The Meaning of Numbers 11:25 Explained

Numbers 11:25

KJV: And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

YLT: and Jehovah cometh down in the cloud, and speaketh unto him, and keepeth back of the Spirit which is on him, and putteth on the seventy men of the elders; and it cometh to pass at the resting of the Spirit on them, that they prophesy, and do not cease.

Darby: And Jehovah came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy men, the elders; and it came to pass, that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not repeat it.

ASV: And Jehovah came down in the cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more.

What does Numbers 11:25 Mean?

Study Notes

spirit that was upon him
There was no more power than before--only more machinery. Moses had murmured ( Numbers 5:11 ) because of the burden that God had laid upon him. God, in distributing the burden, shows that Moses' power had, all along, been in proportion to his burden.

Context Summary

Numbers 11:16-25 - God's Spirit Upon The Seventy
God's considerateness for His overwrought servant was very tender. He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. He does not chide, nor keep His anger forever. The remedy for the situation was provided in the appointment and enduement of the seventy elders, who became the germ of the Sanhedrin.
Moses' depression led to unbelief. It seemed impossible to suppose that God could provide a table in the wilderness of such magnitude that in it the whole host could participate. Unbelief says, Can God? Faith answers, God can! See Psalms 78:19. Child of God! God's hand is not waxed short, that it cannot reach to you. Even if we believe not, He remains faithful, 2 Timothy 2:13. This equipment of the elders, Numbers 11:25, reminds us that we, too, need to receive the Holy Spirit, first for our sanctification in character, and then for our service and office. This is the special characteristic of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4. [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 11:25 mean?

And came down Yahweh in the cloud and spoke to him and took of the Spirit that [was] upon him and placed [the same] upon seventy - the elders and it came to pass when rested upon them the Spirit that they prophesied and although never they did [so] again
וַיֵּ֨רֶד יְהוָ֥ה ׀ בֶּעָנָן֮ וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר אֵלָיו֒ וַיָּ֗אצֶל מִן־ הָר֙וּחַ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָלָ֔יו וַיִּתֵּ֕ן עַל־ שִׁבְעִ֥ים אִ֖ישׁ הַזְּקֵנִ֑ים וַיְהִ֗י כְּנ֤וֹחַ עֲלֵיהֶם֙ הָר֔וּחַ וַיִּֽתְנַבְּא֖וּ וְלֹ֥א יָסָֽפוּ

וַיֵּ֨רֶד  And  came  down 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָרַד  
Sense: to go down, descend, decline, march down, sink down.
יְהוָ֥ה ׀  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
בֶּעָנָן֮  in  the  cloud 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָן  
Sense: cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass.
וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר  and  spoke 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
אֵלָיו֒  to  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
וַיָּ֗אצֶל  and  took 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָצַל  
Sense: to lay aside, reserve, withdraw, withhold.
הָר֙וּחַ֙  the  Spirit 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: רוּחַ  
Sense: wind, breath, mind, spirit.
אֲשֶׁ֣ר  that  [was] 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
עָלָ֔יו  upon  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
וַיִּתֵּ֕ן  and  placed  [the  same] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָתַן 
Sense: to give, put, set.
עַל־  upon 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
שִׁבְעִ֥ים  seventy 
Parse: Number, common plural
Root: שִׁבְעִים  
Sense: seventy.
אִ֖ישׁ  - 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אִישׁ 
Sense: man.
הַזְּקֵנִ֑ים  the  elders 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine plural
Root: זָקֵן  
Sense: old.
וַיְהִ֗י  and  it  came  to  pass 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
כְּנ֤וֹחַ  when  rested 
Parse: Preposition-k, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: נוּחַ 
Sense: to rest.
עֲלֵיהֶם֙  upon  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
הָר֔וּחַ  the  Spirit 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: רוּחַ  
Sense: wind, breath, mind, spirit.
וַיִּֽתְנַבְּא֖וּ  that  they  prophesied 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hitpael, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: נָבָא  
Sense: to prophesy.
וְלֹ֥א  and  although  never 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
יָסָֽפוּ  they  did  [so]  again 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: יָסַף 
Sense: to add, increase, do again.