14:3 Why has the Lord brought us into this land only to be killed by the sword, that our wives and our children should become plunder? Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 14:4 So they said to one another, 1 “Let’s appoint 2 a leader 3 and return 4 to Egypt.”
14:8 If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 5 14:9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. 6 Their protection 7 has turned aside from them, but the Lord is with us. Do not fear them!”
14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise 8 me, and how long will they not believe 9 in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them? 14:12 I will strike them with the pestilence, 10 and I will disinherit them; I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!”
14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 11 it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 12 of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 13 that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 14 this entire people at once, 15 then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 16 be great, just as you have said, 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 17 forgiving iniquity and transgression, 18 but by no means clearing 19 the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 20 14:19 Please forgive 21 the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 22 just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
14:20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 23 14:21 But truly, as I live, 24 all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 14:22 For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted 25 me now these ten times, 26 and have not obeyed me, 27 14:23 they will by no means 28 see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it. 14:24 Only my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully – I will bring him into the land where he had gone, and his descendants 29 will possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites were living in the valleys.) 30 Tomorrow, turn and journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”
14:39 When Moses told 31 these things to all the Israelites, the people mourned 32 greatly.
14:40 And early 33 in the morning they went up to the crest of the hill country, 34 saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place that the Lord commanded, 35 for we have sinned.” 36 14:41 But Moses said, “Why 37 are you now transgressing the commandment 38 of the Lord? It will not succeed! 14:42 Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, and you will be 39 defeated before your enemies. 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.”
14:44 But they dared 40 to go up to the crest of the hill, although 41 neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. 14:45 So the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country swooped 42 down and attacked them 43 as far as Hormah. 44
1 tn Heb “a man to his brother.”
2 tn The verb is נָתַן (natan, “to give”), but this verb has quite a wide range of meanings in the Bible. Here it must mean “to make,” “to choose,” “to designate” or the like.
3 tn The word “head” (רֹאשׁ, ro’sh) probably refers to a tribal chief who was capable to judge and to lead to war (see J. R. Bartlett, “The Use of the Word רֹאשׁ as a Title in the Old Testament,” VT 19 : 1-10).
4 tn The form is a cohortative with a vav (ו) prefixed. After the preceding cohortative this could also be interpreted as a purpose or result clause – in order that we may return.
5 tn The subjective genitives “milk and honey” are symbols of the wealth of the land, second only to bread. Milk was a sign of such abundance (Gen 49:12; Isa 7:21,22). Because of the climate the milk would thicken quickly and become curds, eaten with bread or turned into butter. The honey mentioned here is the wild honey (see Deut 32:13; Judg 14:8-9). It signified sweetness, or the finer things of life (Ezek 3:3).
6 sn The expression must indicate that they could destroy the enemies as easily as they could eat bread.
7 tn Heb “their shade.” The figure compares the shade from the sun with the protection from the enemy. It is also possible that the text is alluding to their deities here.
8 tn The verb נָאַץ (na’ats) means “to condemn, spurn” (BDB 610 s.v.). Coats suggests that in some contexts the word means actual rejection or renunciation (Rebellion in the Wilderness, 146, 7). This would include the idea of distaste.
9 tn The verb “to believe” (root אָמַן, ’aman) has the basic idea of support, dependability for the root. The Hiphil has a declarative sense, namely, to consider something reliable or dependable and to act on it. The people did not trust what the
10 tc The Greek version has “death.”
11 tn The construction is unusual in that we have here a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive with no verb before it to establish the time sequence. The context requires that this be taken as a vav (ו) consecutive. It actually forms the protasis for the next verse, and would best be rendered “when…then they will say.”
12 tn The singular participle is to be taken here as a collective, representing all the inhabitants of the land.
14 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect of מוּת (mut), וְהֵמַתָּה (vÿhemattah). The vav (ו) consecutive makes this also a future time sequence verb, but again in a conditional clause.
15 tn Heb “as one man.”
16 tc The form in the text is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay), the word that is usually used in place of the tetragrammaton. It is the plural form with the pronominal suffix, and so must refer to God.
17 tn The expression is רַב־חֶסֶד (rav khesed) means “much of loyal love,” or “faithful love.” Some have it “totally faithful,” but that omits the aspect of his love.
18 tn Or “rebellion.”
19 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the verbal activity of the imperfect tense, which here serves as a habitual imperfect. Negated it states what God does not do; and the infinitive makes that certain.
20 sn The Decalogue adds “to those who hate me.” The point of the line is that the effects of sin, if not the sinful traits themselves, are passed on to the next generation.
22 tn The construct unit is “the greatness of your loyal love.” This is the genitive of specification, the first word being the modifier.
23 tn Heb “forgiven according to your word.” The direct object, “them,” is implied.
25 tn The verb נָסָה (nasah) means “to test, to tempt, to prove.” It can be used to indicate things are tried or proven, or for testing in a good sense, or tempting in the bad sense, i.e., putting God to the test. In all uses there is uncertainty or doubt about the outcome. Some uses of the verb are positive: If God tests Abraham in Genesis 22:1, it is because there is uncertainty whether he fears the
26 tn “Ten” is here a round figure, emphasizing the complete testing. But see F. V. Winnett, The Mosaic Tradition, 121-54.
27 tn Heb “listened to my voice.”
28 tn The word אִם (’im) indicates a negative oath formula: “if” means “they will not.” It is elliptical. In a human oath one would be saying: “The
29 tn Heb “seed.”
30 sn The judgment on Israel is that they turn back to the desert and not attack the tribes in the land. So a parenthetical clause is inserted to state who was living there. They would surely block the entrance to the land from the south – unless God removed them. And he is not going to do that for Israel.
31 tn The preterite here is subordinated to the next preterite to form a temporal clause.
33 tn The verb וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ (vayyashkimu) is often found in a verbal hendiadys construction: “They rose early…and they went up” means “they went up early.”
34 tn The Hebrew text says literally “the top of the hill,” but judging from the location and the terrain it probably means the heights of the hill country.
35 tn The verb is simply “said,” but it means the place that the
36 sn Their sin was unbelief. They could have gone and conquered the area if they had trusted the
37 tn The line literally has, “Why is this [that] you are transgressing….” The demonstrative pronoun is enclitic; it brings the force of “why in the world are you doing this now?”
38 tn Heb “mouth.”
39 tn This verb could also be subordinated to the preceding: “that you be not smitten.”
40 tn N. H. Snaith compares Arabic ’afala (“to swell”) and gafala (“reckless, headstrong”; Leviticus and Numbers [NCB], 248). The wordעֹפֶל (’ofel) means a “rounded hill” or a “tumor.” The idea behind the verb may be that of “swelling,” and so “act presumptuously.”
41 tn The disjunctive vav (ו) here introduces a circumstantial clause; the most appropriate one here would be the concessive “although.”
42 tn Heb “came down.”
43 tn The verb used here means “crush by beating,” or “pounded” them. The Greek text used “cut them in pieces.”
44 tn The name “Hormah” means “destruction”; it is from the word that means “ban, devote” for either destruction or temple use.