Ten Temptations Encyclopedia

Ten Temptations. We read of the “ten temptations” (Num. 14:22) where Israel tempted Jehovah in the wilderness.
“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” (Num. 14:22-23)
It is interesting that five temptations were before Sinai, and five were after. The consequences of their failures after Sinai were far more severe than before. For example, compare Israel’s murmuring for food in Exodus 16 (before Sinai) with Numbers 11 (after Sinai). In Exodus 16, God gave them quail as well as manna without any reproof. But in Numbers 11, “while it was yet in their mouths, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote them with a very great plague.” The ten temptations are:
  1. Not trusting the Lord at the Red Sea (Ex. 14:11-12)
  2. Questioning the wisdom of the Lord (Ex. 15:24)
  3. Asking for bread to fulfill their lusts (Ex. 16:2)
  4. Gathering manna on the Sabbath day (Ex. 16:27-28)
  5. Questioning the Lord's presence among them (Ex. 17:2)
    ------ SINAI -----
  6. Worshiping the golden calf (Ex. 32:7-14) - Three thousand slain by the tribe of Levi.
  7. Complaining against the Lord (Num. 11:1-3) - The fire of Taberah broke out among them.
  8. Lusting after Egypt's foods (Num. 11:4-34) - They were smitten with a very great plague.
  9. Criticizing Moses their leader (Num. 12:9) - Miriam's leprosy.
  10. Despising the pleasant land (Num. 14:1-5) - Sentenced to wander until death.
This illustrates something about the various phases of the wilderness journey. In the first phase it is grace that is the theme, not government. Many of the steps in the first phase of the journey begins with a failure by the people but results in a demonstration of the Lord’s grace.