Bamidbar (Numbers): Shelach > Ch 13

G-d tells Moses to send 12 scouts into the Land of Canaan

  • "Send out for yourself men who will scout the Land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel. You shall send one man each for his father's tribe; each one shall be a chieftain in their midst."
  • Moses sent them from the desert of Paran by the word of the Lord. All of them were men of distinction; they were the heads of the children of Israel. Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua


Moses tells the scouts what to look for and sends them to the Land of Canaan

  • Moses: "Go up this way in the south and climb up the mountain. You shall see what [kind of] land it is, and the people who inhabit it; are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? And what of the land they inhabit? Is it good or bad? And what of the cities in which they reside are they in camps or in fortresses? What is the soil like is it fat or lean? Are there any trees in it or not? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land." It was the season when the first grapes begin to ripen.


Scouts explore the Land for 40 days. They find that it flows with milk and honey but is inhabited by mighty people: Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites

  • They went up and explored the land, from the desert of Zin until Rehov, at the entrance to Hamath. They went up in, the south, and he came to Hebron, and there were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of the giant. Now Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan of Egypt. They came to the Valley of Eshkol and they cut a branch with a cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two [people] and [they also took] some pomegranates and figs. They called that place the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster [eshkol] the children of Israel cut from there. They returned from scouting the Land at the end of forty days.
  • They came to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the desert of Paran, to Kadesh. They brought them back a report, as well as to the entire congregation, and they showed them the fruit of the land. They told him and said, "We came to the land to which you sent us, and it is flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who inhabit the land are mighty, and the cities are extremely huge and fortified, and there we saw even the offspring of the giant.
  • The Amalekites dwell in the south land, while the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountainous region. The Canaanites dwell on the coast and alongside the Jordan."


Caleb says that Israelites will be victorious, but the other scouts disagree and scare the Israelites with exaggerated stories of dangers that they would face

  • Caleb silenced the people to [hear about] Moses, and he said, "We can surely go up and take possession of it, for we can indeed overcome it." But the men who went up with him said, "We are unable to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. They spread an [evil] report about the land which they had scouted, telling the children of Israel, "The land we passed through to explore is a land that consumes its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of stature. There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, descended from the giants. In our eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes.


 

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