Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down.
So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat!
We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.
But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"
The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin.
The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a handmill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. And it tasted like something made with olive oil.
When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.
He asked the LORD, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?
Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, 'Give us meat to eat!'
I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.
If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now--if I have found favor in your eyes--and do not let me face my own ruin."
The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
"Tell the people: 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, "If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!" Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it.
You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days,
but for a whole month--until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it--because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?" ' "
But Moses said, "Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!'
Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?"
The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent.
Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.
However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.
A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!"
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 on them!"
Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day's walk in any direction.
All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp.
But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.
Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.
From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.
"Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this.
(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out.
Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward,
he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.
When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam--leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy;
and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.
Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother's womb with its flesh half eaten away."
So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!"
The LORD replied to Moses, "If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back."
So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.
After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer.
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,
for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.
If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.