Numbers 14

Numbers 14

 
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1 Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they cried all night.

2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. "We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!" they wailed.

3 "Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let's get out of here and return to Egypt!"

4 Then they plotted among themselves, "Let's choose a leader and go back to Egypt!"

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the people of Israel.

6 Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing.

7 They said to the community of Israel, "The land we explored is a wonderful land!

8 And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us!

9 Do not rebel against the LORD, and don't be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don't be afraid of them!"

10 But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites from above the Tabernacle.*1

11 And the LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people reject me? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?

12 I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation far greater and mightier than they are!"

13 "But what will the Egyptians think when they hear about it?" Moses pleaded with the LORD. "They know full well the power you displayed in rescuing these people from Egypt.

14 They will tell this to the inhabitants of this land, who are well aware that you are with this people. They know, LORD, that you have appeared in full view of your people in the pillar of cloud that hovers over them. They know that you go before them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

15 Now if you slaughter all these people, the nations that have heard of your fame will say,

16 `The LORD was not able to bring them into the land he swore to give them, so he killed them in the wilderness.'

17 "Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed it to be. For you said,

18 `The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so he does not leave sin unpunished, but he punishes the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.'

19 Please pardon the sins of this people because of your magnificent, unfailing love, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt."

20 Then the LORD said, "I will pardon them as you have requested.

21 But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the LORD's glory,

22 not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they tested me by refusing to listen.

23 They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will enter it.

24 But my servant Caleb is different from the others. He has remained loyal to me, and I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will receive their full share of that land.

25 Now turn around and don't go on toward the land where the Amalekites and Canaanites live. Tomorrow you must set out for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.*"2

26 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

27 "How long will this wicked nation complain about me? I have heard everything the Israelites have been saying.

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Notes:

1: Hebrew Tent of Meeting.

2: Hebrew sea of reeds.


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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