Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, we have sinned,
&c.] Being bitten with serpents, and some having died, the rest were frightened, and came and made an humble acknowledgment of their sins to Moses:
for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee;
murmuring at their being brought out of Egypt, and because they had no better provision in the wilderness; concluding they should die there for want, and never enter into the land of Canaan, of which evils they were now sensible, and confessed them:
pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us;
or "the serpent" F3, in the singular, which is put for the plural, as it often is; or the plague of the serpent, as the Targum of Jonathan, that it might cease, and they be no more distressed by them: they were sensible they came from God, and that none could remove them but him; and knowing that Moses was powerful in prayer, and had interest with God, they entreat him to be their intercessor, though they had spoken against him and used him ill:
and Moses prayed for the people;
which proves him to be of a meek and forgiving spirit; who, though he had been so sadly reflected on, yet readily undertakes to pray to God for them.