Maaseh Rokeach: Behaloscha – Eldad and Medad
The 10th of Sivan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Eliezer Rokeach of Amsterdam, the Maaseh Rokeach. (June 5, 1740) “Two men remained behind in the camp, the name of one was Eldad and the name of the second was Medad, and the spirit rested upon them; they had been among the recorded ones, but they had not gone out to the Tent, and they prophesied in the camp. The youth ran and told Moses, and he said, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Moses since his youth, spoke up and said, “My Master Moses, incarcerate them!” Moses said to him, ‘Are you being zealous for my sake? Would that the entire people of God could be prophets, if God would but place His spirit upon them!’” (Numbers 11:26-29)
Eldad and Medad prophesied that, “Moshe will die, and Joshua will bring Israel into the land.” (Rashi)
Why was Joshua so bothered by Eldad and Medad’s prophecy and not by the prophecy of the Seventy Elders?
The Seventy were granted the influence of Moshe’s prophecy. Their prophecies were an expression of Moshe’s power. However, Eldad and Medad, were not chosen to be among the Seventy. Joshua considered their prophecy to be similar to a student making a Halachic ruling in front of his master, which is punishable by death.
However, Moshe explained that prophecy that was not dependent on his spirit, could continue to exist long after his death. It was only such prophecy that would live on through the ages. (Maaseh Rokeach)