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Numbers 11:21-23

Context

11:21 Moses said, “The people around me 1  are 600,000 on foot; 2  but you say, ‘I will give them meat, 3  that they may eat 4  for a whole month.’ 11:22 Would they have enough if the flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? If all the fish of the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?” 11:23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened? 5  Now you will see whether my word to you will come true 6  or not!”

1 tn Heb “the people who I am in their midst,” i.e., among whom I am.

2 tn The Hebrew sentence stresses the number. The sentence begins “600,000….”

3 tn The word order places the object first here: “Meat I will give them.” This adds to the contrast between the number and the statement of the Lord.

4 tn The verb is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the sequence from the preceding imperfect tense. However, this verb may be subordinated to the preceding to express a purpose clause.

5 sn This anthropomorphic expression concerns the power of God. The “hand of the Lord” is idiomatic for his power, what he is able to do. The question is rhetorical; it is affirming that his hand is not shortened, i.e., that his power is not limited. Moses should have known this, and so this is a rebuke for him at this point. God had provided the manna, among all the other powerful acts they had witnessed. Meat would be no problem. But the lack of faith by the people was infectious.

6 tn Or “will happen” (TEV); KJV “shall come to pass unto thee.”



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