The Twelve Scouts. 1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan, which I am giving the Israelites. You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe, all of them princes.” 3 v 3–33: Dt 1, 22–28 . So Moses dispatched them from the desert of Paran, as the LORD had ordered. All of them were leaders among the Israelites; 4by name they were:
Shammua, son of Zaccur, of the tribe of Reuben; 5Shaphat, son of Hori, of the tribe of Simeon; 6Caleb, son of Jephunneh, of the tribe of Judah; 7Igal [son of Joseph] of the tribe of Issachar; 10Gaddiel, son of Sodi, of the tribe of Zebulun; 11Gaddi, son of Susi, of the tribe of Manasseh, for the Josephites, with 8Hoshea, son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim; 9Palti, son of Raphu, of the tribe of Benjamin; 12Ammiel, son of Gemalli, of the tribe of Dan; 13Sethur, son of Michael, of the tribe of Asher; 14Nahbi, son of Vophsi, of the tribe of Naphtali; 15Geuel, son of Machi, of the tribe of Gad.
16These are the names of the men whom Moses sent out to reconnoiter the land. But Hoshea, son of Nun, Moses called Joshua.*
17In sending them to reconnoiter the land of Canaan, Moses said to them, “Go up here in the Negeb, up into the highlands, 18and see what kind of land it is. Are the people living there strong or weak, few or many? 1Is the country in which they live good or bad? Are the towns in which they dwell open or fortified? 20Is the soil fertile or barren, wooded or clear? And do your best to get some of the fruit of the land.” It was then the season for early grapes.
21So they went up and reconnoitered the land from the desert of Zin* as far as where Rehob adjoins Labo of Hamath. 22 w Jos 11, 21f . Going up by way of the Negeb, they reached Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, descendants of the Anakim,* were living. [Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.] 23They also reached the Wadi Eshcol,* where they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes on it, which two of them carried on a pole, as well as some pomegranates and figs. 24It was because of the cluster the Israelites cut there that they called the place Wadi Eshcol. x Nm 32, 9; Dt 1, 24f .
Their Return. Their Return. 25After reconnoitering the land for forty days they returned, 26 y 26f: Ex 3, 8. 3, 17 met Moses and Aaron and the whole community of the Israelites in the desert of Paran at Kadesh, made a report to them all, and showed them the fruit of the country. 27They told Moses: “We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit. 28However, the people who are living in the land are fierce, and the towns are fortified and very strong. z 28f: Dt 9, 1f . Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there. 29Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb; Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites dwell in the highlands, and Canaanites along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan.”
30Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said, “We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us.” 32So they spread discouraging reports a Nm 32, 9; Jos 14, 8 . among the Israelites about the land they had scouted, saying, “The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants. And all the people we saw there are huge men, 33 b Dt 2, 10 . veritable giants* [the Anakim were a race of giants]; we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them.”