Numbers 13

13 And the Lord said to Moses,

2 Send men to explore and scout out [for yourselves] the land of Canaan, which I give to the Israelites. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader or head among them.

3 So Moses by the command of the Lord sent scouts from the Wilderness of Paran, all of them men who were heads of the Israelites.

4 These were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur;

5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea [that is, Joshua] son of Nun;

9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

11 Of the tribe of Joseph, that is, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi;

12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.

16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to explore and scout out the land. And Moses called Hoshea son of Nun, Joshua.

17 Moses sent them to scout out the land of Canaan, and said to them, Get up this way by the South (the Negeb) and go up into the hill country,

18 And see what the land is and whether the people who dwell there are strong or weak, few or many,

19 And whether the land they live in is good or bad, and whether the cities they dwell in are camps or strongholds,

20 And what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is timber on it or not. And be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

21 So they went up and scouted through the land from the Wilderness of Zin to Rehob, to the entrance of Hamath.

22 And then went up into the South (the Negeb) and came to Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai [probably three tribes of] the sons of Anak were there. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

23 And they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two [of them]; they brought also some pomegranates and figs.

24 That place was called the Valley of Eshcol [cluster] because of the cluster which the Israelites cut down there.

25 And they returned from scouting out the land after forty days.

26 They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelite congregation in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh, and brought them word, and showed them the land’s fruit.

27 They told Moses, We came to the land to which you sent us; surely it flows with milk and honey. This is its fruit.

28 But the people who dwell there are strong, and the cities are [a]fortified and very large; moreover, there we saw the sons of Anak [of great stature and courage].

29 Amalek dwells in the land of the South (the Negeb); the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell in the hill country; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea and along by the side of the Jordan [River].

30 Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.

31 But his fellow scouts said, We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are.

32 So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.

33 There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.


  1. Numbers 13:28 The scouts probably had not seen walled cities before, having lived their childhood in Goshen in Egypt. Those who forgot God’s power to help them naturally found the situation formidable, as happens in the lives of most people. “ ‘But God’ makes all the difference between cowards and Calebs.”

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