Numbers 13:1-25

Moses sends men to explore Canaan

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘I will give the land of Canaan to the Israelites. Now you must send men to explore that land. Choose one man from each tribe of your ancestors. Each man must be a leader among his tribe.’

3 So Moses obeyed the Lord's command. He sent the men from the Paran desert into Canaan. Each man was a leader among the Israelites. 4 This is a list of their names:

  • From Reuben's tribe: Shammua, the son of Zaccur.
  • 5 From Simeon's tribe: Shaphat, the son of Hori.
  • 6 From Judah's tribe: Caleb, the son of Jephunneh.
  • 7 From Issachar's tribe: Igal, the son of Joseph.
  • 8 From Ephraim's tribe: Hoshea, the son of Nun.
  • 9 From Benjamin's tribe: Palti, the son of Raphu.
  • 10 From Zebulun's tribe: Gaddiel, the son of Sodi.
  • 11 From Manasseh's tribe: Gaddi, the son of Susi.
  • 12 From Dan's tribe: Ammiel, the son of Gemalli.
  • 13 From Asher's tribe: Sethur, the son of Michael.
  • 14 From Naphtali's tribe: Nahbi, the son of Vophsi.
  • 15 From Gad's tribe: Geuel, the son of Maki.
  • 16 Those are the names of the men that Moses sent to explore the land. 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 land of Canaan. He said to them, ‘Go north from here, through the Negev desert. Then continue to go north, into the place where there are hills. 18 Look at the land to see what it is like. See whether the people who live there are strong or weak. See whether few people or many people live there. 19 See whether their land is good or bad. Look at the towns where the people live. See if they have strong walls or they are in the open. 20 See whether the land is able to make good food grow there, or not. See whether there are forests that grow there. Then try to get some fruit from the land and bring it back here.’ (It was the time of year for the first grapes to be ready to eat.)

    21 So the men went and they explored the land of Canaan. They started in the desert called Zin, and they continued to Rehob, near Lebo-Hamath. 22 When they had gone up through the Negev desert in the south of the land, they arrived at Hebron. That was where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were living. They had built Hebron seven years before the Egyptians built Zoan.

    23 Then the men came to the valley called Eshcol. They cut a branch which had one group of grapes on it. It was so large that two men carried it between them on a pole. They also brought some other fruits called pomegranates and figs. 24 They called that valley ‘Eshcol’ because of the large group of grapes that the Israelites cut down there.

    25 The men returned after they had explored the land for 40 days.