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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Numbers 14



Verse 1

lifted up their voice. Hebrew idiom "lifted up and gave their voice". Genesis 21:16. Psalms 18:13. Jeremiah 2:15. Psalms 104:12; Psalms 77:18. Habakkuk 3:10.

cried = cried aloud. What a contrast to Exodus 15:1, "Then sang". Compare Exodus 15:13-17, and note 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Verse 2

children = sons.

Would God. Figure of speech Eonismus. App-6.

Verse 3

wherefore. Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah.

were it not . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Verse 4

captain. At Horeb they made a "calf"; at Kadesh they would make a "captain". Two notable occasions.

Verse 6

Joshua . . . and Caleb. Only two out of twelve; only two out of the whole congregation. Let us heed the lesson, and take courage. 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Verse 7

exceeding. Hebrew "very, very". Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6.

Verse 8

If the LORD delight in us. This is the secret of all blessing. Deuteronomy 10:15. 2 Samuel 15:25, 2 Samuel 15:26; 2 Samuel 22:20. 1 Kings 10:9. Psalms 22:8; Psalms 147:10, Psalms 147:11. Isaiah 62:4.

Verse 9

defence. Hebrew = shadow. Note Figure of speech Ellipsis (App-6.) Literally "they [are] like our bread (= manna), their shadow hath turned aside from off them.". The manna when out of the shade melted, though hard (Compare Numbers 11:8 and Exodus 16:21): so the hearts of their enemies would melt away, not having Jehovah for their shadow, or defence. Compare Exodus 15:15. Joshua 2:9, Joshua 2:11. Isaiah 13:7; Isaiah 19:1. Ezekiel 21:7.

Verse 10

tabernacle = tent. Hebrew. "ohel. See App-40.

Verse 11

said. See note on Numbers 3:40.

How long . . . ? = to what point. Compare Numbers 14:27. Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Verse 13

from among. Figure of speech Pleonasm (App-6). = "out of the midst of".

Verse 14

face to face. Hebrew eye to eye.

Thy cloud. Compare Exodus 13:21.

Verse 15

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

Verse 17

my LORD = Jehovah. One of the 134 alterations of the Sopherim. See App-32. Many codices, and first printed edition, read "Jehovah".

Verse 18

The LORD = Jehovah. Quoted from Exodus 34:6; Exodus 20:5 with Exodus 34:7.

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.

iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44.

transgression. Hebrew. pasha. App-44. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Septuagint, read "transgression and sin", as in Exodus 34:7.

Verse 21

as I live. Hebrew "assuredly I live; and all the earth", &c. Compare Ezekiel 18:3; Ezekiel 20:33. Romans 14:11.

all the earth. First occurrence of this expression. Compare Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 11:9. Psalms 72:19. Habakkuk 2:14. Note the unconditional covenant.

Verse 22

men. Hebrew, plural of "ish or "enosh. App-14.

ten times. Not a "round" number:
(1) At Red Sea (
Exodus 14:11, Exodus 14:12).
(2) At Marah (
Exodus 15:23, Exodus 15:24).
(3) Wilderness of Sin (
Exodus 15:23, Exodus 15:24).
(4, 5) Twice about manna (
Exodus 16:20, Exodus 16:27).
(6) At Rephidim (
Exodus 17:1-3).
(7) At Horeb (golden calf) (Ex. 32).
(8) At Taberah (
Numbers 11:1).
(9) At Kibroth Hattaavah (
Numbers 11:4).
(10) Here, at Kadesh (
Numbers 14:2).

Verse 24

another = different. Compare Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:15, "otherwise". Compare Ephesians 4:23.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. Spirit put for motions of the mind and character (App-9).

Verse 27

How long . . . ? = to what time. Compare Numbers 14:11. Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

shall I bear with. Figure of speech Ellipsis. App-6.

Verse 28

as = according as.

so will I do. Psalms 95:11. Psalms 26:65; Psalms 32:11. Deuteronomy 1:35. Hebrews 3:17, Hebrews 3:18.

Verse 29

numbered. Compare Numbers 1:45 with Numbers 26:63-65.

Verse 30

I sware. Hebrew I lifted up my hand. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, put for swearing. Compare Numbers 14:21. Deuteronomy 32:40, &c.

Verse 31

ye said., Numbers 14:3. Compare Deuteronomy 1:39.

know = get to know, and enjoy. Septuagint = shall inherit.

Verse 33

wander = be wanderers.

whoredoms. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the punishment they produced, all caused by idolatry. Compare Jeremiah 3:9. Ezekiel 16:15-17. Exodus 34:15, Exodus 34:16. Leviticus 17:7.

Verse 34

forty days. See App-10. The number of Probation.

each day for a year. No universal law here: "day" means day, and "year" means year. See App-11.

breach = "my breach of promise (compare Numbers 14:42 and Numbers 14:43; [with which ye charge me] meaneth". Compare Deuteronomy 31:16, Deuteronomy 31:17. Zechariah 11:10. Romans 11:22; also Job 33:10.

Verse 35

said. See note on Numbers 3:40. Said on 26 Ab (fifth month, second year). The whole period is contained in Numbers (chapter) 15 and Numbers (chapter) 19; Numbers 33:19-36, inclusive. See App-50.

shall die. Aaron died on first day of fifth month of fortieth year, Numbers 20:28; Numbers 33:38. The second numbering took place after that.

Verse 36

men. Hebrew pi. of "ish or "enosh. App-14. These ten men died by a special plague at the time. Compare 1 Chronicles 13:10. 2 Samuel 6:7.

Verse 40

Lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

sinned. Hebrew. chat"a. App-44.

Verse 41

commandment. Hebrew "mouth". Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the word spoken by it.

Verse 44

presumed to go up = were presumptuous to go up. Compare idiom, Numbers 35:31. Genesis 2:3; Genesis 31:27. Deuteronomy 1:42, Deuteronomy 1:43.

Verse 45

Hormah = destruction.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 14:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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