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Numbers 14:27-30

Context
14:27 “How long must I bear 1  with this evil congregation 2  that murmurs against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites that they murmured against me. 14:28 Say to them, ‘As I live, 3  says 4  the Lord, I will surely do to you just what you have spoken in my hearing. 5  14:29 Your dead bodies 6  will fall in this wilderness – all those of you who were numbered, according to your full number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me. 14:30 You will by no means enter into the land where 7  I swore 8  to settle 9  you. The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

1 tn The figure is aposiopesis, or sudden silence. The main verb is deleted from the line, “how long…this evil community.” The intensity of the emotion is the reason for the ellipsis.

2 sn It is worth mentioning in passing that this is one of the Rabbinic proof texts for having at least ten men to form a congregation and have prayer. If God called ten men (the bad spies) a “congregation,” then a congregation must have ten men. But here the word “community/congregation” refers in this context to the people of Israel as a whole, not just to the ten spies.

3 sn Here again is the oath that God swore in his wrath, an oath he swore by himself, that they would not enter the land. “As the Lord lives,” or “by the life of the Lord,” are ways to render it.

4 tn The word נְאֻם (nÿum) is an “oracle.” It is followed by the subjective genitive: “the oracle of the Lord” is equal to saying “the Lord says.”

5 tn Heb “in my ears.”

sn They had expressed the longing to have died in the wilderness, and not in war. God will now give them that. They would not say to God “your will be done,” so he says to them, “your will be done” (to borrow from C. S. Lewis).

6 tn Or “your corpses” (also in vv. 32, 33).

7 tn The relative pronoun “which” is joined with the resumptive pronoun “in it” to form a smoother reading “where.”

8 tn The Hebrew text uses the anthropomorphic expression “I raised my hand” in taking an oath.

9 tn Heb “to cause you to dwell; to cause you to settle.”



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