Wanton Longings
Numbers 11:4
And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said…

See the wantonness and delicacy of sinful flesh, it must have this, it must have that to pamper and feed it in pleasure. What may be had is loathed, and what cannot be had, that is longed for, and nothing more than that. But very wisely doth the heathen Aristotle advise all men to look upon pleasures when they go, not when they come; for when they come with their faces towards us, they deceive us with a fair flattering show, but when they go and turn their backs, then cometh repentance, woe, and grief, not a little, many times. Just as the Spirit of God saith by the mouth of Solomon, "Even in laughing the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness"; that is, the allurement unto sin seemeth sweet, but the end thereof is destruction. Wanton pleasure is like the fire or flame of the candle, which shining bright delighteth a child, but when he hath put his finger into it, then it burneth, and the child crieth. By little and little groweth grief, but in the end it killeth, so stealingly pleasure creepeth upon us, but in the end overthroweth all love of virtue. Wilt thou live in a right fashion? Who would not? Then if virtue only can grant this to thee, stout and strong, tend this and omit pleasures. For they that will well defend a city, do not only watch what foes be without, but as warily they observe that there be no traitors within. So men and women that love virtue, they look to the gates, which are the outward senses, and they look within, to the inward affections, lest by the one, as by wickets, evil enter, lest by the other, as by torches lighted, fires and flames do follow. The epicure said to himself, "Eat, drink, play, for there is no pleasure after death." But well doth the poet before mentioned in an epistle tax him, saying, "Thou hast played enough, thou hast eaten enough and drank, it is time for thee now to go hence." As if he had said, "Part thou must in time with all thy pleasures and be gone, therefore think of it ere it be too late." Sardanapalus is said to have caused to be written on his grave to this effect: "What I did eat that I had, and what I left, that I lost." Which Cicero justly reprehendeth, saying, "What else should a man hath written upon an ex his grave? Pleasure infecteth and poisoneth all our senses, being a trim but a deceiving harlot; deceiving us by her voice, by her look, and by her attire, that is, every way." How many hath gluttony and the belly, how many hath filthy lust destroyed!

(Bp. Babington.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

WEB: The mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, "Who will give us flesh to eat?

The Mixed Multitude
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