Numbers 13-14New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Twelve Men Check Out the Land of Canaan
13 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to check out the land of Canaan. I am giving it to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of Israel’s tribes.”
3 So Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. He sent them as the Lord had commanded. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
4 Here are their names.
There was Shammua from the tribe of Reuben. Shammua was the son of Zakkur.
5 There was Shaphat from the tribe of Simeon. Shaphat was the son of Hori.
6 There was Caleb from the tribe of Judah. Caleb was the son of Jephunneh.
7 There was Igal from the tribe of Issachar. Igal was the son of Joseph.
8 There was Hoshea from the tribe of Ephraim. Hoshea was the son of Nun.
9 There was Palti from the tribe of Benjamin. Palti was the son of Raphu.
10 There was Gaddiel from the tribe of Zebulun. Gaddiel was the son of Sodi.
11 There was Gaddi from the tribe of Manasseh. Gaddi was the son of Susi. Manasseh was a tribe of Joseph.
12 There was Ammiel from the tribe of Dan. Ammiel was the son of Gemalli.
13 There was Sethur from the tribe of Asher. Sethur was the son of Michael.
14 There was Nahbi from the tribe of Naphtali. Nahbi was the son of Vophsi.
15 There was Geuel from the tribe of Gad. Geuel was the son of Maki.
16 Those are the men Moses sent to check out the land. He gave the name Joshua to Hoshea, the son of Nun.
17 Moses sent the 12 men to check out Canaan. He said, “Go up through the Negev Desert. Go on into the central hill country. 18 See what the land is like. See whether the people who live there are strong or weak. See whether they are 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? Do the towns have high walls around them or not? 20 How is the soil? Is it rich land or poor land? 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.
21 So the men went up and checked out the land. They went from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob. It was in the direction of Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev Desert and came to Hebron. That’s where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai lived. They belonged to the family line of Anak. Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan. Zoan was a city in Egypt. 23 The men came to the Valley of Eshkol. There they cut off a branch that had a single bunch of grapes on it. Two of them carried it on a pole between them. They carried some pomegranates and figs along with it. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol. That’s because the men of Israel cut off a bunch of grapes there. 25 At the end of 40 days, the men returned from checking out the land.
The Men Report on What They Found
26 The men came back to Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israel. The people were at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There the men reported to Moses and Aaron and all the people. They showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses their report. They said, “We went into the land you sent us to. It really does have plenty of milk and honey! Here’s some fruit from the land. 28 But the people who live there are powerful. Their cities have high walls around them and are very large. We even saw members of the family line of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev Desert. The Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the central hill country. The Canaanites live near the Mediterranean Sea. They also live along the Jordan River.”
30 Then Caleb interrupted the men speaking to Moses. He said, “We should go up and take the land. We can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him spoke. They said, “We can’t attack those people. They are stronger than we are.” 32 The men spread a bad report about the land among the Israelites. They said, “The land we checked out destroys those who live in it. All the people we saw there are very big and tall. 33 We saw the Nephilim there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes. And that’s also how we seemed to them.” The family line of Anak came from the Nephilim.
The People Refuse to Obey the Lord
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices. They wept out loud. 2 The Israelites spoke against Moses and Aaron. The whole community said to them, “We wish we had died in Egypt or even in this desert. 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land? We’re going to be killed by swords. Our enemies will capture our wives and children. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 They said to one another, “We should choose another leader. We should go back to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell with their faces to the ground. They did it in front of the whole community of Israel gathered there. 6 Joshua, the son of Nun, tore his clothes. So did Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. Joshua and Caleb were two of the men who had checked out the land. 7 They spoke to the whole community of Israel. They said, “We passed through the land and checked it out. It’s very good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he’ll lead us into that land. It’s a land that has plenty of milk and honey. He’ll give it to us. 9 But don’t refuse to obey him. And don’t be afraid of the people of the land. We will swallow them up. The Lord is with us. So nothing can save them. Don’t be afraid of them.”
10 But all the people talked about killing Joshua and Caleb by throwing stones at them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting. All the Israelites saw it. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people not respect me? How long will they refuse to believe in me? They refuse even though I have done many signs among them. 12 So I will strike them down with a plague. I will destroy them. But I will make you into a greater and stronger nation than they are.”
13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it. You used your power to bring these people up from among them. 14 And the Egyptians will tell the people who live in Canaan about it. Lord, they have already heard a lot about you. They’ve heard that you are with these people. They’ve heard that you have been seen face to face. They’ve been told that your cloud stays over them. They’ve heard that you go in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day. They’ve been told that you go in front of them in a pillar of fire at night. 15 Suppose you put all these people to death and leave none alive. Then the nations who have heard these things about you will talk. They’ll say, 16 ‘The Lord promised to give these people the land of Canaan. But he wasn’t able to bring them into it. So he killed them in the desert.’
17 “Now, Lord, show your strength. You have said, 18 ‘I am the Lord. I am slow to get angry. I am full of love. I forgive those who sin. I forgive those who refuse to obey. But I do not let guilty people go without punishing them. I cause the sin of the parents to affect their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.’ 19 Lord, your love is great. So forgive the sin of these people. Forgive them just as you have done from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, just as you asked. 21 You can be sure that I live. You can be just as sure that my glory fills the whole earth. 22 And here is what you can be just as sure of. Not one of these people will see the land I promised to give them. They have seen my glory. They have seen the signs I did in Egypt. And they have seen what I did in the desert. But they did not obey me. And they have tested me ten times. 23 So not even one of them will ever see the land I promised to give to their people of long ago. The person who has not respected me will never see it. 24 But my servant Caleb has a different spirit. He follows me with his whole heart. So I will bring him into the land he went to. And his children after him will receive land there. 25 The Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys. So turn back tomorrow. Start out toward the desert. Go along the way that leads to the Red Sea.”
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How long will this evil community speak against me? I have heard these Israelites talk about how unhappy they are. 28 So tell them, ‘Here is what I am announcing. I am the Lord. You can be sure that I live. And here is what you can be just as sure of. I will do to you the very thing that I heard you say. 29 You will die in this desert. Every one of you 20 years old or more will die. Every one of you who was counted in the list of the people will die. Every one of you who has spoken out against me will be wiped out. 30 I lifted up my hand and promised to make this land your home. But now not all of you will enter the land. Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, will enter it. So will Joshua, the son of Nun. They are the only ones who will enter the land. 31 You have said that your enemies would capture your children. But I will bring your children in to enjoy the land you have turned your backs on. 32 As for you, you will die in the desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for 40 years. They will suffer because you were not faithful. They will suffer until the last of your bodies lies here in the desert. 34 For 40 years you will suffer for your sins. That is one year for each of the 40 days you checked out the land. You will know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken. I will surely do these things to this entire evil community of Israel. They have joined together against me. They will meet their end in this desert. They will die here.”
36 So the Lord struck down the men Moses had sent to check out the land. They had returned and had spread a bad report about the land. And that had made the whole community speak out against Moses. 37 Those men were to blame for spreading the bad report. So the Lord struck them down. They died of a plague. 38 Only two of the men who went to check out the land remained alive. One of them was Joshua, the son of Nun. The other was Caleb, the son of Jephunneh.
39 Moses reported to all the Israelites what the Lord had said. And they became very sad. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country. “We have sinned,” they said. “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised to give us.”
41 But Moses said, “Why aren’t you obeying the Lord’s command? You won’t succeed. 42 So don’t go up. The Lord isn’t with you. Your enemies will win the battle over you. 43 The Amalekites and the Canaanites will meet you on the field of battle. You have turned away from the Lord. So he won’t be with you. And you will be killed by swords.”
44 But they wouldn’t listen. They still went up toward the highest point in the hill country. They went up even though Moses didn’t move from the camp. They went even though the ark of the Lord’s covenant didn’t move from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down. They attacked the Israelites. They won the battle over them. They chased the Israelites all the way to Hormah.
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