Numbers 14:2-3

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?”

Numbers 14:2 in Other Translations

KJV
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
ESV
2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!
NLT
2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained.
MSG
2 All the People of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The entire community was in on it: "Why didn't we die in Egypt? Or in this wilderness?
CSB
2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness!

Numbers 14:2-3 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 14

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.

Numbers 14:2-3 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.
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes

Cross References 7

  • 1. S Exodus 15:24; Hebrews 3:16
  • 2. S Exodus 16:3
  • 3. S Numbers 11:1; Numbers 16:13; Numbers 20:4; Numbers 21:5
  • 4. S Exodus 5:21
  • 5. ver 31
  • 6. S Genesis 34:29; Deuteronomy 1:39; Psalms 109:11; Isaiah 33:4; Ezekiel 7:21; Ezekiel 25:7; Ezekiel 26:5
  • 7. Acts 7:39
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