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Numbers 14:11-38 Good News Translation (GNT)

Moses Prays for the People

11 The Lord said to Moses, “How much longer will these people reject me? How much longer will they refuse to trust in me, even though I have performed so many miracles among them? 12 I will send an epidemic and destroy them, but I will make you the father of a nation that is larger and more powerful than they are!”

13 But Moses said to the Lord, “You brought these people out of Egypt by your power. When the Egyptians hear what you have done to your people, 14 they will tell it to the people who live in this land. These people have already heard that you, Lord, are with us, that you appear in plain sight when your cloud stops over us, and that you go before us in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you kill all your people, the nations who have heard of your fame will say 16 that you killed your people in the wilderness because you were not able to bring them into the land you promised to give them. 17 So now, Lord, I pray, show us your power and do what you promised when you said, 18 ‘I, the Lord, am not easily angered, and I show great love and faithfulness and forgive sin and rebellion. Yet I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.’ 19 And now, Lord, according to the greatness of your unchanging love, forgive, I pray, the sin of these people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”

20 The Lord answered, “I will forgive them, as you have asked. 21 But I promise that as surely as I live and as surely as my presence fills the earth, 22 none of these people will live to enter that land. They have seen the dazzling light of my presence and the miracles that I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, but they have tried my patience over and over again and have refused to obey me. 23 They will never enter the land which I promised to their ancestors. None of those who have rejected me will ever enter it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different attitude and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land which he explored, and his descendants will possess the land 25 in whose valleys the Amalekites and the Canaanites now live. Turn back tomorrow and go into the wilderness in the direction of the Gulf of Aqaba.”

The Lord Punishes the People for Complaining

26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How much longer are these wicked people going to complain against me? I have heard enough of these complaints! 28 Now give them this answer: ‘I swear that as surely as I live, I will do to you just what you have asked. I, the Lord, have spoken. 29 You will die and your corpses will be scattered across this wilderness. Because you have complained against me, none of you over twenty years of age will enter that land. 30 I promised to let you live there, but not one of you will, except Caleb and Joshua. 31 You said that your children would be captured, but I will bring them into the land that you rejected, and it will be their home. 32 You will die here in this wilderness. 33 Your children will wander in the wilderness for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last one of you dies. 34 You will suffer the consequences of your sin for forty years, one year for each of the forty days you spent exploring the land. You will know what it means to have me against you! 35 I swear that I will do this to you wicked people who have gathered together against me. Here in the wilderness every one of you will die. I, the Lord, have spoken.’”

36-37 The men Moses had sent to explore the land brought back a false report which caused the people to complain against the Lord. And so the Lord struck them with a disease, and they died. 38 Of the twelve spies only Joshua and Caleb survived.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Numbers 14:11-38 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

11 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

Moses Intercedes for the People

13 But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for in your might you brought up this people from among them, 14 and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people; for you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go in front of them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you kill this people all at one time, then the nations who have heard about you will say, 16 ‘It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them that he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, therefore, let the power of the Lord be great in the way that you promised when you spoke, saying,

18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.’

19 Forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have pardoned this people, from Egypt even until now.”

20 Then the Lord said, “I do forgive, just as you have asked; 21 nevertheless—as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord 22 none of the people who have seen my glory and the signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tested me these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their ancestors; none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25 Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”[a]

An Attempted Invasion is Repulsed

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 27 How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me. 28 Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 your dead bodies shall fall in this very wilderness; and of all your number, included in the census, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against me, 30 not one of you shall come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, who you said would become booty, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have despised. 32 But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.” 35 I the Lord have spoken; surely I will do thus to all this wicked congregation gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.

36 And 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 about the land— 37 the men who brought an unfavorable report about the land died by a plague before the Lord. 38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh alone remained alive, of those men who went to spy out the land.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 14:25 Or Sea of Reeds
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Numbers 14:11-38 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

11 Adonai said to Moshe, “How much longer is this people going to treat me with contempt? How much longer will they not trust me, especially considering all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I am going to strike them with sickness, destroy them and make from you a nation greater and stronger than they are!”

13 However, Moshe replied to Adonai, “When the Egyptians hear about this — [and they will,] because it was from among them that you, by your strength, brought this people up — 14 they will tell the people living in this land. They have heard that you, Adonai, are with this people; that you, Adonai, are seen face to face; that your cloud stands over them; that you go ahead of them in a column of cloud by day and a column of fire by night. 15 If you kill off this people at a single stroke, then the nations that have heard of your reputation will say 16 that the reason Adonai slaughtered this people in the desert is that he wasn’t able to bring them into the land which he swore to give them. 17 So now, please, let Adonai’s power be as great as when you said, 18 Adonai is slow to anger, rich in grace, forgiving offenses and crimes; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and even by the third and fourth generations.’ 19 Please! Forgive the offense of this people according to the greatness of your grace, just as you have borne with this people from Egypt until now.”

20 Adonai answered, “I have forgiven, as you have asked. 21 But as sure as I live, and that the whole earth is filled with the glory of Adonai, 22 none of the people who saw my glory and the signs I did in Egypt and in the desert, yet tested me these ten times and did not listen to my voice, 23 will see the land I swore to their ancestors! None of those who treated me with contempt will see it. 24 But my servant Kalev, because he had a different Spirit with him and has fully followed me — him I will bring into the land he entered, and it will belong to his descendants.

25 “Now, since the ‘Amaleki and the Kena‘ani are living in the valley, tomorrow turn around and get yourselves into the desert along the way to the Sea of Suf.”

(iv) 26 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, 27 “How long am I to put up with this evil community who keep grumbling about me? I have heard the complaints of the people of Isra’el, which they continue to raise against me. 28 Tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, Adonai swears, as surely as you have spoken in my ears, I will do this to you: 29 your carcasses will fall in this desert! Every single one of you who were included in the census over the age of twenty, you who have complained against me, 30 will certainly not enter the land about which I raised my hand to swear that I would have you live in it — except for Kalev the son of Y’funeh and Y’hoshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, who you said would be taken as booty — them I will bring in. They will know the land you have rejected. 32 But you, your carcasses will fall in this desert; 33 and your children will wander about in the desert for forty years bearing the consequences of your prostitutions until the desert eats up your carcasses. 34 It will be a year for every day you spent reconnoitering the land that you will bear the consequences of your offenses — forty days, forty years. Then you will know what it means to oppose me! 35 I, Adonai, have spoken.’ I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me — they will be destroyed in this desert and die there.”

36 The men whom Moshe had sent to reconnoiter the land and who, when they returned, made the entire community complain against him by giving an unfavorable report about the land — 37 those men who gave the unfavorable report about the land died by the plague in the presence of Adonai. 38 Of the men who went to reconnoiter the land, only Y’hoshua the son of Nun and Kalev the son of Y’funeh remained alive.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Numbers 14:11-38 The Message (MSG)

10-12 But, up in arms now, the entire community was talking of hurling stones at them.

Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough—I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”

13-16 But Moses said to God, “The Egyptians are going to hear about this! You delivered this people from Egypt with a great show of strength, and now this? The Egyptians will tell everyone. They’ve already heard that you are God, that you are on the side of this people, that you are present among them, that they see you with their own eyes in your Cloud that hovers over them, in the Pillar of Cloud that leads them by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. If you kill this entire people in one stroke, all the nations that have heard what has been going on will say, ‘Since God couldn’t get these people into the land which he had promised to give them, he slaughtered them out in the wilderness.’

17 “Now, please, let the power of the Master expand, enlarge itself greatly, along the lines you have laid out earlier when you said,

18 God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
        forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin;
    Still, never just whitewashing sin.
        But extending the fallout of parents’ sins
    to children into the third,
        even the fourth generation.

19 “Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people.”

20-23 God said, “I forgive them, honoring your words. But as I live and as the Glory of God fills the whole Earth—not a single person of those who saw my Glory, saw the miracle signs I did in Egypt and the wilderness, and who have tested me over and over and over again, turning a deaf ear to me—not one of them will set eyes on the land I so solemnly promised to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with such repeated contempt will see it.

24 “But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

25 “Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are so well established in the valleys, for right now change course and head back into the wilderness following the route to the Red Sea.”

26-30 God spoke to Moses and Aaron: “How long is this going to go on, all this grumbling against me by this evil-infested community? I’ve had my fill of complaints from these grumbling Israelites. Tell them, As I live—God’s decree—here’s what I’m going to do: Your corpses are going to litter the wilderness—every one of you twenty years and older who was counted in the census, this whole generation of grumblers and grousers. Not one of you will enter the land and make your home there, the firmly and solemnly promised land, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

31-34 “Your children, the very ones that you said would be taken for plunder, I’ll bring in to enjoy the land you rejected while your corpses will be rotting in the wilderness. These children of yours will live as shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, living with the fallout of your whoring unfaithfulness until the last of your generation lies a corpse in the wilderness. You scouted out the land for forty days; your punishment will be a year for each day, a forty-year sentence to serve for your sins—a long schooling in my displeasure.

35 “I, God, have spoken. I will most certainly carry out these things against this entire evil-infested community which has banded together against me. In this wilderness they will come to their end. There they will die.”

36-38 So it happened that the men Moses sent to scout out the land returned to circulate false rumors about the land causing the entire community to grumble against Moses—all these men died. Having spread false rumors of the land, they died in a plague, confronted by God. Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh were left alive of the men who went to scout out the land.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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