy own children: the Searcher of spirits, thou canst distinguish between those who have maliciously raised this tumult, and those whose ignorance and simple credulity hath made them a prey to crafty seducers.

Of all flesh, i.e. of all mankind: the word flesh is put for men, as Genesis 6:13 Job 12:10 Isaiah 40:5,6 Eze 20:48 21:4,5.

One man, to wit, Korah, the ringleader of this sedition. And they fell upon their faces,.... That is, Moses and Aaron, in order to deprecate the wrath of God, and beseech him to avert the threatened judgment; and so the Targum of Jonathan has it,"they bowed themselves in prayer upon their faces;"

and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh; the Maker of all men, as of their bodies, which are flesh, so of their souls or spirits, which are immaterial and immortal; hence he is called "the Father of spirits", Hebrews 12:9, who, as the Targum, puts the spirit in the bodies of men; or, as others, who knows the spirits of men; their thoughts, as Jarchi, the inward frames and dispositions of their minds; who knows who have sinned, and who not; and whether their sins proceed from weakness, and being misled, or whether from a malevolent disposition, presumption, and self-will:

shall one man sin: meaning Korah, who was the ringleader:

and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? who, through ignorance and weakness, and by artifice and imposition, are drawn in to join with him; the plea is much the same with that of Abraham, Genesis 18:25.

And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. the God of the spirits of all flesh] The God who made and sustains the life of every human being. In early days Jehovah was thought of as the particular deity of Israel alone. But by the time of the priestly writer the nation had long advanced to the deeper and truer conception of monotheism.

shall one man sin] i.e. Korah. The words very clearly imply that Dathan and Abiram do not belong to the narrative.Verse 22. - O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh. אֵל ךאלֹחֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָ־בָּשָׂר. The ruach is the spirit of life which the Creator has imparted unto perishable flesh, and made it live. In some sense it belongs to beasts as well as to men (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 21); but in the common use of the word men only are thought of, as having received it by a special communication of a higher order (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Moses, therefore, really appeals to God, as the Author and Giver of that imperishable life-principle which is lodged in the mortal flesh of all men, not to destroy the works of his own hands, the creatures made in his own image. Here we have in its germ that idea of the universal fatherhood of God which remained undeveloped in Jewish thought until Judaism itself expanded into Christianity (cf. Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8, 9; Acts 17:26, 29). Shall one man sin. Rather, "the one man (הָאִישׁ) hath sinned," i.e., Korah, who had misled all the rest. In conclusion, he summoned Korah and his associates once more, to present themselves the following day before Jehovah with censers and incense.
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