The people soon began to complain to the LORD about their hardships; and when the LORD heard them, his anger blazed against them. Fire from the LORD raged among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp.
The people screamed to Moses for help; and when he prayed to the LORD, the fire stopped.
After that, the area was known as Taberah -- "the place of burning" -- because fire from the LORD had burned among them there.
Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt, and the people of Israel also began to complain. "Oh, for some meat!" they exclaimed.
"We remember all the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic that we wanted.
But now our appetites are gone, and day after day we have nothing to eat but this manna!"
The manna looked like small coriander seeds, pale yellow in color. a8
The people gathered it from the ground and made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like they had been cooked in olive oil.
The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.
Moses heard all the families standing in front of their tents weeping, and the LORD became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.
And Moses said to the LORD, "Why are you treating me, your servant, so miserably? What did I do to deserve the burden of a people like this?
Are they my children? Am I their father? Is that why you have told me to carry them in my arms -- like a nurse carries a baby -- to the land you swore to give their ancestors?
Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep complaining and saying, 'Give us meat!'
I can't carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy!
I'd rather you killed me than treat me like this. Please spare me this misery!"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Summon before me seventy of the leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle b to stand there with you.
I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone."
"And tell the people to purify themselves, for tomorrow they will have meat to eat. Tell them, 'The LORD has heard your whining and complaints: "If only we had meat to eat! Surely we were better off in Egypt!" Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will have to eat it.
And it won't be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty.
You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the LORD, who is here among you, and you have complained to him, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"'"
But Moses said, "There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you promise them meat for a whole month!
Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Is there any limit to my power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!"
So Moses went out and reported the LORD's words to the people. Then he gathered the seventy leaders and stationed them around the Tabernacle. c25
And the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. He took some of the Spirit that was upon Moses and put it upon the seventy leaders. They prophesied as the Spirit rested upon them, but that was the only time this happened.
Two men, Eldad and Medad, were still in the camp when the Spirit rested upon them. They were listed among the leaders but had not gone out to the Tabernacle, so they prophesied there in the camp.
A young man ran and reported to Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!"
Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' personal assistant since his youth, protested, "Moses, my master, make them stop!"
But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them all!"
Then Moses returned to the camp with the leaders of Israel.
Now the LORD sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall into the camp and all around it! For many miles in every direction from the camp there were quail flying about three feet above the ground. d32
So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels e ! They spread the quail out all over the camp.
But while they were still eating the meat, the anger of the LORD blazed against the people, and he caused a severe plague to break out among them.
So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah -- "the graves of craving" -- because they buried the people there who had craved meat from Egypt.
From there the Israelites traveled to Hazeroth, where they stayed for some time.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)