Exploring Canaan 1The LORD said to Moses,
2“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 3So at the LORD ’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
4These are their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur;
5from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;
6from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;
7from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;
8from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;
9from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;
10from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;
11from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi;
12from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;
13from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;
14from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;
15from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki.
16These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) 17When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19What 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?
20How 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.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)
21So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath.
22They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)
23When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,
25At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
Report on the Exploration 26They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.
29The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The People Rebel 1That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
4And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.
9Only do not rebel against the LORD . And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?
12I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” 13Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,
16‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
19In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” 20The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
25Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.
35I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.” 36So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD .
40Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!” 41But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD ’s command? This will not succeed! 42Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies,
43for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” 44Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD ’s covenant moved from the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.