February 15

Numbers 12:1 — 14:45

12 Now Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses on account of the Cushite wife whom he had taken, because it was a Cushite wife he had taken. 2 And they kept saying: “Is it just by Moses alone that Jehovah has spoken? Is it not by us also that he has spoken?” And Jehovah was listening. 3 And the man Moses was by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground.

4 Then Jehovah suddenly said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam: “Go out, the three of YOU, to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out. 5 After that Jehovah came down in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam. At this both of them went out. 6 And he went on to say: “Hear my words, please. If there came to be a prophet of YOURS for Jehovah, it would be in a vision I would make myself known to him. In a dream I would speak to him. 7 Not so my servant Moses! He is being entrusted with all my house. 8 Mouth to mouth I speak to him, thus showing him, and not by riddles; and the appearance of Jehovah is what he beholds. Why, then, did YOU not fear to speak against my servant, against Moses?”

9 And Jehovah’s anger got to be hot against them, and he went his way. 10 And the cloud turned away from over the tent, and, look! Miriam was struck with leprosy as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and, look! she was struck with leprosy. 11 Immediately Aaron said to Moses: “Excuse me, my lord! Do not, please, attribute to us the sin in which we have acted foolishly and which we have committed! 12 Please, do not let her continue like someone dead, whose flesh at the time of his coming out of his mother’s womb is half eaten off!” 13 And Moses began to cry out to Jehovah, saying: “O God, please! Heal her, please!”

14 Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Were her father to spit directly in her face, would she not be humiliated seven days? Let her be quarantined seven days outside the camp, and afterward let her be received in.” 15 Accordingly Miriam was quarantined outside the camp seven days, and the people did not pull away until Miriam was received in. 16 And afterward the people pulled away from Hazeroth and took up camping in the wilderness of Paran.

13 Jehovah now spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Send out for yourself men that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel. YOU will send out one man for each tribe of his fathers, each one a chieftain among them.”

3 So Moses sent them out from the wilderness of Paran at the order of Jehovah. All the men were heads of the sons of Israel. 4 And these are 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, for the tribe 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, Geuel the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses continued to call Hoshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

17 When Moses was sending them to spy out the land of Canaan, he proceeded to say to them: “Go up here into the Negeb, and YOU must go up into the mountainous region. 18 And YOU must see what the land is and the people who are dwelling on it, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; 19 and what the land is in which they are dwelling, whether it is good or bad, and what the cities are in which they are dwelling, whether it is in encampments or in fortifications; 20 and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there are trees in it or not. And YOU must show yourselves courageous and take some of the fruitage of the land.” Now the days were the days of the first ripe fruits of the grapes.

21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob to the entering in of Hamath. 22 When they went up into the Negeb, they then came to Hebron. Now Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, those born of Anak, were there. Incidentally, Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan of Egypt. 23 When they came to the torrent valley of Eshcol, they then proceeded to cut down from there a shoot with one cluster of grapes. And they went carrying it with a bar on two of the men, and also some of the pomegranates and some of the figs. 24 They called that place the torrent valley of Eshcol, on account of the cluster that the sons of Israel cut down from there.

25 Finally at the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. 26 So they walked and came to Moses and Aaron and all the assembly of the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. And they came bringing back word to them and all the assembly and showing them the fruitage of the land. 27 And they went on to report to him and say: “We entered into the land to which you sent us out, and it is indeed flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruitage. 28 Nevertheless, the facts are that the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the fortified cities are very great; and, too, those born of Anak we saw there. 29 The Amalekites are dwelling in the land of the Negeb, and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are dwelling in the mountainous region, and the Canaanites are dwelling by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.”

30 Then Caleb tried to still the people toward Moses and went on to say: “Let us go up directly, and we are bound to take possession of it, because we can surely prevail over it.” 31 But the men who went up with him said: “We are not able to go up against the people, because they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they kept on bringing forth to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying: “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is a land that eats up its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in the midst of it are men of extraordinary size. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who are from the Nephilim; so that we became in our own eyes like grasshoppers, and the same way we became in their eyes.”

Then all the assembly raised their voice, and the people continued giving vent to their voice and weeping all through that night. 2 And all the sons of Israel began to murmur against Moses and Aaron, and all the assembly began to say against them: “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 And why is Jehovah bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder. Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 They even went to saying to one another: “Let us appoint a head, and let us return to Egypt!”

5 At this Moses and Aaron fell upon their faces before all the congregation of the assembly of the sons of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, ripped their garments apart, 7 and they proceeded to say this to all the assembly of the sons of Israel: “The land that we passed through to spy it out is a very, very good land. 8 If Jehovah has found delight in us, then he will certainly bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 9 Only against Jehovah do not rebel; and YOU, do not YOU fear the people of the land, for they are bread to us. Their shelter has turned away from over them, and Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them.”

10 However, all the assembly talked of pelting them with stones. And Jehovah’s glory appeared on the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.

11 Finally Jehovah said to Moses: “How long will this people treat me without respect, and how long will they not put faith in me for all the signs that I performed in among them? 12 Let me strike them with pestilence and drive them away, and let me make you a nation greater and mightier than they are.”

13 But Moses said to Jehovah: “Then the Egyptians will be bound to hear that you by your power have led this people up out of their midst. 14 And they will be bound to tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you are Jehovah in among this people, who has appeared face to face. You are Jehovah, and your cloud is standing over them, and you are going before them in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night. 15 Were you to put this people to death as one man, then the nations who have heard of your fame would certainly say this, 16 ‘Because of Jehovah’s not being able to bring this people into the land about which he swore to them he proceeded to slaughter them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, please, let your power become great, O Jehovah, just as you have spoken, saying, 18 ‘Jehovah, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, pardoning error and transgression, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment, bringing punishment for the error of the fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation.’ 19 Forgive, please, the error of this people according to the greatness of your loving-kindness, and just as you have pardoned this people from Egypt onward until now.”

20 Then Jehovah said: “I do forgive according to your word. 21 And, on the other hand, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of Jehovah. 22 But all the men who have been seeing my glory and my signs that I have performed in Egypt and in the wilderness and yet kept testing me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice, 23 will never see the land about which I swore to their fathers, yes, all those treating me without respect will not see it. 24 As for my servant Caleb, because a different spirit has proved to be with him and he kept following wholly after me, I shall certainly bring him into the land where he has gone, and his offspring will take possession of it. 25 While the Amalekites and the Canaanites are dwelling in the low plain, YOU people make a turn tomorrow and pull away to march to the wilderness by way of the Red Sea.”

26 And Jehovah went on to speak to Moses and Aaron, saying: 27 “How long will this evil assembly have this murmuring that they are carrying on against me? I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel that they are murmuring against me. 28 Say to them, ‘“As I live,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “if I shall not do to YOU just that way as YOU have spoken in my ears! 29 In this wilderness YOUR carcasses will fall, yes, all YOUR registered ones of all YOUR number from twenty years old upward, YOU who have murmured against me. 30 As for YOU, YOU will not enter into the land in which I lifted up my hand [in oath] to reside with YOU, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

31 “‘“And YOUR little ones who YOU said would become plunder, these also I shall certainly bring in, and they will indeed know the land that YOU have rejected. 32 But the carcasses of YOU yourselves will fall in this wilderness. 33 And YOUR sons will become shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and they will have to answer for YOUR acts of fornication, until YOUR carcasses come to their end in the wilderness. 34 By the number of the days that YOU spied out the land, forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, YOU will answer for YOUR errors forty years, as YOU must know what my being estranged means.

35 “‘“I Jehovah have spoken if this is not what I shall do to all this evil assembly, those who have gathered together against me: In this wilderness they will come to their end, and there they will die. 36 And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who, when they returned, began making the whole assembly murmur against him, by bringing forth a bad report against the land, 37 yes, the men bringing forth the bad report about the land will die by the scourge before Jehovah. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh will certainly live on, of those men who went to spy out the land.”’”

39 When Moses proceeded to speak these words to all the sons of Israel, then the people began to mourn a great deal. 40 Moreover, they got up early in the morning and tried to go up to the top of the mountain, saying: “Here we are, and we have to go up to the place that Jehovah mentioned. For we have sinned.” 41 But Moses said: “Why is it that YOU are passing beyond the order of Jehovah? But that will not succeed. 42 Do not go up, because Jehovah is not in YOUR midst, that YOU may not be defeated before YOUR enemies. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before YOU; and YOU are certain to fall by the sword, because, for the reason that YOU turned back from following Jehovah, Jehovah will not continue with YOU.”

44 However, they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain, but the ark of Jehovah’s covenant and Moses did not move away from the midst of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who were dwelling in that mountain came on down and began striking them and went scattering them as far as Hormah.