Numbers 14New Life Version (NLV)
The People Complain
14 Then all the people cried out with a loud voice, and they cried that night. 2 All the people of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this desert! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to be killed by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken away. Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and return to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in front of all the gathering of the people of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh tore their clothes. They were among those who had spied out the land. 7 They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we passed through to spy out is a very good land. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us. It is a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not go against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land. For they will be our food. They have no way to keep safe, and the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10 But all the people said to throw stones at Joshua and Caleb. Then the shining-greatness of the Lord was seen in the meeting tent by all the people of Israel.
Moses Prays for the People
11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people turn away from Me? How long will they not believe in Me, even after all the great works I have done among them? 12 I will punish them with disease, and will not give them the land. And I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
13 But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it. For You brought this people here by Your strength from among them. 14 And they will tell the people who live in this land. They have heard
that You, O Lord, are with these people and that You, O Lord, are seen face to face as Your cloud is over them. You go before them in a cloud during the day, and in fire during the night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, the nations who have heard how great You are will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land He promised to give them. So He has killed them in the desert.’ 17 But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great as You have promised, saying, 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with loving-kindness, forgiving sin and wrong-doing. But He will not let the guilty go without being punished. He brings the sin of fathers down upon the children, even the great-grandchildren.’ 19 I pray that You will forgive the sin of this people by the greatness of Your loving-kindness. Forgive them as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”
20 So the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 21 But for sure, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the shining-greatness of the Lord. 22 All the men who have seen My greatness and My wonderful works which I did in Egypt and in the desert but have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, for sure, they 23 will not see the land I promised to their fathers. None of those who have turned away from Me will see it. 24 But My servant Caleb has had a different spirit and has followed Me in every way. I will bring him into the land where he went, and his children will take it for themselves. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys. So turn tomorrow and move on to the desert by the way of the Red Sea.”
Punishment for the People Who Complained
26 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How long will these sinful people speak against Me? I have heard the people of Israel complaining against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live, what you have said in My hearing I will do to you,’ says the Lord. 29 ‘Your dead bodies will fall in this desert, all of you who were numbered from twenty years old and older, who have spoken against Me. 30 For sure, not one will go into the land where I promised to have you live, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 You said that your children would be taken and killed. But I will bring them in, and they will know the land you have turned away from. 32 But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds in the desert for forty years. They will suffer because you were not faithful, until your dead bodies lie in the desert. 34 You spied out the land for forty days. For each day you will carry your guilt a year, forty years. And you will know that I am against you. 35 I the Lord have spoken. For sure I will do this to all these sinful people who are gathered together against Me. They will be destroyed in this desert. And there they will die.’” 36 Moses had sent men to spy out the land. They returned and made all the people complain against him by bringing bad news about the land. 37 These men who brought the very bad news about the land died of a disease before the Lord. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh stayed alive, of those men who went to spy out the land.
39 When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people were filled with much sorrow. 40 They got up early in the morning and went up to the top of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. It is true we have sinned. But we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised.” 41 But Moses said, “Why now do you sin against the Word of the Lord? It will not get you what you want. 42 Do not go up, or you will be killed by those who fight against you. For the Lord is not with you. 43 The Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will be killed by the sword. Because you have turned away from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.” 44 But they would not listen and went up to the top of the hill country. The special box with the Law of the Lord, and Moses, did not leave the tents. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and went against them and beat them down as far as Hormah.