Numbers 21:5

5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Numbers 21:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
ESV
5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food."
NLT
5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”
MSG
5 They spoke out against God and Moses: "Why did you drag us out of Egypt to die in this godforsaken country? No decent food; no water - we can't stomach this stuff any longer."
CSB
5 The people spoke against God and Moses: "Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!"

Numbers 21:5 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 21:5

And the people spake against God
Who went before them in the pillar of cloud and fire, for leading them in such a way; that is, against Christ, as the apostle has taught us to interpret it, ( 1 Corinthians 10:9 ) , and is no inconsiderable proof of the deity of Christ; and so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it,

``and the people thought in their heart, and spake against the Word of the Lord,''

the essential Word and Son of God:

and against Moses;
his servant, for obeying the orders of the Lord, and leading and guiding the people as he directed him:

wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?
ascribing this equally to God and to Moses; using a strange word, as Aben Ezra calls it, being in a great passion, and not considering well what they said; showing great ingratitude for such a mercy, and representing it in a wrong light, as if the intent of bringing them from thence was to slay them in the wilderness:

for [there] is no bread;
no bread corn, nothing in the wilderness to make bread of; nothing that they called and accounted bread, otherwise they had manna, as is presently owned:

neither [is there] any water;
any fresh water fit to drink, otherwise they were near the sea; what they had from the rock, lately, perhaps was now spent, and it did not follow them as the other rock had:

and our soul loatheth this light bread;
the manna; this very light, this exceeding light bread, the radicals of the word F17 used being doubled, which increases the signification: if to be understood of light and easy digestion, it was the more to be valued; but perhaps they meant, it had but little substance and virtue in it, and was not filling and satisfying; or rather that it was exceeding vile, mean, and despicable; so they called the bread of heaven, angel's food, this wonderful gift of Providence; in like manner is Christ, the hidden manna, treated, and his Gospel, and the precious truths of it, by unregenerate men and carnal professors, ( 1 Corinthians 1:23 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F17 (lqlqh) "levissime", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Fagius, Vatablus; "vilissimi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Numbers 21:5 In-Context

3 The LORD listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;
5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.
7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Psalms 78:19
  • 2. Numbers 11:20
  • 3. S Exodus 14:11; Numbers 14:2,3
  • 4. Numbers 20:5
  • 5. S Numbers 11:5; Numbers 11:6