Moses answered the families of Gad and Reuben: “Do you mean that you are going to leave the fighting that’s ahead to your brothers while you settle down here? Why would you even think of letting the People of Israel down, demoralizing them just as they’re about to move into the land God gave them? That’s exactly what your ancestors did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to survey the country. They went as far as the Valley of Eshcol, took one look and quit. They completely demoralized the People of Israel from entering the land God had given them. And God got angry—oh, did he get angry! He swore: ‘They’ll never get to see it; none of those who came up out of Egypt who are twenty years and older will ever get to see the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They weren’t interested in following me—their hearts weren’t in it. None, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun; they followed me—their hearts were in it.’
But not one of the people who came up out of Egypt will see the land except Caleb and Joshua. Caleb is the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite. And Joshua is the son of Nun. They will see the land. They followed the Lord with their whole heart.’
even though that particular land had been promised to the Israelites beginning with Abraham, then to Isaac and to Jacob after him, the whole generation that left Egypt when they were 20 years or older would have to die, wandering aimlessly in the desert, before God would allow the community to enter that great land. Only Caleb the Kenizzite (Jephunneh’s son) and Joshua (Nun’s son) out of that generation would be allowed to enjoy settlement there because they followed Him completely.
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