Numbers 13

Moses sends men to explore the country that God had promised

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘I will give the country called Canaan to the Israelites. Send men to explore that country. Choose one man from each tribe. Each man must be a leader among them.’

3 So Moses obeyed the LORD. He sent the men from the desert called Paran into Canaan. Each man was a leader among the Israelites. 4 This is a list of their names: There was Shammua, Zaccur's son, from Reuben's tribe. 5 From the tribe of Simeon, there was Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 From the tribe of Judah, there was Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 From the tribe of Issachar, there was Igal the son of Joseph. 8 From the tribe of Ephraim, there was Hoshea the son of Nun. 9 From the tribe of Benjamin, there was Palti the son of Raphu. 10 From the tribe of Zebulun, there was Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 From the tribe of Joseph, that is from the tribe of Manasseh, there was Gaddi the son of Susi. 12 From the tribe of Dan, there was Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 From the tribe of Asher, there was Sethur the son of Michael. 14 From the tribe of Naphtali, there was Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 And from the tribe of Gad, there was Geuel the son of Maki. 16 Those are the names of the men that Moses sent to explore the land. But Moses changed the name of Hoshea the son of Nun to Joshua.

13:16Hoshea means ‘God saves.’ Joshua means ‘the LORD saves.’

17 Moses sent them to explore the country called Canaan. And he said to them, ‘Go north from here. Go through the south of Canaan. Then continue to go north, into the part of the country where there are hills. 18 And have a look at the country. See whether the people there are strong or weak. And see whether few people or many people live there. 19 See whether their land is good or bad. And see whether their towns have no walls or strong walls. 20 And see whether good food or not much food grows on their land. See whether there are trees in their country or not. Then try to get some fruit from the country.’ (It was the time for the first grapes to be ready to eat.)

21 So they went. And they explored the land from the desert called Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-Hamath. 22 When they had gone up into the south of the country, they came to Hebron. That was where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak were living. Hebron was 7 years older than Zoan in Egypt. 23 Then the men came to the Valley called Eshcol. There, they cut a branch from a plant. The branch had only one set of grapes on it. But the branch was so large that two men carried it between them on a piece of wood. They also brought some fruits called pomegranates and figs. 24 That valley was called Eshcol. That was because of the set of grapes that the Israelites cut down there. 25 The men returned after they had explored the country for 40 days.

The men bring news to Moses

26 They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelites in the desert called Paran, at Kadesh. They told them about the country and they showed its fruit to them. 27 They said to Moses, ‘We went into the country that you sent us to. And there certainly is a lot of milk and honey there, and this is its fruit. 28 But the people who live in the country are strong. Their towns are very big and strong walls keep them safe. Also, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The descendants of Amalek are living in the south of the country. And the people called Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hills. And the Canaanites live by the sea and by the River Jordan.’

30 Then Caleb made the Israelites quiet in front of Moses. Caleb said, ‘We should go into the country. And we should get power over it. We will certainly be able to do it!’

31 But the men who had gone into the country with him said, ‘These people are stronger than we are. So we cannot go into the country and beat them.’ 32 So they gave to the Israelites a bad report of the country that they had explored. And they said, ‘We went through that whole country and we explored it. It seems to eat the people who live there! And all the people that we saw in it were very big. 33 We also saw the people called Nephilim there.’ (The descendants of Anak are also Nephilim.) ‘And we felt like very small insects when we looked at them. And we seemed like very small insects to them too.’