Synopsis:The people complain and God gets angry and starts a fire that kills a bunch of people. That place is called Taberah. Others complain that they are hungry and are tired of eating manna (which is the size of a coriander seed) and they complain, once again, that they were better off in Egypt where they had fish, and juicy cucumbers and melons and leeks and onions and garlic. Moses and God are angry and Moses complains to God – why did you put me in charge of these people. It would have been better if you just killed me! God says, bring me 70 people to talk to. Tell everyone to sanctify themselves and I will give them so much meat they will be sick of it. They will have meat for a month. So, the 70 elders are called and they start prophesizing. However, 2 men in the camp also start prophesizing and Joshua (who is Moses’ servant) tells him to stop them. Moses responds by wishing everyone could talk to God directly. At which point God provides a bunch of quails which fall dead out of the sky into the camp. But when people start to eat them God gets mad and gives them deadly food poisoning. This place was called Kibrothhat taavah because that is where they buried the people with food poisoning. The rest of the congregation travels on to Hazeroth.
In other words:There is a fire in the camp. A bunch of people die. Others complain of having to eat Manna. Moses complains that he hates being in charge of all these complainers. God provides quails to eat but then gives everyone food poisoning and a bunch of people die. Moving on. The congregation moves on.
Favorite bit:Numbers 11:15 – Where Moses complains that the burden is too much and he would rather die than bear it.
Next favorite bit:Numbers 11: 5 This is the start of the complaint against eating manna. It’s nice because it’s so detailed.
What’s obvious?That this large of a group is not safe. There are very real health and safety issues and people were dying, in large numbers.
Moral Lesson:• Don’t eat road kill, it will give you food poisoning (Numbers 11:33)
• Fire safety important (Numbers 11:1)