The People Rebel

14 Then all the congregation [a]raised their voices and cried out, and the people wept [b]that night. And all the sons of Israel (A)grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the entire congregation said to them, “(B)If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or even if we had died in this wilderness! So why is the Lord bringing us into this land (C)to fall by the sword? (D)Our wives and our little ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “(E)Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!”

(F)Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “(G)The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. (H)If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—(I)a land which flows with milk and honey. Only (J)do not rebel against the Lord; and do not (K)fear the people of the land, for they will be our [c]prey. Their [d]protection is gone from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” 10 (L)But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then (M)the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.

Moses Pleads for the People

11 (N)And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people be disrespectful to Me? And how long will (O)they not [e]believe in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst? 12 I will strike them with [f](P)plague and dispossess them, and I (Q)will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.”

13 (R)But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought this people up from their midst, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are in the midst of this people, because (S)You, Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You put this people to death [g]all at once, (T)then the nations who have heard of Your fame will [h]say, 16 ‘Since the Lord (U)could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17 So now, please, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, saying, 18 (V)The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in mercy, forgiving wrongdoing and violation of His Law; but (W)He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, (X)inflicting the [i]punishment of the fathers on the children [j]to the third and the fourth generations.’ 19 Please (Y)forgive the guilt of this people in accordance with the greatness of Your mercy, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

The Lord Pardons and Rebukes

20 So the Lord said, “(Z)I have forgiven them in accordance with your word; 21 however, (AA)as I live, [k](AB)all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 22 Certainly (AC)all the people who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet (AD)have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 (AE)shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who were disrespectful to Me see it. 24 But as for My servant Caleb, (AF)because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, (AG)I will bring him into the land which he [l]entered, and his [m]descendants shall take possession of it. 25 (AH)Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way of the [n]Red Sea.”

26 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron again, saying, 27 “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who are (AI)grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel which they are [o]voicing against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘(AJ)As I live,’ declares the Lord, ‘just as (AK)you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you; 29 (AL)your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, all (AM)your [p]numbered men according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30 By no means will you come into the land where I [q]swore to settle you, (AN)except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 (AO)Your children, however, whom you said would become plunder—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. 32 (AP)But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Also, your sons will be shepherds in the wilderness for (AQ)forty years, and they will [r]suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your bodies perish in the wilderness. 34 In accordance with the (AR)number of days that you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall suffer the punishment for your [s]guilt a year, that is, forty years, and you will know My opposition. 35 (AS)I, the Lord, have spoken, I certainly will do this to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. They shall be worn out in this wilderness, and there they shall die.’”

36 (AT)As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, and who returned and led all the congregation to grumble against him by bringing a bad report about the land, 37 (AU)those men who brought the bad report of the land also died by a (AV)plague in the presence of the Lord. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

Israel Repulsed

39 Now when Moses spoke (AW)these words to all the sons of Israel, (AX)the people mourned greatly. 40 In the morning, however, they got up early and went up to the [t]ridge of the hill country, saying, “(AY)Here we are; and we will go up to the place which the Lord has [u]promised, for [v]we have sinned.” 41 But Moses said, “(AZ)Why then are you (BA)violating the [w]command of the Lord, when doing so will not succeed? 42 (BB)Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, [x]to prevent you from being defeated [y]by your enemies. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there [z]to confront you, and you will fall by the sword, since you have turned back from following the Lord. And the Lord will not be with you.” 44 But they foolishly dared to go up to the [aa]ridge of the hill country; neither (BC)the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses left the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and scattered them as far as (BD)Hormah.


  1. Numbers 14:1 Lit raised and gave their voice
  2. Numbers 14:1 Lit in that
  3. Numbers 14:9 Lit food
  4. Numbers 14:9 Lit shadow
  5. Numbers 14:11 Or trust in
  6. Numbers 14:12 Lit the plague
  7. Numbers 14:15 Lit as one man
  8. Numbers 14:15 Lit say, saying
  9. Numbers 14:18 I.e., punishment for the wrongdoing
  10. Numbers 14:18 Lit on
  11. Numbers 14:21 Lit and all
  12. Numbers 14:24 Lit entered there
  13. Numbers 14:24 Lit seed
  14. Numbers 14:25 Lit Sea of Reeds
  15. Numbers 14:27 Lit complaining
  16. Numbers 14:29 Lit mustered
  17. Numbers 14:30 Lit raised My hand
  18. Numbers 14:33 Lit bear
  19. Numbers 14:34 Or wrongdoings
  20. Numbers 14:40 Or top of the mountain
  21. Numbers 14:40 Lit said
  22. Numbers 14:40 I.e., by lacking faith to go
  23. Numbers 14:41 Lit mouth
  24. Numbers 14:42 Lit so that you are not
  25. Numbers 14:42 Lit before
  26. Numbers 14:43 Lit before you
  27. Numbers 14:44 Or top of the mountain

Laws for Canaan

15 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, (A)Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land [a]where you are going to live, which I am giving you, and you make (B)an offering by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering or a sacrifice to [b](C)fulfill a special vow, or as a [c]voluntary offering or at your (D)appointed times, to make a (E)soothing aroma to the Lord from the herd or from the flock, then (F)the one who presents his offering shall present to the Lord a grain offering of a tenth of an [d]ephah of fine flour mixed with a fourth of a [e]hin of oil, and you shall prepare wine for the drink offering, a fourth of a hin, with the burnt offering or for the sacrifice, for (G)each lamb. Or for a ram you shall prepare as a grain offering two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil; and for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine as a soothing aroma to the Lord. And when you prepare (H)a bull as a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to [f]fulfill a special vow, or for peace offerings to the Lord, then you shall offer with the bull a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil; 10 and you shall offer as the drink offering half a hin of wine as an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord.

11 ‘This is how it shall be done for each ox, or for each ram, or for each of the male lambs, or of the goats. 12 According to the number that you prepare, so you shall do for each one according to their number. 13 Everyone who is a native shall do these things in this way, in presenting an offering by fire as a soothing aroma to the Lord.

Law for the Stranger

14 Now if a stranger resides among you, or one who may be among you throughout your generations, and he wants to make an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord, just as you do so shall he do. 15 As for the assembly, there shall be (I)one statute for you and for the stranger who resides among you, a permanent statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. 16 There is to be (J)one law and one ordinance for you and for the stranger who resides with you.’”

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land where I am bringing you, 19 then it shall be, that when you eat from the [g](K)food of the land, you shall lift up an [h]offering to the Lord. 20 (L)Of the first of your [i]dough you shall lift up a loaf as an [j]offering; as (M)an [k]offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up. 21 From the first of your [l]dough you shall give to the Lord an [m]offering throughout your generations.

22 ‘But when you (N)unintentionally do wrong and fail to [n]comply with all these commandments which the Lord has spoken to Moses, 23 that is, all that the Lord has commanded you [o]through Moses from the day that the Lord gave commandments and onward, throughout your generations, 24 then it shall be, if it is done (O)unintentionally, [p]without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one bull as a burnt offering, as a soothing aroma to the Lord, (P)with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat as a sin offering. 25 Then (Q)the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven; for it was an unintentional wrong, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their unintentional wrong. 26 So all the congregation of the sons of Israel will be forgiven, as well as the stranger who resides among them, for guilt was attributed to all the people through an (R)unintentional wrong.

27 ‘Also, if one person sins (S)unintentionally, then he shall offer a one-year-old female goat as a sin offering. 28 And (T)the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the person who goes astray by an unintentional sin, making atonement for him [q]so that he may be forgiven. 29 You shall have one law for the native among the sons of Israel and for the stranger who resides among them, for one who does anything wrong unintentionally. 30 But the person who does wrong [r](U)defiantly, whether he is a native or a stranger, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Since he has (V)despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; (W)his [s]guilt will be on him.’”

Sabbath-breaking Punished

32 Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man (X)gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation; 34 and they placed him in custody, (Y)because it had not been decided what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must be put to death; (Z)all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him [t]to death with stones, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

37 The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, 38 “Speak to the sons of Israel and tell them that they shall make for themselves (AA)tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a [u]violet thread. 39 It shall be a tassel for you [v]to look at and (AB)remember all the commandments of the Lord, so that you will do them and not [w]follow your own heart and your own eyes, [x]which led you to prostitute yourselves, 40 so that you will remember and do all My commandments and (AC)be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God.”


  1. Numbers 15:2 Lit of your dwellings
  2. Numbers 15:3 Or make a special votive offering
  3. Numbers 15:3 Or freewill offering
  4. Numbers 15:4 An ephah was about 7.4 gallons or 28 liters
  5. Numbers 15:4 A hin also was about 1 gallon or 3.8 liters
  6. Numbers 15:8 Or make a special votive offering
  7. Numbers 15:19 Lit bread
  8. Numbers 15:19 Or uplifted offering
  9. Numbers 15:20 Or coarse meal
  10. Numbers 15:20 Or uplifted offering
  11. Numbers 15:20 Or uplifted offering
  12. Numbers 15:21 Or coarse meal
  13. Numbers 15:21 Or uplifted offering
  14. Numbers 15:22 Lit perform all
  15. Numbers 15:23 Lit by the hand of
  16. Numbers 15:24 Lit away from the eyes of the congregation
  17. Numbers 15:28 Or and he shall
  18. Numbers 15:30 Lit with upraised hand
  19. Numbers 15:31 Or wrongdoing
  20. Numbers 15:36 Lit with stones and he died
  21. Numbers 15:38 Or bluish; LXX hyacinth in color, and so throughout the ch
  22. Numbers 15:39 Lit and you shall look at it
  23. Numbers 15:39 Lit seek
  24. Numbers 15:39 Lit after which you played


God’s Eternity and the Brevity of Human Life.

A Prayer of [a]Moses, the man of God.

90 Lord, You have been our [b](A)dwelling place in all generations.
Before (B)the mountains were born
[c]Or You (C)gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even (D)from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

You (E)turn mortals back into dust
And say, “Return, you sons of mankind.”
For (F)a thousand years in Your sight
Are like (G)yesterday when it passes by,
[d]Or like a (H)watch in the night.
You (I)have [e]swept them away like a flood, they [f](J)fall asleep;
In the morning they are like (K)grass that [g]sprouts anew.
In the morning it (L)flourishes and [h]sprouts anew;
Toward evening it (M)wilts and (N)withers away.

For we have been (O)consumed by Your anger,
And we have been terrified by Your wrath.
You have (P)placed our guilty deeds before You,
Our (Q)hidden sins in the light of Your presence.
For (R)all our days have dwindled away in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a [i]sigh.
10 As for the days of our [j]life, [k]they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, (S)eighty years,
Yet their pride is only (T)trouble and tragedy;
For it quickly passes, and we (U)disappear.
11 Who [l]understands the (V)power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the (W)fear [m]that is due You?
12 So (X)teach us to number our days,
That we may [n](Y)present to You a heart of wisdom.

13 Do (Z)return, Lord; (AA)how long will it be?
And [o]be (AB)sorry for Your servants.
14 (AC)Satisfy us in the morning with Your graciousness,
That we may (AD)sing for joy and rejoice all our days.
15 (AE)Make us glad [p]according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the (AF)years we have seen [q]evil.
16 Let Your (AG)work appear to Your servants
And Your (AH)majesty [r]to their children.
17 May the (AI)kindness of the Lord our God be upon us;
And [s](AJ)confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, [t]confirm the work of our hands.


  1. Psalm 90 Title Deut 33:1
  2. Psalm 90:1 Or hiding place; some ancient mss place of refuge
  3. Psalm 90:2 Or And
  4. Psalm 90:4 Or And
  5. Psalm 90:5 Or flooded
  6. Psalm 90:5 Lit become asleep
  7. Psalm 90:5 Or passes away
  8. Psalm 90:6 Or passes away
  9. Psalm 90:9 Or whisper
  10. Psalm 90:10 Lit years
  11. Psalm 90:10 Lit in them are
  12. Psalm 90:11 Or knows
  13. Psalm 90:11 Lit of You
  14. Psalm 90:12 Lit bring in
  15. Psalm 90:13 Or repent in regard to
  16. Psalm 90:15 Or as many days as
  17. Psalm 90:15 Or trouble
  18. Psalm 90:16 Or upon
  19. Psalm 90:17 Or give permanence to
  20. Psalm 90:17 Or give permanence to

Bible Gateway Recommends