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. 2(It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
3In 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. 4This 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.
5East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:
6The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Break 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. 8See, 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
9At that time I said to you, ‘You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.’
14You answered me, ‘What you propose to do is good.’
15So 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. 16And 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. 17Do 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.’ 18And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
Spies sent out
19Then, 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. 20Then I said to you, ‘You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21See, 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.’
22Then 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.’
23The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol and explored it. 25Taking 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
26But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27You 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. 28Where 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.” ’
29Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31and 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.’
32In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, 33who 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.
34When 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, 36except 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.’
37Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, ‘You shall not enter it, either. 38But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39And 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. 40But as for you, turn round and set out towards the desert along the route to the Red Sea.1:40 Or the Sea of Reeds’
41Then 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.
42But 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.” ’
43So 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. 44The 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. 45You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you. 46And so you stayed in Kadesh many days – all the time you spent there.
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.