Numbers 13:1-14:45 Reading the Passage

Don’t Succumb to Intimidation – Numbers 13:1-14:45

13 Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, (2) Send men to explore the land of Canaan, that I am giving to the children of Israel. Send one of the leaders from each of their fathers’ tribes…(26) They came back to Moses and Aaron and to the whole congregation of the children of Israel encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. (27) They gave Moses this account: We went into the land to which you sent us, and it certainly does flow with milk and honey! This is its fruit. (28) However, the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. Furthermore, we saw the descendants of Anak there. (29) The Amalekites live in the Negev;* the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan River. (30) Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, Let us immediately go up and take possession of the land; for we are fully able to succeed! (31) But the men who had gone up with him protested, We are not able to attack those people, for they are stronger than we are. (32) So they gave the children of Israel a negative report concerning the land they had explored. They said, The land we explored devours those who live in it; and all the people we saw there are men of great size. (33) We also saw the Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim.) Compared to them, we seemed like grasshoppers to ourselves and to them as well.

14 The whole congregation raised their voices and wailed, and that night the people wept. (2) All the children of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, We wish that we had died in the land of Egypt, or that we had died in this wilderness! (3) Why has Jehovah brought us to this land, so that we might be killed with the sword? Our wives and our little children will be taken as plunder! Is it not better for us to go back to Egypt? (4) They said among themselves, Let us choose a leader for ourselves and go back to Egypt!(5) Then Moses and Aaron fell faceown in front of the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled there. (6) Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes in grief (7) and addressed the whole congregation of the children of Israel, saying, The land that we explored is a very good land. (8) If Jehovah is pleased with us he will bring us into this land and give it to us. It is a land that flows with milk and honey. (9) Only do not rebel against Jehovah, and do not fear the inhabitants of the land. We will consume them like bread;** their protection has been removed from them and Jehovah is with us. Do not be afraid of them! (10) But the whole congregation called out for them to be stoned. Then the glory of Jehovah appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the children of Israel…

(26) Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron, (27) How long shall I bear with this evil community that murmurs against me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel which they murmur against me. (28) Say to them, As I live, says Jehovah, just as you have spoken in my hearing, so will I do to you. (29) Your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness–every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has murmured against me.  (30) You shall by no means enter the land in which I swore I would make you dwell, except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. (31) But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in to the land, and they shall enjoy the land you have rejected. (32) But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; (33) and your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until your bodies are consumed in the wilderness…

(36) So the men whom Moses had sent to explore the land, those who had returned and caused the whole congregation to grumble against him by presenting a negative report against the land, (37) those very men who presented a negative report about the land died by a plague in the presence of Jehovah. (38) Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh survived.

(39) When Moses reported these words of Jehovah to all the children of Israel, they mourned bitterly. (40) Early the next morning they went up toward the high hill country. They said, We are here! We will go up to the place Jehovah has promised to give us! We have sinned in not obeying him. (41) But Moses said, Why are you now transgressing against the commandment of Jehovah, since you cannot succeed? (42) Do not go up, or else you will be struck down by your enemies, because Jehovah is not with you. (43) The Amalekites and the Canaanites will confront you, and you will be killed with the sword. Because you have turned back from following Jehovah, Jehovah will not be with you. (44) Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, but neither Jehovah’s ark of the covenant nor Moses left the camp. (45) Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who live in the hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

*Or, “the South,”

**Literally, “they are bread for us”

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.