IT IS easy for us, with 3,500 years of hindsight, to be surprised at how quickly the Israelites rebelled against God after their rescue from Egypt. Yahweh was right there in the midst over the Tent of Meeting as a cloud by day and pillar of night by night–and yet the people complained. Free food, in the form of manna, wasn’t enough, they wanted meat.
They got meat, all right–quail fell from the sky in such numbers that they covered, according to the text, about 400 square miles to a depth of three feet! This begins a pattern we see continued to the present day: Complaints and rebellion from those who should be thankful for the Lord’s blessings.
We also discuss the vow of the Nazirites, the curious “trial by ordeal” for women suspected of adultery, and the offerings to dedication offering for the altar on the day it was anointed in the wilderness of Sinai.