The People Rebel
1Then all the congregation Lit raised and gave their voiceraised their voices and cried out, and the people wept Lit in thatthat night.
2And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the entire congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or even if we had died in this wilderness!
3So why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
4So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!”
5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel.
6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;
7and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
8If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey.
9Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our Lit foodprey. Their Lit shadowprotection is gone from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”
10But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.
Moses Pleads for the People
11And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people be disrespectful to Me? And how long will they not Or trust inbelieve in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst?
12I will strike them with Lit the plagueplague and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.”
13But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought this people up from their midst,
14and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are in the midst of this people, because You, Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15Now if You put this people to death Lit as one manall at once, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will Lit say, sayingsay,
16‘Since the Lord could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
17So now, please, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, saying,
18‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in mercy, forgiving wrongdoing and violation of His Law; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, inflicting the I.e., punishment for the wrongdoingpunishment of the fathers on the children Lit onto the third and the fourth generations.
19Please forgive the guilt of this people in accordance with the greatness of Your mercy, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
The Lord Pardons and Rebukes
20So the Lord said, “I have forgiven them in accordance with your word;
21however, as I live, Lit and allall the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.
22Certainly all the people who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice,
23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who were disrespectful to Me see it.
24But as for My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land which he Lit entered thereentered, and his Lit seeddescendants shall take possession of it.
25Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way of the Lit Sea of ReedsRed Sea.”
26The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron again, saying,
27“How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel which they are Lit complainingvoicing against Me.
28Say to them, ‘As I live,’ declares the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you;
29your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, all your Lit musterednumbered men according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.
30By no means will you come into the land where I Lit raised My handswore to settle you, except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
31Your children, however, whom you said would become plunder—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected.
32But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness.
33Also, your sons will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, and they will Lit bearsuffer for your unfaithfulness, until your bodies perish in the wilderness.
34In accordance with the number of days that you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall suffer the punishment for your Or wrongdoingsguilt a year, that is, forty years, and you will know My opposition.
35I, the Lord, have spoken, I certainly will do this to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. They shall be worn out in this wilderness, and there they shall die.’ ”
36As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, and who returned and led all the congregation to grumble against him by bringing a bad report about the land,
37those men who brought the bad report of the land also died by a plague in the presence of the Lord.
38But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.
Israel Repulsed
39Now when Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly.
40In the morning, however, they got up early and went up to the Or top of the mountainridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; and we will go up to the place which the Lord has Lit saidpromised, for I.e., by lacking faith to gowe have sinned.”
41But Moses said, “Why then are you violating the Lit mouthcommand of the Lord, when doing so will not succeed?
42Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, Lit so that you are notto prevent you from being defeated Lit beforeby your enemies.
43For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there Lit before youto confront you, and you will fall by the sword, since you have turned back from following the Lord. And the Lord will not be with you.”
44But they foolishly dared to go up to the Or top of the mountainridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses left the camp.
45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and scattered them as far as Hormah.