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Thursday, February 28 2019

A Bible Journey, 131: The Sinai Sentence

New graphics to Library

"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, February 28

202 BC: Liu Bang became Emperor Gaozu of Han, beginning four centuries of the Han Dynasty of China (see also The First Chinese American War).

China

628 Persian King Khosrau II was assassinated (see also The Decrees Of The Persian Kings).

Persians

1066: Westminster Abbey opened. Originally an abbey church of Benedictine monks, it became a national shrine of Britain.

1525: Aztec King Cuauhtemoc was executed by the invasion forces of Hernan Cortes.

1638: The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.

1692: The Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria began (see also What Is Sorcery?).

Witch Trials

1759: Pope Clement XIII granted permission for the Bible to be translated into the languages of the Roman Catholic states - provided that it was read and "interpreted" only by Catholic priests.

1784: John Wesley of the Church of England established his "Methodist Church" (also known as "the Wesleyan faith" or "the Methodists").

1825: A treaty was signed between King George IV of Britain and Czar Nicholas I of Russia to establish the border between Canada and Russian America (the official Russian term for what is today known as Alaska). Russia sold the wilderness area to the U.S. in 1867, thereby making it the only U.S. territory in North America to not be seized by rebellion or military conquest.

Alaska

1843: The Great March Comet of 1843 made its closest approach to the sun, only 120,000 km., less than a tenth of the solar diameter. For a few hours that day, the comet outshone any comet seen in the previous 7 centuries. Burning in the daytime sky like a brilliant, tailed star less than 1 degree from the limb of the sun, the comet's astronomical magnitude may have reached -17, more than 60 times brighter than the full moon. The tail eventually reached a length of 68 degrees, 3 weeks after perihelion, estimated to have stretched 300,000,000 km. across the inner solar system. The last time a comet was seen that close to the sun was in 1106.

1844: On the Potomac River, the U.S. navy was demonstrating its new frigate Princeton when one of its guns exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas Gilmer and some other government officials.

1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), total ships sunk for the month by German submarines: 212.

1922: Britain declared Egypt's independence (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), while keeping control of the Suez Canal (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1940: British Colonial Secretary MacDonald terminated all further land sales to Jews in "Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine?). The move was officially intended to prevent arousing the Arabs, thereby destabilizing the region, which would have benefited Nazi Germany.

1940: The superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.

1948: The last British troops left India which had then become independent.

1954: The U.S. detonated its second hydrogen bomb, at Bikini atoll. The expected yield of the weapon of mass destruction was 8 megatons; the actual yield turned out to be 15 megatons (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).

1969: A Los Angeles court refused Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.

1974: The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after 7 years.

1993: The siege at Waco, Texas, began after U.S. federal agents tried to serve an arrest warrant for weapons charges on Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh.

1996: Russia entered as the 39th member of the Council of Europe.

1997: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 3,000 people.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI resigned - the first pope to do so since 1415.


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