154-155 : The Departure From Sinai
IT came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year after the children of Israel had left Egypt that the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle.
So the children of Israel journeyed out of the wilderness of Sinai.
The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them,
to show them where they should stop.
And the cloud came to rest in the wilderness of Paran, three days' journey from Mount Sinai.
THE PEOPLE CRY OUT FOR FOOD
There the children of Israel complained again and said: "Who shall give us food to eat? We
remember the fish which we did eat freely in Egypt.
We remember the cucumbers and the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic.
But now there is 'nothing but this manna for us to eat."
Moses heard the people's cries, and the anger of the Lord was greatly kindled.
Moses also was displeased, and he said to the Lord:
"Why have you laid the burden of this people upon me,
to bring them to the land which you promised to their fathers?
Where will I find food to give to all of them?
For they are weeping and saying to me, 'Give us food to eat.' I cannot bear this burden alone.
I pray you to kill me and save me from my misery."
And God said: "Gather seventy men of the elders of Israel, and bring them to the tabernacle to stand there with you.
I will come down and talk with you there, and I will make them share the burden of the people, so that you no longer bear it alone. "And say to the people, 'You shall eat meat, not for one day, nor two
days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month,
until you are bursting with it and begin to hate it."'
Moses answered the Lord, saying: "The people number six hundred thousand, and you have said you will
give them meat to eat for a whole month.
Shall the flocks be slaughtered or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered so as to be enough for them?"
And God said: "Has the Lord's power decreased at all? You shall see now whether my word shall be carried out or not."
Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord and gathered the seventy men of the elders.
And the Lord sent forth a wind, and brought quails from the sea.
He let them fall by the camp,
about a day's journey on the one side and about a day's journey on the other side,
all around the camp.
The people went out and gathered the quails all that day and all that night and all the next day.
The least that anyone gathered was about a bushel.
But even while they were eating the quails, the Lord struck the people with a terrible plague.
Many of them died and were buried in that place.
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