Numbers 13 – Spies Sent into Canaan

English: The Spies Return from Canaan, engravi...

Image via Wikipedia

We take the story of God’s word up now almost half way into the Book of Numbers.  The people of Israel left Sinai in chapter 10 and the Lord makes the command for one leader from each of the tribes of their fathers to be sent into the land of Canaan to spy.  Notice the reminder in verse 2 that this is the Land that He is giving to the people of Israel.  But except for Joshua and Caleb, the spies forget the promise.  After 40 days travel through the Negeb (or Negev), Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, they bring back a report that the land is indeed good.  But their description of the way the land is defended, and indeed the people themselves (verses 32-33) is calculated to persuade the people that taking the land would be impossible.

(Side note: Some background on the Negeb (or Negev) along with a modern photo are provided in this article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog)

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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