13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them.14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it—37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord.38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly.40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”
41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed!
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