Miriam and Aaron Speak against Moses
121 Now Miriam and Aaron said evil against Moses, because of the Cushite woman to whom he was married, for he had taken a Cushite woman as his wife. 2 And they said, Have the words of the Lord been given to Moses only? have they not come to us? And the Lord took note of it. 3 Now the man Moses was more gentle than any other man on earth.
4 And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, Come out, you three, to the Tent of meeting. And the three of them went out. 5 And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, taking his place at the door of the Tent, and made Aaron and Miriam come before him. 6 And he said, Now give ear to my words: if there is a prophet among you I will give him knowledge of myself in a vision and will let my words come to him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so; he is true to me in all my house: 8 With him I will have talk mouth to mouth, openly and not in dark sayings; and with his eyes he will see the form of the Lord: why then had you no fear of saying evil against my servant Moses? 9 And burning with wrath against them, the Lord went away.
10 And the cloud was moved from over the Tent; and straight away Miriam became a leper, as white as snow: and Aaron, looking at Miriam, saw that she was a leper. 11 Then Aaron said to Moses, O my lord, let not our sin be on our heads, for we have done foolishly and are sinners. 12 Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half wasted when he comes out from the body of his mother. 13 And Moses, crying to the Lord, said, Let my prayer come before you, O God, and make her well. 14 And the Lord said to Moses, If her father had put a mark of shame on her, would she not be shamed for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the tent-circle for seven days, and after that she may come in again. 15 So Miriam was shut up outside the tent-circle for seven days: and the people did not go forward on their journey till Miriam had come in again. 16 After that, the people went on from Hazeroth and put up their tents in the waste land of Paran.
The Twelve Spies Sent to Canaan
131 And the Lord said to Moses, 2 Send men to get knowledge about the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from every tribe of their fathers you are to send a man, every one a chief among them. 3 And Moses sent them from the waste land of Paran as the Lord gave orders, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel. 4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua, the son of Zaccur. 5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat, the son of Hori. 6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. 7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal, the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea, the son of Nun. 9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti, the son of Raphu. 10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel, the son of Sodi. 11 Of the tribe of Joseph, that is of the family of Manasseh, Gaddi, the son of Susi. 12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel, the son of Gemalli. 13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur, the son of Michael 14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi, the son of Vophsi. 15 Of the tribe of Gad, Gevel, the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to get knowledge about the land. And Moses gave to Hoshea, the son of Nun, the name of Joshua. 17 So Moses sent them to have a look at the land of Canaan, and said to them, Go up into the South and into the hill-country; 18 And see what the land is like; and if the people living in it are strong or feeble, small or great in number; 19 And what sort of land they are living in, if it is good or bad; and what their living-places are, tent-circles or walled towns; 20 And if the land is fertile or poor, and if there is wood in it or not. And be of good heart, and come back with some of the produce of the land. Now it was the time when the first grapes were ready.
21 So they went up and got a view of the land, from the waste land of Zin to Rehob, on the way to Hamath. 22 They went up into the South and came to Hebron; and Ahiman and Sheshai and Talmai, the children of Anak, were living there. (Now the building of Hebron took place seven years before that of Zoan in Egypt.) 23 And they came to the valley of Eshcol, and cutting down a vine-branch with its grapes, two of them took it on a rod between them; and they took some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was named the valley of Eshcol because of the grapes which the children of Israel took from there. 25 At the end of forty days they came back from viewing the land.
26 And they came back to Moses and Aaron and all the children of Israel, to Kadesh in the waste land of Paran; and gave an account to them and to all the people and let them see the produce of the land. 27 And they said, We came to the land where you sent us, and truly it is flowing with milk and honey: and here is some of the produce of it. 28 But the people living in the land are strong, and the towns are walled and very great; further, we saw the children of Anak there. 29 And the Amalekites are in the South; and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill-country; and the Canaanites by the sea and by the side of Jordan. 30 Then Caleb made signs to the people to keep quiet, and said to Moses, Let us go up straight away and take this land; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad account of the land they had been to see, saying, This land through which we went is a land causing destruction to those living in it; and all the people we saw there are men of more than common size. 33 There we saw those great men, the sons of Anak, offspring of the Nephilim: and we seemed to ourselves no more than insects, and so we seemed to them.
The People Rebel against the LORD
141 Then all the people gave load cries of grief, and all that night they gave themselves up to weeping. 2 And all the children of Israel, crying out against Moses and Aaron, said, If only we had come to our death in the land of Egypt, or even in this waste land! 3 Why is the Lord taking us into this land to come to our death by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will get into strange hands: would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt? 4 And they said to one another, Let us make a captain over us, and go back to Egypt.
5 Then Moses and Aaron went down on their faces before the meeting of the people. 6 And Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, two of those who had been to see the land, giving signs of grief, 7 Said to all the children of Israel, This land which we went through to see is a very good land. 8 And if the Lord has delight in us, he will take us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 9 Only, do not go against the Lord or go in fear of the people of the land, for they will be our food; their strength has been taken from them and the Lord is with us: have no fear of them. 10 But all the people said they were to be stoned. Then the glory of the Lord was seen in the Tent of meeting, before the eyes of all the children of Israel.
11 And the Lord said to Moses, How long will this people have no respect for me? how long will they be without faith, in the face of all the signs I have done among them? 12 I will send disease on them for their destruction, and take away their heritage, and I will make of you a nation greater and stronger than they. 13 And Moses said to the Lord, Then it will come to the ears of the Egyptians; for by your power you took this people out from among them; 14 And they will give the news to the people of this land: they have had word that you, Lord, are present with this people, letting yourself be seen face to face, and that your cloud is resting over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you put to death all this people as one man, then the nations who have had word of your glory will say, 16 Because the Lord was not able to take this people into the land which he made an oath to give them, he sent destruction on them in the waste land. 17 So now, may my prayer come before you, and let the power of the Lord be great, as you said: 18 The Lord is slow to wrath and great in mercy, overlooking wrongdoing and evil, and will not let wrongdoers go free; sending punishment on children for the sins of their fathers, to the third and fourth generation. 19 May the sin of this people have forgiveness, in the measure of your great mercy, as you have had mercy on them from Egypt up till now.
God's Punishment on Israel
20 And the Lord said, I have had mercy, as you say: 21 But truly, as I am living, and as all the earth will be full of the glory of the Lord; 22 Because all these men, having seen my glory and the signs which I have done in Egypt and in the waste land, still have put me to the test ten times, and have not given ear to my voice; 23 They will not see the land about which I made an oath to their fathers; not one of these by whom I have not been honoured will see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit in him, and has been true to me with all his heart, him I will take into that land into which he went, and his seed will have it for their heritage. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites are in the valley; tomorrow, turning round, go into the waste land by the way to the Red Sea. 26 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 How long am I to put up with this evil people and their outcries against me? The words which they say against me have come to my ears. 28 Say to them, By my life, says the Lord, as certainly as your words have come to my ears, so certainly will I do this to you: 29 Your dead bodies will be stretched out in this waste land; and of all your number, all those of twenty years old and over who have been crying out against me, 30 Not one will come into the land which I gave my word you would have for your resting-place, but only Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun. 31 And your little ones, whom you said would come into strange hands, I will take in, and they will see the land which you would not have. 32 But as for you, your dead bodies will be stretched in this waste land. 33 And your children will be wanderers in the waste land for forty years, undergoing punishment for your false ways, till your bodies become dust in the waste land. 34 And as you went through the land viewing it for forty days, so for forty years, a year for every day, you will undergo punishment for your wrongdoing, and you will see that I am against you. 35 I the Lord have said it, and this I will certainly do to all this evil people who have come together against me: in this waste land destruction will come on them, and death will be their fate.
The Death of the Ten Evil Spies
36 And the men whom Moses sent to see the land, and who, by the bad account they gave of the land, were the cause of the outcry the people made against Moses, 37 Those same men who said evil of the land, came to their death by disease before the Lord. 38 But Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, of those who went to see the land, were not touched by disease.
The Defeat of Israel at Hormah
39 And when Moses put these words before the children of Israel, the people were full of grief. 40 And early in the morning they got up and went to the top of the mountain, saying, We are here and we will go up to the place which the Lord said he would give us: for we have done wrong. 41 And Moses said, Why are you now acting against the Lord's order, seeing that no good will come of it? 42 Go not up, for the Lord is not with you, and you will be overcome by those who are fighting against you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will be put to death by their swords: because you have gone back from the way of the Lord, the Lord will not be with you. 44 But they gave no attention to his words and went to the top of the mountain, though Moses and the ark of the Lord's agreement did not go out of the tent-circle. 45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites who were living in the hill-country, and overcame them completely, driving them back as far as Hormah.