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Monday, December 2 2013

Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?

"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"

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) fulfilled His promise to deliver the Israelites to the Promised Land, but they refused to enter (see Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land). Instead, they cried "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt."

"14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." (Numbers 14:1-4 KJV)

Moses faced a national mutiny (see Numbers 2: Israel's Battle Formation). Only Aaron, Joshua and Caleb are recorded as having stood with Moses. They alone "fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel." Moses nevertheless prevented their destruction, praying to the LORD, "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."

The Nile River

"14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 14:7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

14:10 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. 14:11 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 I have shewed among them? 14:12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

14:13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) 14:14 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. 14:15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, 14:16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.

14:17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, 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. 14:19 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." (Numbers 14:5-19 KJV)

The LORD did not destroy them, but He punished them by giving them what they asked for - to not enter the Promised land. Instead, they would be given to wander in the wilderness of the Sinai for forty years, until the entire adult generation of the Exodus had passed away (see the Fact Finder question below).

"14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

The Sinai Peninsula 14:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 14:27 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. 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 14:29 Your carcases 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, 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 14:31 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. 14:32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 14:34 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. 14:35 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." (Numbers 14:20-35 KJV)

The Israelites then rebelled again, by refusing to turn away from the land that they had refused to enter. Without the LORD fighting their battles (as He was going to do if they had entered the Promised Land), "They presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah."

"14:36 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, 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 14:38 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.

14:39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. 14:40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. 14:41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. 14:42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.

14:44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. 14:45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah." (Numbers 14:36-45 KJV)

Fact Finder: Would there have been a Book of Deuteronomy if the Israelites had entered the Promised Land at their first opportunity?
See Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses


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This Day In History, December 2

1254: Manfred, king of Sicily, defeated the Papal armies at the Battle of Foggia.

1547: Hernando Cortes, Spanish explorer, died at age 62.

1804: In the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Napoleon seized the crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII and crowned himself emperor. Napoleon then crowned Josephine as empress (see Emperors and Popes).

1805: The Battle of Austerlitz, also called the Battle of The Three Emperors, the first engagement of The War of The Third Coalition and one of Napoleon's most perfect victories. His 68,000 troops defeated almost 90,000 Russians and Austrians, forcing Austria to make peace with France (Treaty of Pressburg) and keeping Prussia temporarily out of the anti-France alliance. Napoleon lost 9,000 men, while Russia and Austria lost 15,000 killed and 11,000 captured.

Napoleon
1814: The Comte de Sade, also known as the Marquis de Sade, died. His sexual fetishes and writings about them led to his name becoming the origin of the term "sadism."

1823: U.S. President James Monroe declared his "Monroe Doctrine." It stated that the entire continents of North and South America were no longer open to colonization by any European (referring primarily to Britain, France or Spain) power. Ironically, while it was intended to prevent further imperialism by European nations, it marked the birth of "Imperial America" toward the rest of the world.

1848: Franz Josef became the emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.

1859: Abolitionist John Brown was hanged after a famous raid on a federal arsenal in Virginia.

1918: Armenia proclaimed independence from Turkey.

1942: In Chicago, scientists developed nuclear fission, the basis of the atomic bomb.

1946: Britain and the U.S. merged the German occupation zones in their sectors, which eventually became West Germany. The Russian sector became East Germany.

1954: Formerly-powerful Senator Joseph McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate for misconduct after his ruthless public "Red Scare" investigations of many thousands of people whose lives and careers were severely damaged or destroyed after they were publicly "blacklisted" after McCarthy falsely accused them of being communists. McCarthy died in 1957, at the age of 48, of liver failure caused by his alcoholism.

1958: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Benelux Treaty.

1971: The Soviet Mars 3 space probe landed on Mars.

1979: Iranian electors voted in favor of a new constitution giving absolute power to Ayatollah Khomeini.

1982: Barney Clark received the first permanent artificial heart transplant, developed by Dr. Robert K. Jarvik.

1990: Helmut Kohl was re-elected as Chancellor of Germany in the first all-Germany election since the time of Adolf Hitler.





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