1. Now the people began to complain, which was offensive to Yahweh's ears. When Yahweh heard, his anger was aroused and the fire of Yahweh broke out among them; it devoured one end of the camp.
2. The people appealed to Moses who interceded with Yahweh and the fire died down.
3. So the place was called Taberah, because the fire of Yahweh had broken out among them.
4. The rabble who had joined the people were feeling the pangs of hunger, and the Israelites began to weep again. 'Who will give us meat to eat?' they said.
5. 'Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic!
6. But now we are withering away; there is nothing wherever we look except this manna!'
7. The manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bdellium.
8. The people went round gathering it, and ground it in a mill or crushed it with a pestle; it was then cooked in a pot and made into pancakes. It tasted like cake made with oil.
9. When the dew fell on the camp at night-time, the manna fell with it.
10. Moses heard the people weeping, each family at the door of its tent. Yahweh's anger was greatly aroused; Moses too found it disgraceful,
11. and he said to Yahweh: 'Why do you treat your servant so badly? In what respect have I failed to win your favour, for you to lay the burden of all these people on me?
12. Was it I who conceived all these people, was I their father, for you to say to me, "Carry them in your arms, like a foster-father carrying an unweaned child, to the country which I swore to give their fathers"?
13. Where am I to find meat to give all these people, pestering me with their tears and saying, "Give us meat to eat"?
14. I cannot carry all these people on my own; the weight is too much for me.
15. If this is how you mean to treat me, please kill me outright! If only I could win your favour and be spared the sight of my misery!'
16. Yahweh said to Moses, 'Collect me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know to be the people's elders and scribes. Bring them to the Tent of Meeting, and let them stand beside you there.
17. I shall come down and talk to you there and shall take some of the spirit which is on you and put it on them. Then they will bear the burden of the people with you, and you will no longer have to bear it on your own.
18. 'And say to the people, "Purify yourselves for tomorrow and you will have meat to eat, since you have wept in Yahweh's hearing, saying: Who will give us meat to eat? How happy we were in Egypt! Very well, Yahweh will give you meat to eat.
19. You will eat it not for one day, or two, or five, or ten or twenty,
20. but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and sickens you, since you have rejected Yahweh who is among you, and have wept before him saying: Why did we ever leave Egypt?" '
21. Moses said, 'The people round me number six hundred thousand foot soldiers, and you say, "I shall give them meat to eat for a whole month"!
22. If all the flocks and herds were slaughtered, would that be enough for them? If all the fish in the seas were collected, would that be enough for them?'
23. Yahweh said to Moses, 'Is the arm of Yahweh so short? You shall see whether the promise I have made to you comes true or not.'
24. Moses went out and told the people what Yahweh had said. Then he collected seventy of the people's elders and stationed them round the Tent.
25. Yahweh descended in the cloud. He spoke to him and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied -- but only once.
26. Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp.
27. A young man ran to tell Moses this. 'Look,' he said, 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.'
28. Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses since he was a boy, spoke up and said, 'My lord Moses, stop them!'
29. Moses replied, 'Are you jealous on my account? If only all Yahweh's people were prophets, and Yahweh had given them his spirit!'
30. Moses then went back to the camp with the elders of Israel.
31. A wind, sent by Yahweh, started blowing from the sea bringing quails which it deposited on the camp. They lay for a distance of a day's march either side of the camp, two cubits thick on the ground.
32. The people were up all that day and night and all the next day collecting quails: the least gathered by anyone was ten homer; then they spread them out round the camp.
33. The meat was still between their teeth, not even chewed, when Yahweh's anger was aroused by the people. Yahweh struck them with a very great plague.
34. The name given to this place was Kibroth-ha-Taavah, because it was there that they buried the people who had indulged their greed.
35. From Kibroth-ha-Taavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and at Hazeroth they pitched camp.