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Numbers 11

The Dad's Have It

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. 26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!" 29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!" 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Oh Dad!

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Musings

Moses selects 70 elders to share some of his responsibilities. There is a similar account in Exodus 18:13-26, but in that story Moses father-in-law suggests it and the 70 become judges. Here they meet and temporarily receive the gift of prophesy. Eldad and Medad didn't make the main meeting, no reason is given, but still received the gift of the spirit at the same time as the others. Joshua is worried that this somehow will compete with Moses' authority, but Moses is clearly not worried; in fact he would prefer it if more people would share in these responsibilities. A lesser leader might jealously guard his relationship with God and responsibility that came with it, but Moses would have preferred more help. He didn't want the role originally, and has no problem spreading the wealth.


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