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Eldad and Medad
by Wayne Blank
"I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them"
The seventy elders were originally chosen from among the tribes of Israel to assist Moses when he became overworked to the point that he couldn't cope with all of the people's demands upon him any further. The Lord gave them the Holy Spirit, the same as He had given to Moses:
"And The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] said unto Moses [see also The Education Of Moses], Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone." (Numbers 11:16-17 KJV)
When two of the Seventy Elders, Eldad and Medad, seemed to be too zealous for the liking of those who were jealous for Moses' sake, the relieved-of-a-too-heavy-burden Moses assured them that all was well:
"And Moses went out, and told the people the words of The Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tabernacle. And The Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."
Just before the people of Israel were formally given the Ten Commandments (God's people knew and observed The Decalogue long before that, in fact, always before that, before there were even any Israelites - see the Fact Finder question below) the seventy elders accompanied Moses, Aaron, Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu, and Joshua part way up onto Mount Sinai where all of them "saw God, and did eat and drink":
"And He said unto Moses, Come up unto The Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near The Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him."
Fact Finder: Were God's Ten Commandments something new at Mount Sinai?