ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 239



13:24–14:10
N u mbers
227
large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They
also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs. That place was
called the valley of Eshcol (which means “cluster”), because of the cluster
of grapes the Israelite men cut there.
After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses,
Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness
of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and
showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report
to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a
bountiful ­country—­a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind
of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their
towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants
of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and
Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go
at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We
can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread
this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All
the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants
of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they
thought, too!”
Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all
night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and
Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they
complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us
die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder!
Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among
themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”
Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole
community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua
son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said
to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored
is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us
safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and
honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of
the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but
the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb.
Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at





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