Numbers 13:1–33

Exploring Canaan

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to exploree the land of Canaan,f which I am giving to the Israelites.g From each ancestral tribeh send one of its leaders.”

So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.i These are their names:

from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur;

from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;j

from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;k

from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi;

12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki.

16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explorel the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nunm the name Joshua.)n

17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan,o he said, “Go up through the Negevp and on into the hill country.q 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.r” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)s

21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zint as far as Rehob,u toward Lebo Hamath.v 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron,w where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai,x the descendants of Anak,y lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)z 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,a a they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranatesb and figs.c 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty daysd they returned from exploring the land.e

Report on the Exploration

26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadeshf in the Desert of Paran.g There they reported to themh and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.i 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey!j Here is its fruit.k 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.l We even saw descendants of Anakm there.n 29 The Amalekiteso live in the Negev; the Hittites,p Jebusitesq and Amoritesr live in the hill country;s and the Canaanitest live near the sea and along the Jordan.u

30 Then Calebv silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”w 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad reportx about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devoursy those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.z 33 We saw the Nephilima there (the descendants of Anakb come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppersc in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

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