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Numbers 13:1–14:45

Spies Sent into Canaan

13 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, a“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

So Moses sent them bfrom the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel. Now these were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur; from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori; cfrom the tribe of Judah, dCaleb the son of Jephunneh; from the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph; from the tribe of Ephraim, 1Hoshea the son of Nun; from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu; 10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Joseph, that is, from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael; 14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi; 15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to 2spy out the land. And Moses called eHoshea 3the son of Nun, Joshua.

17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to fthe mountains, 18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; 20 whether the land is 4rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. gBe of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

21 So they went up and spied out the land hfrom the Wilderness of Zin as far as iRehob, near the entrance of jHamath. 22 And they went up through the South and came to kHebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of lAnak, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 mThen they came to the 5Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 24 The place was called the Valley of 6Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at nKadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly 7flows with omilk and honey, pand this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the qpeople who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of rAnak there. 29 sThe Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”

30 Then tCaleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

31 uBut the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they vgave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and wall the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the 8giants (xthe descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were ylike 9grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were zin their sight.”

Israel Refuses to Enter Canaan

14 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people awept that night. bAnd all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to 1fall by the sword, that our wives and cchildren should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, d“Let us select a leader and ereturn to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron 2fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: f“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord gdelights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, h‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only ido not rebel against the Lord, jnor fear the people of the land, for kthey 3are our bread; their protection has departed from them, land the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

10 mAnd all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now nthe glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

Moses Intercedes for the People

11 Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people oreject 4Me? And how long will they not pbelieve Me, with all the 5signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will qmake of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

13 And rMoses said to the Lord: s“Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have theard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 ‘Because the Lord was not uable to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 v‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, wvisiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 xPardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, yaccording to the greatness of Your mercy, just zas You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

20 Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, aaccording to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, ball the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord22 cbecause all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now dthese ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not esee the land of which I 6swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. 24 But My servant fCaleb, because he has a different spirit in him and ghas followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and hmove out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.”

Death Sentence on the Rebels

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 i“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? jI have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 Say to them, k‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, lall of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 mExcept for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I 7swore I would make you dwell in. 31 nBut your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall 8know the land which oyou have despised. 32 But as for you, pyour 9carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall qbe 1shepherds in the wilderness rforty years, and sbear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. 34 tAccording to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, uforty days, for each day you shall bear your 2guilt one year, namely forty years, vand you shall know My 3rejection. 35 wI the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so to all xthis evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’ ”

36 Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, ydied by the plague before the Lord. 38 zBut Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.

A Futile Invasion Attempt

39 Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, aand the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, b“Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned!”

41 And Moses said, “Now why do you 4transgress the command of the Lord? For this will not succeed. 42 cDo not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the Lord is not among you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; dbecause you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.”

44 eBut they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither

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