1 Now the people were seek- ing a quarrel with Yahweh. Yahweh heard and his anger was aroused. A fire from Yahweh flared out against them and burned the outer part of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses and he interceded for them to Yahweh and the fire died out. 3 They called the place Ta be rah, because the fire of Yahweh was inflamed against them.
4 Now the rabble that was among them had greedy desires and even the Israelites wept and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We re member the fish we ate without cost in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and garlic. 6 Now our appetite is gone; there’s no thing to look at, nothing but manna.”
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bede l lium. 8 The people went about gathering it up and then ground it between millstones or pounded it in a mortar. They boiled it in a pot and made cakes with it which tasted like cakes made with oil. 9 As soon as dew fell at night in the camp, the manna came with it.
10 Moses heard the people crying, family by fami ly at the entrance to their tent and Yahweh became very angry.
10 This displeased Moses. 11 Then Mo ses said to Yahweh, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Is it because you do not love me that you burdened me with this people? 12 Did I conceive all these people and did I give them birth? And now you want me to carry them in my bosom as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their fathers? 13 Where would I get meat for all these people, when they cry to me saying: ‘Give us meat that we may eat?’ 14 I cannot, myself alone, carry all these people; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 Kill me rather than treat me like this, I beg of you, if you look kindly on me, and let me not see your anger.”
16 Yahweh said to Moses, “Assem ble seventy men from the elders of Israel whom you recognize as elders and men of authority over them and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them take their stand there with you. 17 I shall come down to speak with you and I shall take some of the spirit that is in you and put it in them. From now on they will share with you the burden of the people so that no longer will you bear it alone.
18 You shall say to the people of Israel: Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of Yah weh, saying: Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt! Yahweh will give you meat and 19 you shall eat, not only one day, or two, or five or ten or twenty days 20 but a whole month until it comes out of your nostrils and be comes loathsome to you. For you have rejected Yahweh who is in your midst and have wept before him saying: Why did we ever leave Egypt?”
21 And Moses said, “The people I am with are six hundred thousand on foot and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat and they shall eat it for a whole month!’ 22 Will sheep and cattle be slaughtered in sufficient number for them? All the fish of the sea would not be enough for them.”
23 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Is Yah weh’s arm shortened? Now you shall see whether or not my word is true.”
The spirit given to the elders
24 Moses then went out and told the people what Yahweh had said. He assembled seventy men from among the elders and placed them round about the Tent. 25 Yahweh came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the spirit that was upon him and put it on the seventy elders. Now when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this they did not do again.
26 Two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad, the name of the other Medad. How ever, the spirit came on them for they were among those who were registered though they had not gone out to the Tent. As they prophesied inside the camp, 27 a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 Joshua, the son of Nun, who ministered to Moses from his youth said, “My lord Moses, stop them!”
29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? Would that all Yahweh’s people were prophets and that Yahweh would send his spirit upon them!” 30 Then Moses and all the elders of the people returned to the camp.
31 A wind arose, sent by Yahweh, that drove in quails from the sea and let them down beside the camp covering the distance of a day’s walk on one side and almost a day’s walk on the other side around the camp; they were about three feet deep on the ground.
32 The people spent that day, the whole night and all the next day gathering the quail. He who gathered the least had ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves around the camp. 33 The meat was still be tween their teeth when already the anger of Yahweh was kindled against the people and he struck them with a very severe plague.
34 That place was named Kibroth-hattaavah because there they buried these greedy people. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people moved on towards Hazeroth where they remained.