Verse 25. But murmured in their tents. From unbelief to murmuring is a short and natural step; they even fell to weeping when they had the best ground for rejoicing. Murmuring is a great sin and not a mere weakness; it contains within itself unbelief, pride, rebellion, and a whole host of sins. It is a home sin, and is generally practised by complainers "in their tents," but it is just as evil there as in the streets, and will be quite as grievous to the Lord.
And hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. Making a din with their own voices, they refused attention to their best Friend. Murmurers are bad hearers.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 25. But murmured. Murmuring! It must have been a malady characteristic of the Hebrew people, or a disease peculiar to that desert. As we proceed with this narrative we are constantly meeting it, creaking along in discord harsh and chronic, or amazing earth and heaven by its shrill ear piercing paroxysms. They lift up their eyes, and as the Egyptians pursue, the people murmur. They come to a fountain, the water is bitter, and once more they murmur. Then no bread; murmurings redoubled. Moses is no longer in the Mount; murmurs. He takes too much upon him; more murmurs. When shall we reach that promised land? -- murmurs extraordinary, loud murmurs. We are close to the land, but its inhabitants are giants, and their towns walled up to heaven. Oh, what a take in! and the last breath of the last survivors of that querulous race goes forth in a hurricane of reproach and remonstrance -- a perfect storm of murmurs. --James Hamilton (1814-1867) in "Moses the man of God."
Verse 25. The murmuring on this occasion seems to have been a social evil, they murmured in their tents. So do men in social life promote among each other prejudice and aversion to true religion. --W. Wilson.