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!
Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake?.... Lest his authority should be weakened, and his honour lessened, because they began not to prophesy in his presence, and at the tabernacle, and among the rest of the elders, and so seemed not to have received of the Spirit that was upon him, and to be independent of him:
would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets; this is not to he understood in the most absolute sense, as if Moses wished that every individual person among the people of Israel were prophets, as the word may signify a set and order of men, and an office in the church or state, as ministers of the word extraordinary or ordinary; for then there would be none to prophesy to, or to teach and instruct; and so likewise not rulers, or helps and assistants in government, for then there would be none to be governed; but it is to be taken comparatively, and is designed to show how far Moses was from an envious spirit at the gifts of others, that he could wish, if it was the will of God, and consistent with the order of things, that every man had as great or greater gifts than he had, qualifying them for public service and usefulness; such was the modesty and meekness of Moses: there is a sense indeed, in which all the Lord's people, all good men, are and should be prophets, and for which by the grace of the Spirit of God they are qualified; and should act as such, by praying and singing praises, which are sometimes meant by prophesying, and by spiritual conferences in private with one another, building up each other on their most holy faith, and by teaching and instructing all under their care in their families:
and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them; the gifts of it, which are necessary to fit men for public service in church or state, or for private usefulness, 1 Corinthians 12:7.