Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses 1
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against 2 Moses because of the Cushite 3 woman he had married 4 (for he had married an Ethiopian woman). 12:2 They 5 said, “Has the Lord only 6 spoken through Moses? Has he not also spoken through us?” 7 And the Lord heard it. 8
12:3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, 9 more so than any man on the face of the earth.)
The Response of the Lord
12:4 The Lord spoke immediately to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam: “The three of you come to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went. 12:5 And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent; he then called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward.
12:6 The Lord 10 said, “Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, 11 I the Lord 12 will make myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream. 12:7 My servant 13 Moses is not like this; he is faithful 14 in all my house. 12:8 With him I will speak face to face, 15 openly, 16 and not in riddles; and he will see the form 17 of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 12:9 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he departed. 12:10 When 18 the cloud departed from above the tent, Miriam became 19 leprous 20 as snow. Then Aaron looked at 21 Miriam, and she was leprous!
The Intercession of Moses
12:11 So Aaron said to Moses, “O my lord, 22 please do not hold this sin against us, in which we have acted foolishly and have sinned! 12:12 Do not let her be like a baby born dead, whose flesh is half-consumed when it comes out of its 23 mother’s womb!”
12:13 Then Moses cried to the Lord, “Heal her now, O God.” 24 12:14 The Lord said to Moses, “If her father had only spit 25 in her face, would she not have been disgraced for seven days? Shut her out from the camp seven days, and afterward she can be brought back in again.”
12:15 So Miriam was shut outside of the camp for seven days, and the people did not journey on until Miriam was brought back in. 26 12:16 After that the people moved from Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran. 13:1
Spies Sent Out 27
The Lord spoke 28 to Moses: 13:2 “Send out men to investigate 29 the land of Canaan, which I am giving 30 to the Israelites. You are to send one man from each ancestral tribe, 31 each one a leader among them.” 13:3 So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command 32 of the Lord. All of them were leaders 33 of the Israelites.
13:4 Now these were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur; 13:5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 13:6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 13:7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 13:8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 13:9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 13:10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 13:11 from the tribe 34 of Joseph, namely, the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi; 13:12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13:13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 13:14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vopshi; 13:15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 13:16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to investigate the land. And Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua. 35
The Spies’ Instructions
13:17 When Moses sent 36 them to investigate the land of Canaan, he told them, “Go up through the Negev, 37 and then go up into the hill country 13:18 and see 38 what the land is like, 39 and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, few or many, 13:19 and whether the land they live in is good or bad, and whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or fortified cities, 13:20 and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether or not there are forests in it. And be brave, 40 and bring back some of the fruit of the land.” Now it was the time of year 41 for the first ripe grapes. 42
The Spies’ Activities
13:21 So they went up and investigated the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, 43 at the entrance of Hamath. 44 13:22 When they went up through the Negev, they 45 came 46 to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, 47 descendants of Anak, were living. (Now Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan 48 in Egypt.) 13:23 When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff 49 between two men, as well as some of the pomegranates and the figs. 13:24 That place was called 50 the Eshcol Valley, 51 because of the cluster 52 of grapes that the Israelites cut from there. 13:25 They returned from investigating the land after forty days.
The Spies’ Reports
13:26 They came back 53 to Moses and Aaron and to the whole community of the Israelites in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. 54 They reported 55 to the whole community and showed the fruit of the land. 13:27 They told Moses, 56 “We went to the land where you sent us. 57 It is indeed flowing with milk and honey, 58 and this is its fruit. 13:28 But 59 the inhabitants 60 are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. Moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites live in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the banks 61 of the Jordan.” 62
13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses, saying, “Let us go up 63 and occupy it, 64 for we are well able to conquer it.” 65 13:31 But the men 66 who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against these people, because they are stronger than we are!” 13:32 Then they presented the Israelites with a discouraging 67 report of the land they had investigated, saying, “The land that we passed through 68 to investigate is a land that devours 69 its inhabitants. 70 All the people we saw there 71 are of great stature. 13:33 We even saw the Nephilim 72 there (the descendants of Anak came from the Nephilim), and we seemed liked grasshoppers both to ourselves 73 and to them.” 74 14:1
The Israelites Respond in Unbelief 75
Then all the community raised a loud cry, 76 and the people wept 77 that night. 14:2 And all the Israelites murmured 78 against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died 79 in the land of Egypt, or if only we had perished 80 in this wilderness! 14:3 Why has the Lord brought us into this land only to be killed by the sword, that our wives and our children should become plunder? Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 14:4 So they said to one another, 81 “Let’s appoint 82 a leader 83 and return 84 to Egypt.”
14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces to the ground 85 before the whole assembled community 86 of the Israelites. 14:6 And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of those who had investigated the land, tore their garments. 14:7 They said to the whole community of the Israelites, “The land we passed through to investigate is an exceedingly 87 good land. 14:8 If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 88 14:9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. 89 Their protection 90 has turned aside from them, but the Lord is with us. Do not fear them!”
14:10 However, the whole community threatened to stone them. 91 But 92 the glory 93 of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the tent 94 of meeting.
The Punishment from God
14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise 95 me, and how long will they not believe 96 in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them? 14:12 I will strike them with the pestilence, 97 and I will disinherit them; I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!”
14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 98 it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 99 of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 100 that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 101 this entire people at once, 102 then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 103 be great, just as you have said, 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 104 forgiving iniquity and transgression, 105 but by no means clearing 106 the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 107 14:19 Please forgive 108 the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 109 just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
14:20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 110 14:21 But truly, as I live, 111 all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 14:22 For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted 112 me now these ten times, 113 and have not obeyed me, 114 14:23 they will by no means 115 see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it. 14:24 Only my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully – I will bring him into the land where he had gone, and his descendants 116 will possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites were living in the valleys.) 117 Tomorrow, turn and journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”
14:26 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 14:27 “How long must I bear 118 with this evil congregation 119 that murmurs against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites that they murmured against me. 14:28 Say to them, ‘As I live, 120 says 121 the Lord, I will surely do to you just what you have spoken in my hearing. 122 14:29 Your dead bodies 123 will fall in this wilderness – all those of you who were numbered, according to your full number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me. 14:30 You will by no means enter into the land where 124 I swore 125 to settle 126 you. The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 14:31 But I will bring in your little ones, whom you said would become victims of war, 127 and they will enjoy 128 the land that you have despised. 14:32 But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, 14:33 and your children will wander 129 in the wilderness forty years and suffer for your unfaithfulness, 130 until your dead bodies lie finished 131 in the wilderness. 14:34 According to the number of the days you have investigated this land, forty days – one day for a year – you will suffer for 132 your iniquities, forty years, and you will know what it means to thwart me. 133 14:35 I, the Lord, have said, “I will surely do so to all this evil congregation that has gathered together against me. In this wilderness they will be finished, and there they will die!”’”
14:36 The men whom Moses sent to investigate the land, who returned and made the whole community murmur against him by producing 134 an evil report about the land, 14:37 those men who produced the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord. 14:38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among 135 the men who went to investigate the land, lived. 14:39 When Moses told 136 these things to all the Israelites, the people mourned 137 greatly.
14:40 And early 138 in the morning they went up to the crest of the hill country, 139 saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place that the Lord commanded, 140 for we have sinned.” 141 14:41 But Moses said, “Why 142 are you now transgressing the commandment 143 of the Lord? It will not succeed! 14:42 Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, and you will be 144 defeated before your enemies. 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.”
14:44 But they dared 145 to go up to the crest of the hill, although 146 neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. 14:45 So the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country swooped 147 down and attacked them 148 as far as Hormah. 149