Numbers 14:3

3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Numbers 14:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
ESV
3 Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?"
NLT
3 “Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”
MSG
3 Why has God brought us to this country to kill us? Our wives and children are about to become plunder. Why don't we just head back to Egypt? And right now!"
CSB
3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

Numbers 14:3 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 14:3

Wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land
Unto the borders of it: their murmuring did not cease at Moses and Aaron, the instruments, but proceeded against God himself, who had done such wonderful things for them, not only in bringing them out of Egypt, but since they had been in the wilderness; and yet so ungrateful to complain of him and argue with him about favours bestowed on them, as if they were injuries done to them; and particularly as if God had no other intention in bringing them out of Egypt to the place where they were, but

to fall by the sword:
the sword of the Canaanites, as the Targum of Jonathan adds:

that our wives and our children shall be a prey?
to the same people; they supposed they should be killed, their wives abused, and their children made slaves of:

were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
and so escape the hands of the inhabitants of Canaan, of whom they had terrible apprehensions from the report made of them.

Numbers 14:3 In-Context

1 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.
2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!
3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Exodus 5:21
  • 2. ver 31
  • 3. S Genesis 34:29; Deuteronomy 1:39; Psalms 109:11; Isaiah 33:4; Ezekiel 7:21; Ezekiel 25:7; Ezekiel 26:5
  • 4. Acts 7:39