Numbers 14
New American Standard Bible►► 

The People Rebel

1Then all the congregation [a]raised their voices and cried out, and the people wept [b]that night. 2And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the entire congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or even if we had died in this wilderness! 3So why is the LORD bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!”

5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel. 6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our [c]prey. Their [d]protection is gone from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” 10But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.

Moses Pleads for the People

11And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people be disrespectful to Me? And how long will they not [e]believe in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst? 12I will strike them with [f]plague and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.”

13But Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought this people up from their midst, 14and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are in the midst of this people, because You, LORD, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if You put this people to death [g]all at once, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will [h]say, 16‘Since the LORD could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17So now, please, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, saying, 18‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in mercy, forgiving wrongdoing and violation of His Law; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, inflicting the [i]punishment of the fathers on the children [j]to the third and the fourth generations.19Please forgive the guilt of this people in accordance with the greatness of Your mercy, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

The LORD Pardons and Rebukes

20So the LORD said, “I have forgiven them in accordance with your word; 21however, as I live, [k]all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22Certainly all the people who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who were disrespectful to Me see it. 24But as for My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land which he [l]entered, and his [m]descendants shall take possession of it. 25Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way of the [n]Red Sea.”

26The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron again, saying, 27“How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel which they are [o]voicing against Me. 28Say to them, ‘As I live,’ declares the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you; 29your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, all your [p]numbered men according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30By no means will you come into the land where I [q]swore to settle you, except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31Your children, however, whom you said would become plunder—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. 32But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33Also, your sons will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, and they will [r]suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your bodies perish in the wilderness. 34In accordance with the number of days that you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall suffer the punishment for your [s]guilt a year, that is, forty years, and you will know My opposition. 35I, the LORD, have spoken, I certainly will do this to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. They shall be worn out in this wilderness, and there they shall die.’”

36As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, and who returned and led all the congregation to grumble against him by bringing a bad report about the land, 37those men who brought the bad report of the land also died by a plague in the presence of the LORD. 38But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

Israel Repulsed

39Now when Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40In the morning, however, they got up early and went up to the [t]ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; and we will go up to the place which the LORD has [u]promised, for [v]we have sinned.” 41But Moses said, “Why then are you violating the [w]command of the LORD, when doing so will not succeed? 42Do not go up, for the LORD is not among you, [x]to prevent you from being defeated [y]by your enemies. 43For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there [z]to confront you, and you will fall by the sword, since you have turned back from following the LORD. And the LORD will not be with you.” 44But they foolishly dared to go up to the [aa]ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and scattered them as far as Hormah.

[a] 1 Lit raised and gave their voice
[b] 1 Lit in that
[c] 9 Lit food
[d] 9 Lit shadow
[e] 11 Or trust in
[f] 12 Lit the plague
[g] 15 Lit as one man
[h] 15 Lit say, saying
[i] 18 I.e., punishment for the wrongdoing
[j] 18 Lit on
[k] 21 Lit and all
[l] 24 Lit entered there
[m] 24 Lit seed
[n] 25 Lit Sea of Reeds
[o] 27 Lit complaining
[p] 29 Lit mustered
[q] 30 Lit raised My hand
[r] 33 Lit bear
[s] 34 Or wrongdoings
[t] 40 Or top of the mountain
[u] 40 Lit said
[v] 40 I.e., by lacking faith to go
[w] 41 Lit mouth
[x] 42 Lit so that you are not
[y] 42 Lit before
[z] 43 Lit before you
[aa] 44 Or top of the mountain

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