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Numbers Chapter 11 | Parsha: Be-ha'alotekha

1The people took to complaining bitterly before the Lord. The Lord heard and was incensed: a fire of the Lord broke out against them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses. Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. 3That place was named Taberah, because a fire of the Lord had broken out against them.
ten thousands of the families of Israel!”

4The riffraff in their midst felt a gluttonous craving; and then the Israelites wept and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish that we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6Now our gullets are shriveled. There is nothing at all! Nothing but this manna to look to!”

7Now the manna was like coriander seed, and in color it was like bdellium. 8The people would go about and gather it, grind it between millstones or pound it in a mortar, boil it in a pot, and make it into cakes. It tasted like rich cream. 9When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall upon it.

10Moses heard the people weeping, every clan apart, each person at the entrance of his tent. The Lord was very angry, and Moses was distressed. 11And Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You dealt ill with Your servant, and why have I not enjoyed Your favor, that You have laid the burden of all this people upon me? 12Did I conceive all this people, did I bear them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries an infant,’ to the land that You have promised on oath to their fathers? 13Where am I to get meat to give to all this people, when they whine before me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I cannot carry all this people by myself, for it is too much for me. 15If You would deal thus with me, kill me rather, I beg You, and let me see no more of my wretchedness!”

16Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy of Israel’s elders of whom you have experience as elders and officers of the people, and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them take their place there with you. 17I will come down and speak with you there, and I will draw upon the spirit that is on you and put it upon them; they shall share the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear it alone. 18And say to the people: Purify yourselves for tomorrow and you shall eat meat, for you have kept whining before the Lord and saying, ‘If only we had meat to eat! Indeed, we were better off in Egypt!’ The Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. 19You shall eat not one day, not two, not even five days or ten or twenty, 20but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you. For you have rejected the Lord who is among you, by whining before Him and saying, ‘Oh, why did we ever leave Egypt!’”

21But Moses said, “The people who are with me number six hundred thousand men; yet You say, ‘I will give them enough meat to eat for a whole month.’ 22Could enough flocks and herds be slaughtered to suffice them? Or could all the fish of the sea be gathered for them to suffice them?” 23And the Lord answered Moses, “Is there a limit to the Lord’s power? You shall soon see whether what I have said happens to you or not!”

24Moses went out and reported the words of the Lord to the people. He gathered seventy of the people’s elders and stationed them around the Tent. 25Then the Lord came down in a cloud and spoke to him; He drew upon the spirit that was on him and put it upon the seventy elders. And when the spirit rested upon them, they spoke in ecstasy, but did not continue.

26Two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, had remained in camp; yet the spirit rested upon them—they were among those recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent—and they spoke in ecstasy in the camp. 27A youth ran out and told Moses, saying, “Eldad and Medad are acting the prophet in the camp!” 28And Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ attendant from his youth, spoke up and said, “My lord Moses, restrain them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord put His spirit upon them!” 30Moses then reentered the camp together with the elders of Israel.

31A wind from the Lord started up, swept quail from the sea and strewed them over the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on that side, all around the camp, and some two cubits deep on the ground. 32The people set to gathering quail all that day and night and all the next day—even he who gathered least had ten homers—and they spread them out all around the camp. 33The meat was still between their teeth, nor yet chewed, when the anger of the Lord blazed forth against the people and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague. 34That place was named Kibroth-hattaavah, because the people who had the craving were buried there.

35Then the people set out from Kibroth-hattaavah for Hazeroth.

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