10. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
10. Tunc dixit tota multitudo, ut eos lapidibus obruerent: et gloria Jehovae apparuit in tabernaculo conventionis omnibus filiis Israel.
11. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke. me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which! have showed among them?
11. Tunc dixit Jehova ad Mosen, Usquequo vilipendet me populus iste? et usquequo non credent mihi in cunctis signis quae feci in medio eorum?
12. I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
12. Percutiam cum peste, expellamque eum: te autem faciam in gentem magnam et robustiorem eo.
13. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it; (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
13. Et dixit Moses ad Jehovam, Atqui audient AEgyptii (quia eduxisti in virtute tua populum istum e medio ejus:)
14. And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou, Lord, art among this people; that thou, Lord, art seen face to face; and that thy cloud standeth over them; and that thou goest before them, by day-time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
14. Dicentque habitatori terrae ejus, qui audierunt quod tu Jehova sis, in medio hujus populi: quandoquidem oculo ad oculum visus sis tu Jehova: et nubes tua steterit super eos, et in columna nubis praecesseris eos per diem, et in columna ignis per noctem.
15. Now, if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations, which have heard the fame of thee, will speak, saying,
15. Si interfeceris populum hunc quasi virum unum, tunc dicent gentes quae audierint famam tuam.
16. Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
16. Quia absque potentia est Jehova, ut introducat populum istum in terram, quam juravit eis, ideo mactavit eos in deserto.
17. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
17. Et nunc magnificetur quaeso fortitudo Domini mei, sicut loquutus es, dicens:
18. The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
18. Jehova tardus ad iram, et multae misericordiae, tollens iniquitatem et peccatum, et innocentem non faciens: visitans iniquitatem patrum in filios super tertiam et quartam generationem.
19. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
19. Propitius esto agedum iniquitati populi hujus, secundum magnitudinem clementiae tuae, sicut remisisti populo huic ex AEgypto usque nunc.
20. And the Lord said, I have pardoned, according to thy word:
20. Tune dixit Jehova, Peperci secundum sermonem tuum.
21. But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
21. Veruntamen vivo ego, et replebit gloria mea universam terram.
22. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles which I did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
22. Quoad cunctos homines qui viderunt gloriam meam, et signa mea quae edidi in AEgypto, et deserto, et tentaverunt me jam decem vicibus, nec paruerunt voci meae:
23. Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
23. Si videbunt terram, de qua juravi patribus eorum, omnes, inquam, qui me irritaverunt, non videbunt eam.
24. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
24. At servum meum Caleb, eo quod alius fuit spiritus cum eo, et adimplevit ire post me, ipsum quoque introducam in terram quam ingressus est, et semen ejus haereditate accipiet eam.
25. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness, by the way of the Red sea.
25. Amalec et Chananaeus habitat in valle: cras revertimini et proficiscimini in desertum via maris Suph.
26. And the Lord spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
26. Loquutus est itaque Jehova ad Mosen et Aharon, dicendo:
27. How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
27. Usque quo congregationem hanc perversam feram, quae murmurat adversum me? murmurationes filiorum Israel, quibus ipsi murmurant contra me, audivi.
28. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
28. Dic ergo eis, Vivo ego, dicit Jehova, nisi quemadmodum loquuti estis in auribus meis sic fecero vobis.
29. Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
29. In deserto isto cadent cadavera vestra, et omnes numerati vestri, secundum omnem numerum vestrum, a filio viginti annorum et supra, qui murmurastis contra me.
30. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land concerning which I swore to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
30. Si vos ingrediemini terram de qua levavi manum meam, ut habitare vos facerem in ea: praeter Caleb filium Jephuneh, et Jehosua filium Nun.
31. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
31. Ac parvulos vestros, de quibus dixistis, In praedam erunt, ipsos introducam: et cognoscent terram istam quam despexistis.
32. But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness.
32. Cadavera autem vestra cadent in deserto hoc.
33. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.
33. Et filii vestri pastores erunt in deserto hoc quadraginta annis: et portabunt scortationes vestras donec consumantur cadavera vestra in deserto.
34. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, (each day for a year,) shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years; and ye shall know my breach of promise.
34. Secundum numerum dierum quibus explorastis terram quadraginta diebus, unoquoque die pro anno uno, portabitis iniquitates vestras in deserto, et cognoscetis vanitatem meam.
35. I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
35. Ego Jehova loquutus sum, Si non hoc fecero universae congregationi huic perversae, quae congregata est adversum me, in deserto isto consumentur, ibique morientur.
36. And the men which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
36. Viri itaque illi quos miserat Moses ad explorandam terram, qui reversi murmurare fecerant adversus eum cunctam congregationem, detrahendo terrae:
37. Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.
37. Morientur viri illi qui terrae detraxerunt, plaga coram Jehova.
38. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still,
38. Jehosua vero filius Nun, et Caleb filius Jephuneh vivent, ex hominibus illis qui profecti sunt ad explorandam terram.
The denunciation of their final punishment follows, together with a statement of the atrocity of their crime; for the particle "How long" indicates its long continuance, as well as the enduring patience of God. He had, indeed, punished others severely, but only for example's sake, in order that the name of their race should remain undestroyed, whereas he now declares that He will deal with them as. with persons in a desperate condition, who cease not to make a mock of His patience. Hence we are taught, that, although God is placable in His nature, still the hope of pardon is deservedly cut off from unbelievers, who are so obdurate as that tie produces no effect upon them by His hand, or by His countenance, or His word. he then briefly adverts to the use of the signs, viz., that their object was, that the knowledge or experience of them should awaken hopes of success.
If the apparent contradiction offends any one, that God should declare the people to be cast off, when it was already decreed that tie would pardon them, a reply may be sought from elsewhere in three words; for God does not here speak of His secret and incomprehensible counsel, but only of the actual circumstances, showing what the people had deserved, and how horrible was the vengeance which impended, 2 in respect to their wicked and detestable revolt, since it was not His design to keep Moses back from earnest prayer, but to put the sincerity of his piety and the fervency of his zeal to the proof. And, in fact, he does not contravene the prohibition, except upon the previous exhibition of some spark of faith. See Exodus 32.
Since I have expounded the 18th verse elsewhere, 3 let my readers refer to that place.
But how is it consistent for Him to declare that He had spared those, upon whom He had determined to inflict the most extreme punishment, and whom He deprived of their promised inheritance? I reply that the pardon in question was not granted to the individuals, but to their race and name. For the opinion of some is unnatural, who think that they were released from the penalty of eternal death, and thence that God was propitiated towards them, because He was contented with their temporal punishment. I do not doubt, then, but that Moses was so far heard, as that the seed of Abraham should not be destroyed, and the covenant of God should not fail For He so dispensed the pardon as to preserve their posterity uninjured, whilst He inflicted on the unbelievers themselves the reward of their rebellion. Thus the conditions of the pardon were of no advantage to the impious rebels, though they opened a way for the faithful fulfillment of His promise.
God complains that He had been "tempted" by them "ten times;" because they had not ceased constantly to provoke Him by their frowardness; for it is no fixed or definite number, which is intended, but God would merely indicate that they had done so without measure or end. We have elsewhere 4 shown what it is to tempt God, viz., to subject His power to the narrow rule of our own senses, and to prescribe to Him the mode in which He is to act, according to our own desires: so as to defer to Him no further than our carnal reason dictates. The source and cause of this tempting of God is subjoined, i.e., when men refuse to listen to His voice; since nothing but obedience, which is the mistress of humility, can restrain our insolence.
"Unto whom I swore in my wrath, that they
shall not enter into my rest." 9
It was necessary that their stolidity should be thus aroused, lest, when God was so greatly provoked, they should still continue self-satisfied, according to their went. He aggravates their punishment by another circumstance, i.e., that, they were to be deprived of the inheritance which He had sworn to give to Abraham; for the lifting up of the hand 10 (as I have said elsewhere) was a form of oath; just as if God were called down from heaven by the outstretched hand to be witness and judge: and, although this does not indeed literally apply to God, still we know that He commonly transfers to Himself the things that belong to men. Moreover, this was a most severe reproof, that they by their wickedness and self-will should nullify a promise, which God had ratified by an oath, in so far, at least, as its fulfillment affected themselves: for He points out immediately afterwards that, although they had rejected the proffered blessing, he would still be true; and would bestow on their little ones that which they had refused for themselves. It is thus that God tempers His judgments against those hypocrites, who falsely profess to honor His name, so as to preserve a seed for the propagation of His Church: nor is He ever so severe towards the reprobate, as to fail in sustaining His mercy towards His elect. Nay, He here declares that Hie will be gracious towards their children, as a means of inflicting punishment on the fathers. It was an indirect accusation of God, when they lamented over their children, as if they were to be carried away as "a prey;" whereas, God promises that they shall be the possessors of the land, in order to reprove this wicked blasphemy.
"My lodging is departed as a shepherd's tent." 13
In short, He declares that they shall be wandering and unsettled, and lead a life, like shepherds conducting their flocks from place to place.
He calls the wicked rebellions, whereby they had corrupted themselves, metaphorically "whoredoms;" for, from the time that God had espoused them to Himself, their true chastity would have been to embrace His grace in sincere faith, and at the same time to devote themselves to His service; but by rejecting tits pure worship, they had broken their sacred marriage-vow like gadding harlots.
This example teaches us how God visits the iniquities of the fathers on their children, and yet chastises no one undeservedly; since the descendants here referred to, 14 although atoning for the fault of others, were still by no means innocent themselves. But in the judgments of God there is always a deep abyss, into which if you fear to be plunged, adore that which it is not lawful to question. Nevertheless, there is no doubt but that thus also God provided for the welfare of those, towards whom He appeared to show some marks of severity. For He waited not only until they had grown up, but also, as was advantageous to themselves, until they had attained the strength of manhood, and until a new generation had sprung up. He assigns a second reason why He postponed the fulfillment of His promise for forty years, viz., that tie might repay the ill-spent days by as many years. Having, then, spoken of their children, He again returns to the actual criminals themselves, who were to be consumed in all that long period of time, as if by a lingering disease. The noun
1 A.V., "How long will this people provoke, me?" V. "Usquequo detrahet mihi populus iste?" Ainsworth says, "provoke me, or despite, blaspheme, contemptuously provoke me. So the Apostle expoundeth this word blaspheme, in Romans 2:24, from Isaiah 52:5; and it implieth also a contempt or despising, Proverbs 1:30; 15:5; Isaiah 5:24."
2 "Et quelle punition luy seroit apprestee, si Dieu se vouloit venger d'une revolte si detestable;" and what punishment would be prepared for them, if God chose to take vengeance on so detestable a revolt. -- Fr.
6 "This other spirit was the spirit of faith, which the Law cannot give, (Galatians 3:2) -- the spirit of adoption of sons, not of bondage to fear again, Romans 8:14, 15. By the guidance of this spirit, Caleb constantly followed the Lord, and obtained the promised inheritance." -- Ainsworth.
7 "The Lord spoke therefore to Moses," etc. -- Lat.
8 "Pathetica interrogatio." -- Lat. "Or, Dieu use d'un proeme vehement a la facon d'un homme passione;" now, God uses a vehement exordium, after the fashion of an angry man. -- Fr.
11 Lat., "shall be shepherds." Margin A.V., "or feed."
12 "Il entend qu'ils seront errans comme estrangers, ayant tousiours un pied leve, et nul arrest;" he means that they shall wander as strangers, having one foot always lifted, and without any stay. -- Fr.
13 A.V., "Mine age is departed, etc." A. Barnes's translation pretty nearly agrees with that of C., which he defends in the following note: "The word
14 "Ayant porte la paste au four (comme on dit) pour le peche de leurs peres;" having carried the dough to the oven (as they say) for the sin of their fathers. -- Fr.
15 A.V., "My breach of promise. Margin, Or, altering of my purpose." Fr., "Mensonge."
16 "Sinon qu'on aimast mieux prendre ce mot en temps passif, Vous cognoistrez men aneantissement: pource que le peuple s'estoit efforce d'abolir Dieu;" unless it be preferred to take this word in a passive sense, You shall know my annihilation; because the people had striven to annihilate God. -- Fr.
17 It will be seen that C.'s own translation is, "coram Deo;" but the V. renders the words, "in conspectu Domini."
18 A.V. concludes the denunciation of the Almighty at ver. 35. C. continues it to the end of ver. 38; and hence arose the necessity for changing the tenses. Vatablus and the Geneva version agree with C.; Dathe with A.V.