Neither murmur ye
Against the true apostles of Christ, and faithful ministers of the word; nor against the laws and ordinances of Christ, or providences of God; so some of the members of this church did, or were inclined to do:
as some of them also murmured:
as against the Lord, so against Moses and Aaron. The people of Israel were very prone unto, and often guilty of this sin; but what the apostle here has respect unto, is either their murmuring upon the report the spies made of the good land, in ( Numbers 14:1-5 ) , or that of Korah and his company against Moses and Aaron, as principal officers, who were for setting all upon a level; and of all the people against them, for the death of these men, ( Numbers 16:1-35 ) ,
and were destroyed of the destroyer;
meaning either some judgment of God upon them, as the earth's opening and swallowing up Korah and all that belonged unto him; and the fire that came down from heaven, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense; and the plague which swept away fourteen thousand and seven hundred of those that murmured against Moses and Aaron, on the account of the death of the said persons; and any other judgment by which the carcasses of those fell in the wilderness, that murmured upon the report of the spies; or else since angels were usually employed by God, in inflicting such judgments, by the destroyer may be meant an angel, such an one as smote the firstborn in Egypt, and bears the same name, ( Hebrews 11:28 ) and as smote Israel with a pestilence upon David's numbering the people, and was about to have destroyed Jerusalem, had he not been restrained, ( 2 Samuel 24:15 2 Samuel 24:16 ) and as, smote an hundred fourscore and five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians, in one night, ( 2 Kings 19:35 ) . So that though an angel may be intended, it is not necessary, on account of the character given him, to understand an evil angel; it is true indeed, that Satan is by the Jews
F1 called (tyxvmh) , "the destroyer"; and Samuel, the same with Satan, is called "the angel of death"; to which the allusion is in ( Hebrews 2:14 ) and evil angels are frequently styled (hlbx ykalm) , "destroying angels" F2; as distinct from ministering ones, and to which some think the apostle here refers.