Moses Sends 12 Spies to Canaan

Spies Sent to Canaan
(Numbers 13:1-16)

the Lord spoke to moses
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1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Send you men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a ruler among them. 3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. 4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. 5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. 9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. 10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. 12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

Instructions to the Spies
(Numbers 13:17-20)

moses sent 12 people to spy out the land of canaan
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17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 18 And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwells therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be you of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

The Spies Explore Canaan
(Numbers 13:21-24)

the spies cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes
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21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, as men come to Hamath. 22 And they ascended by the south, and came to Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

23 And they came to the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it between two on a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from there.

The Reports of the Spies
(Numbers 13:25-33)

10 spies brought up an evil report of the land
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25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word to them, and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, and said, We came to the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched to the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

The People Rebel
(Numbers 14:1-12)

the people rebel
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1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said to them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3 And why has the LORD brought us to this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spoke to all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not you against the LORD, neither fear you the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.

11 And the LORD said to Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation and mightier than they.

God’s Forgiveness and Judgment
(Numbers 14:13-35)

13 And Moses said to the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for you brought up this people in your might from among them;) 14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that you LORD are among this people, that you LORD are seen face to face, and that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you shall kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of you will speak, saying, 16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness. 17 And now, I beseech you, let the power of my LORD be great, according as you have spoken, saying, 18 The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. 19 Pardon, I beseech you, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your mercy, and as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

moses and the israelites in the wilderness
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20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to your word: 21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not listened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land into where he went; and his seed shall possess it. 25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelled in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

26 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28 Say to them, As truly as I live, said the LORD, as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you: 29 Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. 30 Doubtless you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, which you said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your prostitutions, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness. 34 After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know my breach of promise. 35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it to all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

The Plague on the Ten Spies
(Numbers 14:36-38)

36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander on the land, 37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report on the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.


Question for Your Bible Studies:

1. Are all the messages spread by most people correct? The Israelites were punished for following the crowd and believing the wrong people. What should we learn from it who yearn for the returned Lord in the last days?

Read to get the answer: Why Didn’t They Enter the Land of Canaan?

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