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The Spies’ Activities

21 So they went up and investigated the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob,[a] at Lebo Hamath. 22 When they went up through the Negev, they[b] came[c] to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai,[d] descendants of Anak, were living. (Now Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan[e] in Egypt.) 23 When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff[f] between two men, as well as some of the pomegranates and the figs.

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  1. Numbers 13:21 sn Zin is on the southern edge of the land, but Rehob is far north, near Mount Hermon. The spies covered all the land.
  2. Numbers 13:22 tc The MT has the singular, but the ancient versions and Smr have the plural.
  3. Numbers 13:22 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the following clause. The first verse gave the account of their journey over the whole land; this section focuses on what happened in the area of Hebron, which would be the basis for the false report.
  4. Numbers 13:22 sn These names are thought to be three clans that were in the Hebron area (see Josh 15:14; Judg 1:20). To call them descendants of Anak is usually taken to mean that they were large or tall people (2 Sam 21:18-22). They were ultimately driven out by Caleb.
  5. Numbers 13:22 sn The text now provides a brief historical aside for the readers. Zoan was probably the city of Tanis, although that is disputed today by some scholars. It was known in Egypt in the New Kingdom as “the fields of Tanis,” which corresponded to the “fields of Zoar” in the Hebrew Bible (Ps 78:12, 43).
  6. Numbers 13:23 tn The word is related etymologically to the verb for “slip, slide, bend, totter.” This would fit the use very well. A pole that would not bend would be hard to use to carry things, but a pole or stave that was flexible would serve well.