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
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