Numbers 14:13-19

13 Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them.
14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,
16 ‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared:
18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

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Numbers 14:13-19 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter treats or the murmurings of the children of Israel upon the evil report of the spies, which greatly distressed Moses and Aaron, Nu 14:1-5; and of the endeavours of Joshua and Caleb to quiet the minds of the people with a good account of the land, and of the easy conquest of it, but to no purpose, Nu 14:6-10; and of the Lord's threatening to destroy the people with the pestilence, Nu 14:11,12; and of the intercession of Moses for them, which so far succeeded as to prevent their immediate destruction, Nu 14:13-20; nevertheless they are assured again and again, in the strongest terms, that none of them but Joshua and Caleb should enter into the land, but their carcasses should fall in the wilderness, even all the murmurers of twenty years old and upwards, Nu 14:21-35; and the ten men that brought the evil report of the good land died of a plague immediately, but the other two lived, Nu 14:36-38; and the body of the people that attempted to go up the mountain and enter the land were smitten and discomfited by their enemies, after they had with concern heard what the Lord threatened them with, Nu 14:39-45.

Cross References 13

  • 1. Exodus 32:11-14; Psalms 106:23
  • 2. Exodus 15:14
  • 3. Numbers 5:3; Numbers 16:3; Joshua 2:9
  • 4. Deuteronomy 5:4; Deuteronomy 34:10
  • 5. S Exodus 33:16
  • 6. S Exodus 13:21
  • 7. Numbers 11:12
  • 8. Exodus 32:12; Joshua 7:7
  • 9. S Exodus 20:6; Exodus 34:6; Psalms 145:8; John 4:2; James 5:11
  • 10. Exodus 20:5
  • 11. S Exodus 34:9; 1 Kings 8:34; Psalms 85:2; Psalms 103:3
  • 12. Psalms 106:45
  • 13. Psalms 78:38
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