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    New elders – B’ha’alot’cha

    Moses has had it. He is no youngster, and he has constant trouble from the querulous, quarrelsome people that he has to lead. He has tried his hardest. He has done his best. (Num. 11:14-17)

    God tells him not to try to deal with everything by himself but to take seventy elders and work through them.

    But already in Egypt the people had elders (Ex. 3:16). What happened to them that made it necessary to appoint a new team?

    According to Rashi, their position had gone to their head. They behaved irreverently and irritated the Almighty, who had to punish them with death. Now a new group has to be found. The men who were chosen had been through the mill. They had suffered with the Israelite slaves and were humbled by their experiences.

    They had such love for their fellow Israelites and such respect for their leader that God was confident that they would conduct themselves properly and lighten the leader’s load.

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