Números 11

1 The people complained out loud to Jehovah about their troubles. Jehovah heard them and he became angry. Fire from Jehovah burned among them. It destroyed some people on the outskirts of the camp.

2 The people cried out to Moses. Moses prayed to Jehovah! And the fire died down.

3 That place was called Taberah Fire because fire from Jehovah burned among them there.

4 Some foreigners among the Israelites had a strong craving for other kinds of food. Even the Israelites cried again and said: »If only we had meat to eat!

5 »Remember all the free fish we ate in Egypt and the cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions, and garlic we had?

6 »Now we have lost our appetite! Everywhere we look there is nothing but manna!«

7 Manna was small like coriander seeds and looked like resin.

8 The people would gather it and then grind it in a hand mill or crush it in a mortar. They would cook it in a pot or make round loaves of bread out of it. It tasted like rich sweet pastry made with oil.

9 When dew fell on the camp at night, manna fell with it.

10 Moses heard people from every family cry at the entrance to their tents. Jehovah became very angry. Moses did not like it either.

11 So he asked: »Jehovah, why have you brought me this trouble? How have I displeased you that you put the burden of all these people on me?

12 »Am I their mother? Did I give birth to them? Are you really asking me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries a baby, all the way to the land you promised their ancestors with an oath?

13 »Where can I get meat for all these people? They continually cry for me to give them meat to eat.

14 »I am not able to take care of all these people by myself. This is too much work for me!

15 »If you treat me like this have pity on me and kill me. That way I will not have to endure my shame any longer.«

16 Jehovah replied to Moses: »Assemble seventy respected men who are recognized as elders of the people. Bring them to me at the tent of my presence, and tell them to stand there beside you.

17 »I will come down and speak with you there. I will take some of the spirit I have given and give it to them. Then they can help you bear the responsibility for these people. You will not have to bear it alone.

18 »Tell the people: ‘Purify yourselves for tomorrow. You will have meat to eat! Jehovah has heard you whining and saying that you wished you had some meat and that you were better off in Egypt. Jehovah will now give you meat, and you will have to eat it.

19 »‘You will have to eat it not just for one or two days, or five, or ten, or even twenty days.

20 »‘You will eat it for a whole month, until it comes out of your nose, until you are sick of it. This will happen because you have rejected Jehovah who is here among you and have complained to him that you should not have left Egypt.’«

21 Moses said to Jehovah: »Here I am leading six hundred thousand people, and you say that you will give them enough meat for a month?«

22 »Could enough cattle and sheep even be killed to satisfy them? Are all the fish in the sea enough for them?

23 »Is there a limit to my power?« Jehovah answered. »You will soon see whether what I have said will happen or not!«

24 Thus Moses went out and told the people what Jehovah said. He assembled seventy of the leaders and placed them around the tent.

25 Jehovah came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the spirit he had given to Moses and gave it to the seventy elders. When the Spirit came on them, they began to shout like prophets, but not for long.

26 Two of the seventy elders, Eldad and Medad, stayed in the camp and did not go out to the tent. There in the camp the Spirit came on them, and they too began to shout like prophets.

27 A young man ran out to tell Moses what Eldad and Medad were doing.

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ helper since he was a young man, spoke up and said to Moses: »Stop them, sir!«

29 Moses asked him: »Do you think you need to stand up for me? I wish all Jehovah’s people were prophets and that Jehovah would put his Spirit on them!«

30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel went back to the camp.

31 Jehovah sent a wind from the sea that brought quails and dropped them all around the camp. There were quails on the ground about three feet deep as far as you could walk in a day in any direction.

32 All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered the quails. No one gathered less than sixty bushels. Then they spread the quails out all around the camp.

33 While the meat was still in their mouths, before they had even had a chance to chew it, Jehovah became angry with the people and struck them with a severe plague.

34 That place was called Kibroth Hattaavah Graves of Those Who Craved Meat because they buried the people who had a strong craving for meat there.

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people moved to Hazeroth, where they stayed.