Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®


Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. 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. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! 

At this time Moses is feeling burdened by the Israelites’ demands in the wilderness during the Exodus. God’s answer is twofold: He provides a team of helpers and pledges the descent of His spirit on them.

Nothing is known about the elders Eldad and Medad, including the reason they didn’t join the other officials at the tabernacle. But Joshua’s complaint about them, made out of concern for Moses’ honor, is rebuked: Moses wants the gift of the spirit to be universally bestowed. A scholar remarks, “When it comes to serving God, there is plenty of room for everyone.”

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Resources cited in this issue

RR: Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Cit. 6: Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Letter to the Romans. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1955. Revised and updated by Saint Andrew, 2001. Reprinted as The New Daily Study Bible: The Letter to the Romans. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001–04.

Cit. 10: Macdonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016.

Cit. 13: Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. The New Interpreter’s Bible: One-Volume Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010.

Cit. 15: Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 9, Acts, Introduction to Epistolary Literature, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015.

Letters & Conversations
February 5, 2024

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