But there remained two [of the] men in the camp
Of the seventy who were summoned, that came not out of the camp of Israel to the tabernacle when the rest did:
the name of the one [was] Eldad, and the name of the other Medad:
who, according to the Targum of Jonathan, were brethren of Moses by his mother's side; for it says, they were the sons of Elizaphan the son of Parnac, whom Jochebed the daughter of Levi brought forth at the time that Amram her husband dismissed her, and she was married to him before she brought forth Moses; but it is elsewhere said F18, that Elizaphan married her after the death of Amram; and Eldad and Medad were born unto them:
and the Spirit rested upon them;
as it did upon the rest of the seventy that came to the tabernacle; these two had the same gifts of the Spirit bestowed upon them as they had:
and they [were] of them that were written;
among the seventy whose names were put down in the summons Moses gave them to attend the tabernacle; for as for the notion of the Jews about schedules and pieces of paper put into an urn to draw lots with, there is no foundation in the text:
but went not out unto the tabernacle;
out of the camp to it, when they were summoned to come together; which they declined, as is commonly said, out of modesty, thinking themselves unfit for such an high office; and therefore, as Saul hid himself among the stuff when he was about to be chosen king, so did they, or something like it: the Targum of Jonathan is express for it, which adds, because they hid themselves to flee from government; but the Spirit of God found them out, and filled them with his gifts, and constrained them to prophesy, whereby they were discovered:
and they prophesied in the camp;
perhaps in a private manner, it may be in their own houses; which, how it came to be known is after related: what they prophesied of cannot be said; according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and other Jewish writers F19, they prophesied of the quails, and of the death of Moses, and the succession of Joshua, of Gog and Magog, and their armies, and of their destruction by the Messiah, and of the resurrection of the dead; but these are things not to be depended on.
F18 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 1.
F19 Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 17. 1. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc.