Numbers 16:28
And Moses said, Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind.
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(28) To do all these works.—i.e., to bring the people out of the land of Egypt, to exchange the first-born for the Levites, to consecrate Aaron and his sons to the priesthood, and generally to declare the will of the Lord to the people.

Numbers 16:28. All these works — As the bringing of the people out of Egypt; the conducting of them through the wilderness; the exercising authority among them; and giving laws to them concerning the priesthood.16:23-34 The seventy elders of Israel attend Moses. It is our duty to do what we can to countenance and support lawful authority when it is opposed. And those who would not perish with sinners, must come out from among them, and be separate. It was in answer to the prayer of Moses, that God stirred up the hearts of the congregation to remove for their own safety. Grace to separate from evil-doers is one of the things that accompany salvation. God, in justice, left the rebels to the obstinacy and hardness of their own hearts. Moses, by Divine direction, when all Israel were waiting the event, declares that if the rebels die a common death, he will be content to be called and counted an imposter. As soon as Moses had spoken the word, God caused the earth to open and swallow them all up. The children perished with their parents; in which, though we cannot tell how bad they might be to deserve it, or how good God might be otherwise to them; yet of this we are sure, that Infinite Justice did them no wrong. It was altogether miraculous. God has, when he pleases, strange punishments for the workers of iniquity. It was very significant. Considering how the earth is still in like manner loaded with the weight of man's sins, we have reason to wonder that it does not now sink under its load. The ruin of others should be our warning. Could we, by faith, hear the outcries of those that are gone down to the bottomless pit, we should give more diligence than we do to escape for our lives, lest we also come into their condemnation.Stood in the door of their tents - Apparently in contumacious defiance. 28-34. Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works—The awful catastrophe of the earthquake which, as predicted by Moses, swallowed up those impious rebels in a living tomb, gave the divine attestation to the mission of Moses and struck the spectators with solemn awe. All these works, to wit, which I have done, and for which I am traduced by these and such like wicked men, as the bringing of the people out of Egypt; the conducting of them through, and the keeping of them so long in, the wilderness; the exercising of power and authority among and over them; giving of laws to them, as about other things, so concerning the priesthood, which is the ground of the present quarrel; and, that which vexeth them most, that when they were upon the borders of Canaan, and ready to enter in, I should cause them to go back into this vast howling wilderness, and fix them there for forty years.

Of mine own mind; by pretending or usurping an authority which God gave me not; by feigning words or messages from God to establish my own inventions, and to comply with my own will or lust or interest, as I am now accused to have done. For this phrase, see Numbers 24:13 Ezekiel 13:2. And Moses said, hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works,.... To bring the people of Israel out of Egypt, to exchange the firstborn for the Levites, to make Aaron and his sons priests, to give the Levites to them, and to set Elizaphan over the Kohathites, things which these men found fault with, and questioned his authority for doing them:

for I have not done them of my own mind; or "not out of my heart" (q); he had not devised them himself, and done them of his own head, and in any arbitrary way, without the will of God or any authority from him, as these men suggested.

(q) "quod non de corde meo", Pagninus, Montanus.

And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own {l} mind.

(l) I have not invented them from my own brain.

Verse 28. - Nor I have not done them of mine own mind. Literally, "that not of my heart", כִּיאּלֹא מִלִּבּי. Septuagint, ὅτι οὐκ ἀπ ἐμαυτου . The next day the rebels presented themselves with censers before the tabernacle, along with Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation also assembled there at the instigation of Korah. The Lord then interposed in judgment. Appearing in His glory to the whole congregation (just as in Numbers 14:10), He said to Moses and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from this congregation; I will destroy them in a moment." By assembling in front of the tabernacle, the whole congregation had made common cause with the rebels. God threatened them, therefore, with sudden destruction. But the two men of God, who ere so despised by the rebellious faction, fell on their faces, interceding with God, and praying, "God, Thou God of the spirits of all flesh! this one man (i.e., Korah, the author of the conspiracy) hath sinned, and wilt Thou be wrathful with all the congregation?" i.e., let Thine anger fall upon the whole congregation. The Creator and Preserver of all beings, who has given and still gives life and breath to all flesh, is God of the spirits of all flesh. As the author of the spirit of life in all perishable flesh, God cannot destroy His own creatures in wrath; this would be opposed to His own paternal love and mercy. In this epithet, as applied to God, therefore, Moses appeals "to the universal blessing of creation. It is of little consequence whether these words are to be understood as relating to all the animal kingdom, or to the human race alone; because Moses simply prayed, that as God was the creator and architect of the world, He would not destroy the men whom He had created, but rather have mercy upon the works of His own hands" (Calvin). The intercession of the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 64:8, is similar to this, though that is founded upon the special relation in which God stood to Israel.
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