Amplified Bible

Deuteronomy 1

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). 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]. 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, 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. Beyond (east of) the Jordan in the [c]land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying,

“The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough on this mountain. 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. 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.’

“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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit recognize faces.
  5. Deuteronomy 1:17 Lit fear because of the face of.
  6. 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.
  7. Deuteronomy 1:41 Lit girded.

New International Version - UK

Deuteronomy 1

The command to leave Horeb

1These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan – that is, in the Arabah – opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)

In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.

East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighbouring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and to their descendants after them.’

The appointment of leaders

At that time I said to you, ‘You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.’

14 You answered me, ‘What you propose to do is good.’

15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you – as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.’ 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.

Spies sent out

19 Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went towards the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, ‘You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’

22 Then all of you came to me and said, ‘Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.’

23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, ‘It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.’

Rebellion against the Lord

26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, ‘The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, “The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.”’

29 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.’

32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

34 When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 ‘No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’

37 Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, ‘You shall not enter it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad – they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn round and set out towards the desert along the route to the Red Sea.’[a]

41 Then you replied, ‘We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.’ So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.

42 But the Lord said to me, ‘Tell them, “Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.”’

43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45 You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you. 46 And so you stayed in Kadesh many days – all the time you spent there.

  1. Deuteronomy 1:40 Or the Sea of Reeds