Numbers 14:9

"Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us (lit. "they [are] like our bread = like our manna"): their defence (Heb. shadow) is departed from them, and the LORD is with us; fear them not."

The manna when out of the shade melted, though hard (cp. Num. 11:8 and Ex. 16:21, see below): so the hearts of their enemies would melt away, never having Jehovah for their shadow, or defence [cp. Ex. 15:15 "Canaan will melt away"; Josh. 2:9,11 "fainthearted inhabitants", "hearts melted"; Isa. 13:7 "man’s heart will melt", 19:1 "the heart of Egypt will melt"; Ezek. 21:7 "every heart will melt"]. From The Companion Bible, p. 199.

These are the words of Joshua and Caleb to the people to encourage them to go up in spite of the false report of the other spies.

Note first the marginal rendering of the word "defence." It is given "Heb. shadow," i.e., "Their shadow is departed." So in the R.V. (Revised Version) the word "shadow" is treated as though it were a figure (Metonymy). The literal meaning of the word is departed from, as well as the literal rendering of the preceding sentence. This is (in Heb. kee lachmenoo) "for they are our bread."

The A.V. (Authorized Version) correctly supplies the Ellipsis, i.e., "our bread" aptly represents their condition.

What was their "bread"? It was manna. What was the manna like? It was most marvelous bread, for it was so hard that it had to be ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar (Num. 11:8); and yet its consistency was so peculiar that it melted in the sun! (Ex. 16:21). If it were not gathered every morning before the sun arose and the shadows departed, "When the sun waxed hot, it melted"!

Marvelous bread indeed! A standing miracle, both as to the manner in which it was given, and also as to its consistency. Bread indeed, hard, and yet melting like ice in the sun.

The wicked spies had just said (Num. 13:31) that Israel could not go up against the people of the land, for they are "stronger than we": they were strong and hard. No, replies Joshua, it may be they are strong, but so is our bread the manna – so strong that it needs grinding and crushing, and yet, when the shadow goes from off it, it melts away. Even so is it with them, as the words of Rahab testify (Josh. 2:11). The two spies whom Joshua afterwards sent heard the very same truth from the lips of Rahab, which he, one of the two faithful spies whom Moses had sent, forty years before declared. She tells them: - "As soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you."

Thus, while the literal signification of the words gives no sense, they point to the true figure; and then, in turn, the figure explains the literal signification of the words, and the true meaning of the passage. So that we may render it thus: - "Only rebel not ye against Jehovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they [are like] our bread; their shadow hath turned aside from off them, and Jehovah is with us; fear them not," i.e., as when the shadow turns aside from off our bread, it melts away and disappears, so these enemies, hard and strong as they might be, would surely melt away before the Lord God, Who is the Sun and the Shield of His people. In no sense could Jehovah be the shadow or defence of the people of the land against whom Israel was about to fight.

[Reference: Bullinger, Ethelbert W. Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, 1968, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1104 p. (Under Ellipsis Absolute of Verb Substantive, when the Verb Substantive is wanting, omitted; II. The Omission of Verbs and Participles, Absolute Ellipsis, where the omitted word or words are to be supplied from the nature of the subject (Gk. Ellipsis, a leaving in, from en-, in, and -leipein, to leave), pp. 37-38)]


Numbers 13:33

"And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

This is the figure of speech called Meiosis of unbelief.

The figure Meiosis is "a be-littleing" of one thing to magnify another. The Greek word Meiosis literally means "a lessening, or diminution: from meioo: to make smaller."

To gain credence for they words they exaggerated the size of the Anakim by lessening their own stature. On the other hand, the language of faith used a very different figure. Compare Num. 14:9 (previously presented), under the Figure of Ellipsis (page. 37).

[Ref. Idem. Under Meiosis, or A Be-Littleing, also called Litotes: plainness, simplicity; the Latins called it Diminutio and Extenuatio, p. 155]


Genesis 6:1

"The sons of God"

I.E., wondrous, mighty, supernatural beings. Hence, used always of angels in the Old Testament.

See every other occurrence: - Job 1:2, 2:6, 38:7; Ps. 29:1, 89:6; Dan. 3:25.

In Gen. 6:2, Codex A of the Septuagint reads "angelon ton Theon", angels of God. These are the fallen angels referred to as "in-prison" (2 Pet. 2:4-9, Jude 6, 7). Acting also at that time were the other ones described in 1 Pet. 3:18-20.

[Ref. Idem. Under Antimereia, or Exchange of Parts of Speech, the exchange of one part of speech for another (from Gk. Anti-, over against or instead of, and –mereia, for meros, a part); The Divine Names, a Noun (in regimen) is replaced for an Adjective; IV Antimereia of the Noun, p. 502]


"The Sons of God" (Sons of Elohim)

This is the Hebrew idiomatic expression for angels. In every place where the expression occurs, angelic beings are to be understood. It occurs in:

Gen. 6:2,3; Job 1:6, 2:1 – Where it is benai ha-Elohim, sons of the Elohim.

Job 38:7 – Where it is without the article, "Sons of Elohim."

Ps. 29:1, 89:6 (7) – where it is benai Eyleem, sons of Eyleem.

Dan. 3:25 – Where it is singular, "A son of God."

[In plural] seven times and in each case it means angels,

(In Hos. 1:10 (2:1), it is a different form, Benai El hai, sons of the living God. The context leaves us in no doubt that this is used of men, and not angels, for it is put in contrast with, ammai, my people.)

It is clear, therefore, that angels are meant in Gen. 6:2,4, and their "sin" is there recorded. How it was committed we are not told. In 2 Pet. 2:4,9 and Jude 6, it is further described, and is spoken of in connection with Noah.

Is it not strange that in 1 Pet. 3:18,19, where also spiritual beings are being mentioned also in connection with Noah’s days, which are in "chains" and in "prison," scholars take them as men? ! Especially when we recall the statement that "He maketh His angels spirits" (Ps. 104:4, Heb. 1:7), and that "man" is never spoken of as a "spirit." "Man" is said to have a spirit, but not to be one.

In Gen. 6:4, the progeny of these fallen angels is called Nepheleem (Nephilim, Nefilin): i.e., the fallen ones (from naphal, to fall): and so awful were the consequences that all flesh was corrupt, and Noah was the only one who was not tainted (the two words "generations" are not the same in Gen. 6:9. The first is Toledoth, meaning the offspring in succession, while the second is Dorothai, which has respect to breed (Isa. 53:8).)

The entire race, therefore, had to be destroyed. Noah’s son’s wives were tainted, and this may be the solution for the "Reduction on the Life-Span and a contributing factor in the origin of the Hereditary Diseases" (i.e., consanguinity problems, as the sons of the sons of Noah were only able to marry their own cousins (a genetic "bottleneck"), plus all that genetic contamination (i.e., intermingling with animals) of all the nations surrounding the true believers, both of the times of Noah and of the Israelites after the flood.) [Note: Bullinger also attributes to their "tainted" wives the preservation of different races since then.]

There were Nepheleem [also] in the days of Moses (Num. 13:33), because it appears from Gen. 6:4 that there was another irruption "after that": i.e., after the days of Noah. It was for the extermination of this awful breed of beings that Israel was used: and yet there are Christians with an excess of (false) charity who deplore the slaughter effected by Israel, forgetting the necessity for the destruction.

It was to these fallen angels [and also to the spirits in prison (in Tartarus, the utmost bounds of creation), "reserved to be judged" (by us, born again Christians),] that the triumph of Christ reached and was proclaimed – an encouragement to those who now "suffer" – bidding them too, to look forward to the "glory" which shall surely follow.

(See The Spirits in Prison, by the same author and editor).

[Ref. Idem. Under Idioma, or Idiom; 8. Idiomatic Phrases, the peculiar usage of words and phrases (from Gk. Idioma, a peculiarity, from idios-, one’s own), and Gk. idiotismos (Lat. idiotismus), the common manner of speaking, p. 844-845]


Deut. 9:2

"Sons of the Anakim"

The word in the plural "sons" means a nation viewed as descended from some progenitor: e.g., "children of Israel": I.e., Israelites, "children of Ammon, Moab, etc."

[Ref. Idem. Under Amplificatio, pleonasm, by way of addition or amplification (pleonastic figures), when more words are used than the grammar requires; under sons or children (Gk. Pleonasmos, from pleonazein, to be more than enough, this is from pleon or pleion, more and pleos, full, we have it in our words complete, plenitude, replete, etc.). Under, p. 409]

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