But all the congregation bade stone them with stones
Namely, Joshua and Caleb, who had made such a faithful report of the good land, and had delivered such an animating and encouraging speech to the people. This is not to be understood of the body of the people, and of all the individuals thereof, for who then should they bid to stone Joshua and Caleb? unless the sense is, that they stirred up and animated one another to it; but rather it means the princes and heads of the congregation, who commanded the common people to rise up and stone them; for notwithstanding the affecting behaviour of Moses and Aaron, and the arguments of Joshua and Caleb, they still persisted in their mutiny and rebellion, until the Lord himself appeared as he did:
and the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the
congregation, before all the children of Israel;
the Shechinah, or divine Majesty, which dwelt between the cherubim in the most holy place, came into the court of the tabernacle; for neither in the holy nor in the most holy place could the people see it, or the token of it: in ( Deuteronomy 31:15 ) it is said, "the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle"; and Noldius F19 renders it here, "and the glory of the Lord appeared above the tabernacle of the congregation"; with which agree the Targum of Jonathan and the Vulgate Latin and Septuagint versions; and so Jarchi says, the cloud descended there, and from thence very probably some coruscations, or flashes of lightning came forth, which plainly showed the Lord was there; and this was done to terrify the people, and restrain them from their evil, purposes; and to encourage the servants of the Lord, who hereby might expect the divine protection.
F19 Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 164. No. 737.