And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them,.... Or because of it, as Aben Ezra; their cry was so loud, their shrieks so dreadful and piercing, that the Israelites about them fled to get out of the sound of them, as well as for their own safety. The Targum of Jonathan not only represents their cry as terrible, but gives the words they expressed at it;
"and all Israel that were round about them fled, because of the terror of their voice, when they cried and said, the Lord is righteous and his judgments truth, and truth are the words of Moses his servant, but we are wicked who have rebelled against him:''
for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also; which they might fear, since they had provoked the Lord, by associating with these men, and countenancing them by their presence, as they had done; who would have consumed them in a moment at first, had it not been for the intercession of Moses and Aaron.