Numbers 14:20 Index
"And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:"
Research Material

" . . . according to thy word."

  • The people would yet perish in the wilderness (Exodus 32:34), but prayer of Moses prevented their complete extermination as a nation. In this role as intercessor Moses was a forerunner of Christ (Psalm 106:23; Jeremiah 15:1). (1BC 868)
  • Moses went into the tabernacle to converse with God. “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 shewed among them (Numbers 14:11)? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they (Number 14:12). And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for Thou broughtest up this people in Thy might from among them;) (Numbers 14:13) and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that Thou Lord art among this people, that Thou Lord art seen face to face, and that Thy cloud standeth over them, and that Thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night (Numbers 14:14). Now if Thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of Thee will speak, saying (Numbers 14:15), Because the Lord was not able to bring this people unto the land which He sware unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness.”

    Moses again refuses to have Israel destroyed and himself made a mightier nation than was Israel. This favored servant of God manifests his love for Israel and shows his zeal for the glory of his Maker and the honor of his people: As Thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt even until now, Thou hast been long-suffering and merciful hitherto toward this ungrateful people; however unworthy they may be, Thy mercy is the same. He pleads, Wilt Thou not, therefore, spare them this once, and add this one more instance of divine patience to the many Thou hast already given?

    “And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: but as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it: but My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” (SR 161-162)*****

" . . . I have pardoned . . . "

  • Moses, who was much in prayer, was known as the meekest man on the face of the earth.... While he was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, again and again it seemed that they must be exterminated on account of their murmuring and rebellion. But Moses went to the true Source of power; he laid the case before the Lord.... And the Lord said, “I have pardoned according to thy word.” (ML 20)
  • Till the close of his long life of patient ministry Moses continued his exhortations to Israel to keep their eyes fixed on their divine Ruler....
    • With what confidence had Moses assured the Israelites of the merciful attributes of Jehovah! Often during the wilderness sojourn he had pleaded with God in behalf of erring Israel, and the Lord had spared them....
    • The prophet pleaded the marvelous providences and promises of God in behalf of the chosen nation. And then, as the strongest of all pleas, he urged the love of God for fallen man.... “Pardon, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now” (Numbers 14:19)..
    • Graciously the Lord responded, “I have pardoned according to thy word.”  (ML 288)
  • It was upon his knowledge of the long-sufferance of Jehovah and of His infinite love and mercy, that Moses based his wonderful plea for the life of Israel when, on the borders of the Promised Land, they refused to advance in obedience to the command of God. At the height of their rebellion the Lord had declared, “I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them;" (Numbers 14:12) and He had proposed to make of the descendants of Moses “a greater nation and mightier than they” (Numbers 14:12). But the prophet pleaded the marvelous providences and promises of God in behalf of the chosen nation. And then, as the strongest of all pleas, he urged the love of God for fallen man. "And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying (Numbers 14:17),  The LORD is longsuffering, 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 (Numbers 14:18).  Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now" (Numbers 14:19).
    • Graciously the Lord responded, “I have pardoned according to thy word” (Numbers 14:20). And then He imparted to Moses, in the form of a prophecy, a knowledge of His purpose concerning the final triumph of Israel. “As truly as I live,” He declared, “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21). God's glory, His character, His merciful kindness and tender love—that which Moses had pleaded in behalf of Israel—were to be revealed to all mankind. And this promise of Jehovah was made doubly sure; it was confirmed by an oath. As surely as God lives and reigns, His glory should be declared “among the heathen, His wonders among all people” (Psalm 96:3). (PK 312-313)