The Meaning of Numbers 11:1 Explained

Numbers 11:1

KJV: And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

YLT: And the people is evil, as those sighing habitually in the ears of Jehovah, and Jehovah heareth, and His anger burneth, and the fire of Jehovah burneth among them, and consumeth in the extremity of the camp.

Darby: And it came to pass that when the people murmured, it was evil in the ears of Jehovah; and Jehovah heard it, and his anger was kindled, and the fire of Jehovah burned among them, and consumed some in the extremity of the camp.

ASV: And the people were as murmurers,'speaking evil in the ears of Jehovah: and when Jehovah heard it, his anger was kindled; and the fire of Jehovah burnt among them, and devoured in the uttermost part of the camp.

What does Numbers 11:1 Mean?

Context Summary

Numbers 11:1-15 - The Murmuring Flesh-Lovers
We cannot wonder at the people's murmuring. They were unaccustomed to the fatigues of the desert, and had not realized the length of the journey. Let us beware of querulous complaints. See 1 Corinthians 10:10. Let us also guard against familiarity with those who have never known God's regenerating grace. "The mixed multitude" was largely composed of Egyptians, whose evil example spread to the chosen people, Exodus 12:38. When our religious life is low, we tire of angels' food, and our hearts turn back to the world we have left.
Moses' outcry is hardly to be wondered at. He was thoroughly overstrained by the immense demands of his life. But he ought not to have spoken as though the entire weight of the pilgrimage rested on him. His Almighty Friend was bearing and carrying them during "all the days of old." See Isaiah 63:9. We must never look at our responsibilities apart from Him who makes all grace abound, 2 Corinthians 9:8. [source]

Chapter Summary: Numbers 11

1  The burning at Taberah quenched by Moses' prayer
4  The people crave meat, and loathe manna
10  Moses complains of his charge
16  God promises to divide his burden unto seventy elders,
18  and to give the people meat for a month
21  Moses' faith is staggered
31  Quails are given in wrath at Kibroth Hattaavah

What do the individual words in Numbers 11:1 mean?

and [when] the people complained of adversity it displeased Yahweh for heard [it] Yahweh and was aroused His anger so burned among them the fire of Yahweh and consumed [some] in the outskirts of the camp
וַיְהִ֤י הָעָם֙ כְּמִתְאֹ֣נְנִ֔ים רַ֖ע בְּאָזְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ וַיִּ֣חַר אַפּ֔וֹ וַתִּבְעַר־ בָּם֙ אֵ֣שׁ יְהוָ֔ה וַתֹּ֖אכַל בִּקְצֵ֥ה הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה

וַיְהִ֤י  and  [when] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הָעָם֙  the  people 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
כְּמִתְאֹ֣נְנִ֔ים  complained 
Parse: Preposition-k, Verb, Hitpael, Participle, masculine plural
Root: אָנַן  
Sense: (Hithpael) complain, murmur.
רַ֖ע  of  adversity 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: רַע 
Sense: bad, evil.
בְּאָזְנֵ֣י  it  displeased 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, fdc
Root: אֹזֶן  
Sense: ear, as part of the body.
יְהוָ֑ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע  for  heard  [it] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
יְהוָה֙  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַיִּ֣חַר  and  was  aroused 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: חָרָה  
Sense: to be hot, furious, burn, become angry, be kindled.
אַפּ֔וֹ  His  anger 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: אַף 
Sense: nostril, nose, face.
וַתִּבְעַר־  so  burned 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: בָּעַר 
Sense: to burn, consume, kindle, be kindled.
בָּם֙  among  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
אֵ֣שׁ  the  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
יְהוָ֔ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַתֹּ֖אכַל  and  consumed  [some] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: אָכַל  
Sense: to eat, devour, burn up, feed.
בִּקְצֵ֥ה  in  the  outskirts 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: קָצֶה 
Sense: end, extremity.
הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה  of  the  camp 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: מַחֲנֶה  
Sense: encampment, camp.