The Lord Commands Israel to Leave Mount Horeb
1These are the words Moses spoke to all the Israelites. At that time, they were in the desert east of the Jordan River. It’s in the Arabah Valley across from Suph. The people were between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 It takes 11 days to go from Mount Horeb to Kadesh Barnea if you travel on the Mount Seir road.
3 It was the 40th year since the Israelites had left Egypt. On the first day of the 11th month, Moses spoke to them. He told them everything the Lord had commanded him to tell them. 4 They had already won the battle over Sihon. Sihon was the king of the Amorites. He had ruled in Heshbon. Israel had also won the battle over Og at Edrei. Og was the king of Bashan. He had ruled in Ashtaroth.
5 The people were east of the Jordan River in the territory of Moab. There Moses began to explain the law. Here is what he said.
6 The Lord our God spoke to us at Mount Horeb. He said, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Take your tents down. Go into the hill country of the Amorites. Go to all the people who are their neighbors. Go to the people who live in the Arabah Valley. Travel to the mountains and the western hills. Go to the people in the Negev Desert and along the coast. Travel to the land of Canaan and to Lebanon. Go as far as the great Euphrates River. 8 I have given you all this land. Go in and take it as your own. The Lord promised he would give the land to your fathers. He promised it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He also said he would give it to their children after them.”
Some Officials Are Chosen to Help Moses
9 At that time I spoke to you. I said, “You are too heavy a load for me to carry alone. 10 The Lord your God has caused there to be many of you. Today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11 The Lord is the God of your people. May he cause there to be a thousand times more of you. May he bless you, just as he promised he would. 12 But I can’t handle your problems and troubles all by myself. I can’t settle your arguments. 13 So choose some wise men from each of your tribes. They must understand how to give good advice. The people must have respect for them. I will appoint those men to have authority over you.”
14 You answered me, “Your suggestion is good.”
15 So I chose the leading men of your tribes who were wise and respected. I appointed them to have authority over you. I made them commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. I appointed them to be officials over the tribes. 16 Here is what I commanded your judges at that time. I said, “Listen to your people’s cases when they argue with one another. Judge them fairly. It doesn’t matter whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and an outsider living among you. 17 When you judge them, treat everyone the same. Listen to those who are important and those who are not. Don’t be afraid of anyone. God is the highest judge. Bring me any case that is too hard for you. I’ll listen to it.” 18 At that time I told you everything you should do.
Twelve Men Check Out the Land of Canaan
19 The Lord our God commanded us to start out from Mount Horeb. So we did. We went toward the hill country of the Amorites. We traveled all through the huge and terrible desert you saw. Finally, we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites. The Lord our God is giving it to us. 21 The Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take it. Do what the Lord says. He’s the God of your people. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”
22 Then all of you came to me. You said, “Let’s send some men ahead of us. They can check out the land for us and bring back a report. They can suggest to us which way to go. They can tell us about the towns we’ll come to.”
23 That seemed like a good idea to me. So I chose 12 of you. I picked one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country. There they came to the Valley of Eshkol. They checked it out. 25 They got some of the fruit of that land. Then they brought it down to us and gave us their report. They said, “The Lord our God is giving us a good land.”
Israel Refuses to Obey the Lord
26 But you wouldn’t go up. You refused to obey the command of the Lord your God. 27 You spoke against him in your tents. You said, “The Lord hates us. That’s why he brought us out of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites. He wanted to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? The men who checked out the land have made us afraid. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are. The cities are large. They have walls that reach up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’ ”
29 Then I said to you, “Don’t be terrified. Don’t be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will fight for you. With your own eyes you saw how he fought for you in Egypt. 31 You also saw how the Lord your God brought you through the desert. He carried you everywhere you went, just as a father carries his son. And now you have arrived here.”
32 In spite of that, you didn’t trust in the Lord your God. 33 He went ahead of you on your journey. He was in the fire at night and in the cloud during the day. He found places for you to camp. He showed you the way you should go.
34 The Lord heard what you said. So he became angry. He made a promise. He said, 35 “I promised to give this good land to your people of long ago. But no one alive today will see it. 36 Only Caleb will see the land. He is the son of Jephunneh. I will give him and his children after him the land he walked on. He followed me with his whole heart.”
37 Because of you, the Lord became angry with me also. He said, “You will not enter the land either. 38 But Joshua, the son of Nun, is your helper. Joshua will enter the land. Help him to be brave. Give him hope. He will lead Israel to take the land as their own. 39 You said your little ones would be taken prisoner. But they will enter the land. They do not yet know right from wrong. But I will give them the land. They will take it as their own. 40 As for you, turn around. Start out toward the desert. Go along the road that leads to the Red Sea.”
41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight. We’ll do just as the Lord our God has commanded us.” So all of you got your swords and put them on. You thought it would be easy to go up into the hill country.
42 But the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight. I will not be with you. Your enemies will win the battle over you.’ ”
43 So I told you what the Lord said. But you wouldn’t listen. You refused to obey his command. You were so filled with pride that you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out and attacked you. Like large numbers of bees they chased you. They beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 You came back and wept in front of the Lord. But he didn’t pay any attention to your weeping. He wouldn’t listen to you. 46 So you stayed in Kadesh for many years. You spent a long time in that area.
Israel’s History after the Exodus
1These are the words which Moses spoke to all [a]Israel [while they were still] beyond [that is, on the east side of] the Jordan [River] in the wilderness [across from Jerusalem], in the Arabah [the long, deep valley running north and south from the eastern arm of the Red Sea to beyond the Dead Sea] opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab (place of gold). 2 It is [only] eleven days’ journey from Horeb (Mount Sinai) by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan’s border; yet Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness for forty years before crossing the border and entering Canaan, the promised land]. 3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel in accordance with all that the Lord had commanded him to say to them, 4 after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth in Edrei. 5 Beyond (east of) the Jordan in the [c]land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying,
6 “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough on this mountain. 7 Turn and resume your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland (the Shephelah), in the Negev (South country) and on the coast of the [Mediterranean] Sea, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 Look, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.’
9 “I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and look, today you are as numerous as the stars of heaven. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, add to you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, just as He has promised you! 12 How can I alone bear the weight and pressure and burden of you and your strife (contention) and complaining? 13 Choose for yourselves wise, understanding, experienced, and respected men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as heads (leaders) over you.’ 14 And you answered me, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and made them leaders over you, commanders of thousands, and hundreds, and fifties, and tens, and officers (administrators) for your tribes.
16 “Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the matters between your brothers [your fellow countrymen], and judge righteously and fairly between a man and his brother, or the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) who is with him. 17 You shall not [d]show partiality in judgment; you shall hear and pay attention to the [cases of the] least [important] as well as the great. You shall not [e]fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you [to judge], you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18 I commanded you at that time [regarding] all the things that you should do.
19 “Then we set out from Horeb (Sinai), and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the [f]Amorites, just as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 And I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the Lord our God is about to give us. 21 Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
22 “Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men [into the land] before us, so that they may explore and search the area for us, and bring back to us word regarding the way we should go, and the cities we should enter.’ 23 The plan pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. 24 They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they reported back to us, and said, ‘It is a good land which the Lord our God is about to give us.’
26 “Yet you were not willing to go up [to take possession of it], but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You murmured and were ill-tempered (discontented) in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us He has brought us from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brothers (spies) have made our hearts melt [in fear] and demoralized us by saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large, and fortified [all the way up] to heaven. And besides, we saw the [giant-like] sons of the Anakim there.”’ 29 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you Himself, just as He did for you in Egypt before your [very] eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried and protected you, just as a man carries his son, all along the way which you traveled until you arrived at this place.’ 32 Yet in spite of this word, you did not trust [that is, confidently rely on and believe] the Lord your God, 33 who went before you along the way, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to seek a place for you to make camp and to show you the way in which you should go.
34 “And the Lord heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, 35 ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore (solemnly promised) to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has walked, because he has followed the Lord completely [and remained true to Him].’ 37 The Lord was angry with me also because of you, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter Canaan. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there. Encourage and strengthen him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 Moreover, your little ones whom you said would become prey, and your sons, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter Canaan, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by way of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds).’
41 “Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, just as the Lord our God has commanded us.’ So you [g]equipped every man with weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42 But the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up and do not fight, for I am not among you [because of your rebellion]; otherwise you will be [badly] defeated by your enemies.”’ 43 So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the Lord, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. 44 Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and struck you down in Seir as far as Hormah. 45 And you returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not listen to your voice nor pay attention to you. 46 So you stayed in Kadesh; many days you stayed there.
Notas al pie
- Deuteronomy 1:1 In general, sons (children) of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- Deuteronomy 1:2 God punished the children of Israel for their lack of faith (Num 14:1-3), their disobedience, and their worship of false gods at Mount Sinai (Ex 32:1-6; Deut 9:12, 16); however, God also used this time to teach the Israelites, through Moses, exactly what was expected of them once they possessed their promised land.
- Deuteronomy 1:5 This area is now part of the modern-day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In ancient times it was a strip of mountainous land on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. Moab, forefather of the Moabites, was the son of Lot, through his elder daughter (Gen 19:30-38).
- Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit recognize faces.
- Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit fear because of the face of.
- Deuteronomy 1:19 A tribal people descended from Canaan the son of Ham the son of Noah. The Amorites were so prominent that “Amorite” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Canaanite” to refer to all the people living in Canaan.
- Deuteronomy 1:41 Lit girded.