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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)From twenty years old and upward.—Rashi thinks that these words were employed to show that the Levites who were numbered from a month old and upwards were not included in the general sentence of destruction, and hence that it is no just cause of astonishment that some of them, as, e.g., Eleazar, should have entered the land of Canaan.Numbers 14:45 : the Canaanites, a term here taken in its wider sense, were the Amorites of the neighboring cities (compare Numbers 14:45 with Deuteronomy 1:44), who probably lived in league with the Amalekites.Numbers 14:2, and the Lord here declares they should, which is signified by the falling of their carcasses in it, or their bodies, which when dead fall to the ground, having no strength to support themselves:
and all that were numbered of you: but a few months before this time, when their number was 603,550, Numbers 1:46,
according to your number from twenty years old and upward; which is observed, as Jarchi thinks, to except the Levites, for they were not numbered with the other tribes; and when they were numbered by themselves, their number was taken from a month old and upwards; wherefore it need not be wondered at, if we find that there were of them who did not fall in the wilderness, but entered into the land of Canaan, as it is certain Eleazar the priest, the son of Aaron, did, Numbers 34:17,
which have murmured against me; which shows, that not the spies only, who caused the people to murmur, but the people themselves who murmured, and had been numbered, from twenty years old and upward, are the evil congregation the Lord thus threatened with death.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. all that were numbered] in the census (ch. 1). The Levites, however, were not included in that census (Numbers 1:47), and the priestly writer probably assumed that the sentence of death in the wilderness did not apply to them. Aaron’s son Eleazar succeeded his father as high priest on the borders of Canaan, and he must certainly have been over 20 years of age at this time, since he acted in a responsible position as priest before the departure from Sinai (see Numbers 3:3 f., 32, Numbers 4:16).Verse 29. - All that were numbered of you... from twenty years old (cf. Numbers 1:18, 19, 47). All that had been enrolled as the soldiers of the Lord, to fight his battles and their own, but had refused, and had incurred the guilt of mutiny. Exodus 32:34). And that day had now arrived, as the people had carried their continued rebellion against the Lord to the furthest extreme, even to an open declaration of their intention to depose Moses, and return to Egypt under another leader, and thus had filled up the measure of their sins. "Nevertheless," added the Lord (Numbers 14:21, Numbers 14:22), "as truly as I live, and the glory of Jehovah will fill the whole earth, all the men who have seen My glory and My miracles...shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers." The clause, "all the earth," etc., forms an apposition to "as I live." Jehovah proves Himself to be living, by the fact that His glory fills the whole earth. But this was to take place, not, as Knobel, who mistakes the true connection of the different clauses, erroneously supposes, by the destruction of the whole of that generation, which would be talked of by all the world, but rather by the fact that, notwithstanding the sin and opposition of these men, He would still carry out His work of salvation to a glorious victory. The כּי in Numbers 14:22 introduces the substance of the oath, as in Isaiah 49:18; 1 Samuel 14:39; 1 Samuel 20:3; and according to the ordinary form of an oath, אם in Numbers 14:23 signifies "not." - "They have tempted Me now ten times." Ten is used as the number of completeness and full measure; and this answered to the actual fact, if we follow the Rabbins, and add to the murmuring (1) at the Red Sea, Exodus 14:11-12; (2) at Marah, Exodus 15:23; (3) in the wilderness of Sin, Exodus 16:2; (4) at Rephidim, Exodus 17:1; (5) at Horeb, Exodus 32; (6) at Tabeerah, Numbers 11:1; (7) at the graves of lust, Numbers 11:4.; and (8) here again at Kadesh, the twofold rebellion of certain individuals against the commandments of God at the giving of the manna (Exodus 16:20 and Exodus 16:27). The despisers of God should none of them see the promised land.
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