The following is excerpts from the KJV on the disobedient and constant murmurings of the Israelites and their punishment to wander in the wilderness forty years. Numbers 14:1-35, abridged. I basically condensed Numbers 14:1-35 here so it could be more understood quickly.
The congregation lifted up their voice And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. And the whole congregation said unto them Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness, would it have not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. Including Joshua and Caleb which rent their clothes. And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Only rebel not ye against the Lord. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. The glory of the Lord appears in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?
And Moses said unto the Lord , Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he swear unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The LORD is long suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Pardon, I beseech thee, And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word. Surely they shall not see the land which I swear unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
As ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I swear to let you dwell therein.
But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
Numbers 14:10 all the congregation stones Moses and Aaron.
- 10 “But all the congregation bade stone them with stones”
This is an act of aggression rather of complaint which further infuriated the Lord.
- 11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?
- 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
After Moses reasons with the Lord he relents on this form of punishment.