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. 2It takes 11 days to go from Mount Horeb to Kadesh Barnea if you travel on the Mount Seir road.
3It 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. 4They 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.
5The people were east of the Jordan River in the territory of Moab. There Moses began to explain the law. Here is what he said.
6The Lord our God spoke to us at Mount Horeb. He said, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Take 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. 8I 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
9At that time I spoke to you. I said, “You are too heavy a load for me to carry alone. 10The Lord your God has caused there to be many of you. Today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11The 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. 12But I can’t handle your problems and troubles all by myself. I can’t settle your arguments. 13So 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.”
14You answered me, “Your suggestion is good.”
15So 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. 16Here 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. 17When 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.” 18At that time I told you everything you should do.
Twelve Men Check Out the Land of Canaan
19The 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. 20Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites. The Lord our God is giving it to us. 21The 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.”
22Then 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.”
23That seemed like a good idea to me. So I chose 12 of you. I picked one man from each tribe. 24They left and went up into the hill country. There they came to the Valley of Eshkol. They checked it out. 25They 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
26But you wouldn’t go up. You refused to obey the command of the Lord your God. 27You 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. 28Where 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.’ ”
29Then I said to you, “Don’t be terrified. Don’t be afraid of them. 30The 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. 31You 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.”
32In spite of that, you didn’t trust in the Lord your God. 33He 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.
34The 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. 36Only 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.”
37Because of you, the Lord became angry with me also. He said, “You will not enter the land either. 38But 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. 39You 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. 40As for you, turn around. Start out toward the desert. Go along the road that leads to the Red Sea.”
41Then 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.
42But 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.’ ”
43So 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. 44The 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. 45You 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. 46So you stayed in Kadesh for many years. You spent a long time in that area.
1These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.1.1 the Red…: or, Zuph 2(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea.) 3And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; 4After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei: 5On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying, 6The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: 7Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.1.7 all…: Heb. all his neighbours 8Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.1.8 set: Heb. given
9¶ And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: 10The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 11(The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 12How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.1.13 Take: Heb. Give 14And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. 15So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.1.15 made: Heb. gave 16And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 17Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.1.17 respect…: Heb. acknowledge faces 18And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
19¶ And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us. 21Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
22¶ And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come. 23And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: 24And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out. 25And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. 26Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: 27And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.1.28 discouraged: Heb. melted 29Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. 32Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, 33Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day. 34And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, 35Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, 36Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.1.36 wholly…: Heb. fulfilled to go after 37Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. 38But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. 40But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. 41Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill. 42And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies. 43So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.1.43 went…: Heb. ye were presumptuous, and went up 44And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah. 45And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you. 46So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.