“Moshe went out and told the people what Adonai had said. Then he collected seventy of the leaders of the people and placed them all around the tent. Adonai came down in the cloud, spoke to him, took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied — then but not afterwards.“-Numbers 11:24-25
Moses is skeptical as all hell!
How in the world is God going to provide meat for 600,000 men?
Wait a minute.
I made a mistake.
We’re talking about a helluva a lot more people than 600,000 men.
I forgot to add in the women and the children.
I’ve still got to include the feeble, lame and elderly.
When we include everybody, we’re talking about a gargantuan number totaling about three million people!
And get this.
The Lord promised to feed everybody meat for NOT just a day or two!
He said He was going to feed everybody meat for a whole month!
Man, this God of Israel is one awesome being!!!
Things move fast after God verbalizes His Promise.
The 70 elders are brought to the Wilderness Sanctuary and then we’re told HASHEM descended in a cloud and took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and distributed it to the elders.
Don’t ask me exactly how God did this because I don’t know.
And what happens next is even more mysterious.
We’re told the men began “prophesying“.
Now here’s the thing.
The 70 elders really didn’t prophesy as we normally understand it.
Prophesy means to speak to the Word of the Lord on behalf of the Lord or to predict the future.
Neither of these two things were happening here.
The 70 men had suddenly began babbling in a very excited manner.
Some Bible translations will say the men began speaking “in ecstasy” and I think that’s more accurate.
Keep in mind that these 70 men never did become prophets nor did they ever have an experience like this again.
Note the Scripture says “they prophesied — then but not afterwards.“
The whole purpose of this excited speech was to validate that the men had indeed received the Holy Spirit of Adonai.
Now let me ask you this, especially if you’re a person who was schooled in a Christian church.
Doesn’t this event sound strangely familiar to something that occurred in the New Testament?
Of course you know I’m talking about Shavuot or Pentecost as described in the Book of Acts when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jews from every nation and these Jews started “speaking in tongues“.
Well, once again, here in Numbers 11 we have further evidence that what happened in the Book of Acts was nothing new but a repeat of what is happening here 1300 year earlier in Torah.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“The festival of Shavu‘ot arrived,
and the believers all gathered
together in one place.
Suddenly there came a sound
from the sky like the roar of
a violent wind,
and it filled the whole house
where they were sitting.
Then they saw what looked
like tongues of fire,
which separated and came to rest
on each one of them.
They were all filled with the
Ruach HaKodesh and began
to talk in different languages,
as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”