Numbers 13


וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר   13:1

Numb. 13:1  And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,

שְׁלַח־לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לְמַטֵּה   13:2

אֲבֹתָיו תִּשְׁלָחוּ כֹּל נָשִׂיא בָהֶם

Numb. 13:2  “Send men for yourself that they spy out the land of Canaan that I will be giving to the children of Israel.  You shall send one man each belonging to a tribe of his fathers, every one a chief among them.”

וַיִּשְׁלַח אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה מִמִּדְבַּר פָּארָן עַל־פִּי יְהוָה כֻּלָּם אֲנָשִׁים רָאשֵׁי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה   13:3

Numb. 13:3  So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran according to the word of the Lord; they were all of them men of leadership of the children of Israel.

וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמֹותָם לְמַטֵּה רְאוּבֵן שַׁמּוּעַ בֶּן־זַכּוּר   13:4

Numb. 13:4  And these were their names:  For the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur;

לְמַטֵּה שִׁמְעֹון שָׁפָט בֶּן־חֹורִי   13:5

Numb. 13:5  for the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה כָּלֵב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּה   13:6

Numb. 13:6  for the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

מַטֵּה יִשָּׂשכָר יִגְאָל בֶּן־יֹוסֵף   13:7

Numb. 13:7  for the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

לְמַטֵּה אֶפְרָיִם הֹושֵׁעַ בִּן־נוּן   13L8

Numb. 13:8  for the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

לְמַטֵּה בִנְיָמִן פַּלְטִי בֶּן־רָפוּא   13:9

Numb. 13:9  for the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

לְמַטֵּה זְבוּלֻן גַּדִּיאֵל בֶּן־סֹודִי   13:10

Numb. 13:10   for the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

לְמַטֵּה יֹוסֵף לְמַטֵּה מְנַשֶּׁה גַּדִּי בֶּן־סוּסִי   13:11

Numb. 13:11   for the tribe of Joseph, for the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi;

לְמַטֵּה דָן עַמִּיאֵל בֶּן־גְּמַלִּי   13:12

Numb. 13:12   for the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

לְמַטֵּה אָשֵׁר סְתוּר בֶּן־מִיכָאֵל   13:13

Numb. 13:13   for the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

לְמַטֵּה נַפְתָּלִי נַחְבִּי בֶּן־וָפְסִי   13:14

Numb. 13:14   for the Tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

לְמַטֵּה גָד גְּאוּאֵל בֶּן־מָכִי   13:15

Numb. 13:15   for the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.

אֵלֶּה שְׁמֹות הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח מֹשֶׁה לָתוּר אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וַיִּקְרָא מֹשֶׁה לְהֹושֵׁעַ בִּן־נוּן יְהֹושֻׁעַ   13:16

Numb. 13:16   These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land.  But Moses had given the name Joshua to Hoshea son of Nun.

The name Hoshea can mean salvation; the name Joshua can mean the Lord is salvation.  Are you disappointed?  Did you expect the change to be prophetic and of import?  Well, it is.  God is salvation.  Now my question is, is this the Joshua we were introduced to in Exodus?  According to some commentators, Moses renamed Hoshea when he appointed him his minister.  It is thought to have been a custom in biblical times.  I suppose it was common practice to appoint a minister for oneself?

וַיִּשְׁלַח אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה לָתוּר אֶת־אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם עֲלוּ זֶה בַּנֶּגֶב וַעֲלִיתֶם אֶת־הָהָר   13:17

Numb. 13:17   And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and he said to them, “Get up here toward the south and you will ascend the mountain.”

וּרְאִיתֶם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ מַה־הִוא וְאֶת־הָעָם הַיֹּשֵׁב עָלֶיהָ הֶחָזָק הוּא הֲרָפֶה הַמְעַט הוּא אִם־רָב   13:18

Numb. 13:18   “And you will see the land, what it is; and the people dwelling upon it, is it strong or weak, is it few or many,

וּמָה הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־הוּא יֹשֵׁב בָּהּ הֲטֹובָה הִוא אִם־רָעָה וּמָה הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר־הוּא יֹושֵׁב בָּהֵנָּה    13:19

הַבְּמַחֲנִים אִם בְּמִבְצָרִים

Numb. 13:19   and how is the land on which it dwells, is it good or bad; and what of the settlements in which it is dwelling, whether in camps or in fortified cities,

וּמָה הָאָרֶץ הַשְּׁמֵנָה הִוא אִם־רָזָה הֲיֵשׁ־בָּהּ עֵץ אִם־אַיִן וְהִתְחַזַּקְתֶּם וּלְקַחְתֶּם מִפְּרִי הָאָרֶץ   13:20

וְהַיָּמִים יְמֵי בִּכּוּרֵי עֲנָבִים

Numb. 13:20   and what of the land, is it fat or lean, is there timber on it or not.  And you must be strong and bring some of the fruit of the land, as the days are of the time of the first fruits of the grapes.”

וַיַּעֲלוּ וַיָּתֻרוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ מִמִּדְבַּר־צִן עַד־רְחֹב לְבֹא חֲמָת   13:21

Numb. 13:21   So they ascended and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rahob at the entrance of Hamath.

וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב וַיָּבֹא עַד־חֶבְרֹון וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק וְחֶבְרֹון שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים נִבְנְתָה   13:22

לִפְנֵי צֹעַן מִצְרָיִם

Numb. 13:22   And they ascended toward the south and each came in as far as Hebron, and the sons of Anak, Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai were there.  And Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan of Egypt.

The Hebrew for the subject each is not present.  But its verb came in is singular and thus appears to refer to each of the spies individually.  Anak is thought to have been a giant.  See v. 13:33 below.

וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד־נַחַל אֶשְׁכֹּל וַיִּכְרְתוּ מִשָּׁם זְמֹורָה וְאֶשְׁכֹּול עֲנָבִים אֶחָד וַיִּשָּׂאֻהוּ בַמֹּוט בִּשְׁנָיִם וּמִן־   13:23

הָרִמֹּנִים וּמִן־הַתְּאֵנִים

Numb. 13:23   And they came in as far as the valley of Eshcol, and they cut off a branch from there with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it with a pole between two, and some of the pomegranates and some of the figs.

לַמָּקֹום הַהוּא קָרָא נַחַל אֶשְׁכֹּול עַל אֹדֹות הָאֶשְׁכֹּול אֲשֶׁר־כָּרְתוּ מִשָּׁם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   13:24

Numb. 13:24   The name of the valley of Eshcol was given to that place by reason of the cluster that the children of Israel cut off from there.

וַיָּשֻׁבוּ מִתּוּר הָאָרֶץ מִקֵּץ אַרְבָּעִים יֹום   13:25

Numb. 13:25   And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days.

This verse and v. 13:23 provide a good illustration of the scribe’s trait to frequently ignore time sequence.  We must presume that the men picked the fruit in v. 13:23 just before the end of the forty days and their return to the camp.

וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל־כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־מִדְבַּר פָּארָן קָדֵשָׁה וַיָּשִׁיבוּ אֹותָם  13:26

דָּבָר וְאֶת־כָּל־הָעֵדָה וַיַּרְאוּם אֶת־פְּרִי הָאָרֶץ

Numb. 13:26   And they left and came to Moses and to Aaron and to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh, and they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.

וַיְסַפְּרוּ־לֹו וַיֹּאמְרוּ בָּאנוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר שְׁלַחְתָּנוּ וְגַם זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ הִוא וְזֶה־פִּרְיָהּ   13:27

Numb. 13:27   And they recounted to him and they said, “We came in to the land where you sent us, and it surely is gushing milk and honey, and this is its fruit.”

אֶפֶס כִּי־עַז הָעָם הַיֹּשֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ וְהֶעָרִים בְּצֻרֹות גְּדֹלֹת מְאֹד וְגַם־יְלִדֵי הָעֲנָק רָאִינוּ שָׁם   13:28

Numb. 13:28   “It is impossible, for the people dwelling in the land is fierce, and the cities are very heavily fortified, and also we saw the sons of Anak there.”

עֲמָלֵק יֹושֵׁב בְּאֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב וְהַחִתִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי וְהָאֱמֹרִי יֹושֵׁב בָּהָר וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי יֹשֵׁב עַל־הַיָּם וְעַל יַד   13:29


Numb. 13:29   “Amalek is dwelling in the land of the south, and the Hittite and the Jebusite, and the Amorite is dwelling in the mountains, and the Canaanite is dwelling by the sea and along the side of the Jordan.”

וַיַּהַס כָּלֵב אֶת־הָעָם אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר עָלֹה נַעֲלֶה וְיָרַשְׁנוּ אֹתָהּ כִּי־יָכֹול נוּכַל לָהּ   13:30

Numb. 13:30   But Caleb stopped the people talking to Moses and said, “We should go up at once and possess it, for we will be well able to prevail concerning it.”

וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־עָלוּ עִמֹּו אָמְרוּ לֹא נוּכַל לַעֲלֹות אֶל־הָעָם כִּי־חָזָק הוּא מִמֶּנּוּ   13:31

Numb. 13:31   But the men who went up with him said, “We will not be able to go up against the people, for it is stronger than we are.”

וַיֹּוצִיאוּ דִּבַּת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תָּרוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ   13:32

אֶרֶץ אֹכֶלֶת יֹושְׁבֶיהָ הִוא וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־רָאִינוּ בְתֹוכָהּ אַנְשֵׁי מִדֹּות

Numb. 13:32   So they spread a slanderous report of the land that they had spied out to the children of Israel saying, “The land that we have passed through to spy it out, it is a land consuming its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw within it were men of stature.”

וְשָׁם רָאִינוּ אֶת־הַנְּפִילִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק מִן־הַנְּפִלִים וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם   13:33

Numb. 13:33   “And we saw there the Nephilim, the sons of Anak from the Nephilim, and in our eyes we would be like grasshoppers, and we were so in their eyes.”


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