The Death of the Ten Evil Spies

36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it- 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

The Defeat of Israel at Hormah

39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Numbers 14:36-39

Commentary on Numbers 14:36-39

(Read Numbers 14:36-39)

Here is the sudden death of the ten evil spies. They sinned in bringing a slander upon the land of promise. Those greatly provoke God, who misrepresent religion, raise dislike in men's minds toward it, or give opportunity to those to do so, who seek occasion. Justly are murmurers made mourners. If they had mourned for the sin, when they were faithfully reproved, the sentence had been prevented; but as they mourned for the judgment only, it did them no service. There is in hell such mourning as this; but tears will not quench the flames, nor cool the tongue.