The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!”
Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way.”
For the Lord said to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. If I went with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you.”
I will strike them with a plague and destroy them. Then I will make you into a greater and mightier nation than they are.”
“Separate yourselves from this community so I may consume them instantly.”
“Get away from this community so that I may consume them instantly.” But they fell facedown.
Leave Me alone, and I will destroy them and blot out their name under heaven. Then I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.’
“I fell down in the presence of the Lord 40 days and 40 nights because the Lord had threatened to destroy you.
Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from Your great anger and relent concerning this disaster planned for Your people.
Otherwise, those in the land you brought us from will say, ‘Because the Lord wasn’t able to bring them into the land He had promised them, and because He hated them, He brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.’
If You kill this people with a single blow, the nations that have heard of Your fame will declare,
You provoked the Lord at Horeb, and He was angry enough with you to destroy you.
I was afraid of the fierce anger the Lord had directed against you, because He was about to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me on that occasion.
So He said He would have destroyed them—
if Moses His chosen one
had not stood before Him in the breach
to turn His wrath away from destroying them.
The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him. But I prayed for Aaron at that time also.
Otherwise, I will strip her naked
and expose her as she was on the day of her birth.
I will make her like a desert
and like a parched land,
and I will let her die of thirst.
Then they answered, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God, or else He may strike us with plague or sword.”
But if you refuse and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.