Numbers 13:1–15:41 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
13 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, which I am giving to the people of Isra’el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe.” 3 Moshe dispatched them from the Pa’ran Desert as Adonai had ordered; all of them were leading men among the people of Isra’el. 4 Here are their names:
from the tribe of Re’uven, Shamua the son of Zakur; 5 from the tribe of Shim‘on, Shafat the son of Hori; 6 from the tribe of Y’hudah, Kalev the son of Y’funeh; 7 from the tribe of Yissakhar, Yig’al the son of Yosef; 8 from the tribe of Efrayim, Hoshea the son of Nun; 9 from the tribe of Binyamin, Palti the son of Rafu; 10 from the tribe of Z’vulun, Gadi’el the son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Yosef, that is, from the tribe of M’nasheh, Gadi the son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, ‘Ammi’el the son of G’malli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, S’tur the son of Mikha’el; 14 from the tribe of Naftali, Nachbi the son of Vofsi; and 15 from the tribe of Gad, Ge’u’el the son of Makhi.
16 These are the names of the men Moshe sent out to reconnoiter the land. Moshe gave to Hoshea the son of Nun the name Y’hoshua.
17 Moshe sent them to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, instructing them, “Go on up to the Negev and into the hills, 18 and see what the land is like. Notice the people living there, whether they are strong or weak, few or many; 19 and what kind of country they live in, whether it is good or bad; and what kind of cities they live in, open or fortified. 20 See whether the land is fertile or unproductive and whether there is wood in it or not. Finally, be bold enough to bring back some of the fruit of the land.”
When they left it was the season for the first grapes to ripen. (ii) 21 They went up and reconnoitered the land from the Tzin Desert to Rechov near the entrance to Hamat. 22 They went up into the Negev and arrived at Hevron; Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the ‘Anakim, lived there. (Hevron was built seven years before Tzo‘an in Egypt.) 23 They came to the Eshkol Valley; and there they cut off a branch bearing one cluster of grapes, which they carried on a pole between two of them; they also took pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol [cluster], because of the cluster which the people of Isra’el cut down there.
25 Forty days later, they returned from reconnoitering the land 26 and went to Moshe, Aharon and the entire community of the people of Isra’el at Kadesh in the Pa’ran Desert, where they brought back word to them and to the entire community and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 What they told him was this: “We entered the land where you sent us, and indeed it does flow with milk and honey — here is its fruit! 28 However the people living in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified and very large. Moreover, we saw the ‘Anakim there. 29 ‘Amalek lives in the area of the Negev; the Hitti, the Y’vusi and the Emori live in the hills; and the Kena‘ani live by the sea and alongside the Yarden.”
30 Kalev silenced the people around Moshe and said, “We ought to go up immediately and take possession of it; there is no question that we can conquer it.” 31 But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people, because they are stronger than we are”; 32 and they spread a negative report about the land they had reconnoitered for the people of Isra’el by saying, “The land we passed through in order to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there were giant! 33 We saw the N’filim, the descendants of ‘Anak, who was from the N’filim; to ourselves we looked like grasshoppers by comparison, and we looked that way to them too!”
14 At this all the people of Isra’el cried out in dismay and wept all night long. 2 Moreover, all the people of Isra’el began grumbling against Moshe and Aharon; the whole community told them, “We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! 3 Why is Adonai bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!”
5 Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces before the entire assembled community of the people of Isra’el. 6 Y’hoshua the son of Nun and Kalev the son of Y’funeh, from the detachment that had reconnoitered the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the whole community of Isra’el, “The land we passed through in order to spy it out is an outstandingly good land! (iii) 8 If Adonai is pleased with us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey. 9 Just don’t rebel against Adonai. And don’t be afraid of the people living in the land — we’ll eat them up! Their defense has been taken away from them, and Adonai is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
10 But just as the whole community were saying they should be stoned to death, the glory of Adonai appeared in the tent of meeting to all the people of Isra’el. 11 Adonai said to Moshe, “How much longer is this people going to treat me with contempt? How much longer will they not trust me, especially considering all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I am going to strike them with sickness, destroy them and make from you a nation greater and stronger than they are!”
13 However, Moshe replied to Adonai, “When the Egyptians hear about this — [and they will,] because it was from among them that you, by your strength, brought this people up — 14 they will tell the people living in this land. They have heard that you, Adonai, are with this people; that you, Adonai, are seen face to face; that your cloud stands over them; that you go ahead of them in a column of cloud by day and a column of fire by night. 15 If you kill off this people at a single stroke, then the nations that have heard of your reputation will say 16 that the reason Adonai slaughtered this people in the desert is that he wasn’t able to bring them into the land which he swore to give them. 17 So now, please, let Adonai’s power be as great as when you said, 18 ‘Adonai is slow to anger, rich in grace, forgiving offenses and crimes; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and even by the third and fourth generations.’ 19 Please! Forgive the offense of this people according to the greatness of your grace, just as you have borne with this people from Egypt until now.”
20 Adonai answered, “I have forgiven, as you have asked. 21 But as sure as I live, and that the whole earth is filled with the glory of Adonai, 22 none of the people who saw my glory and the signs I did in Egypt and in the desert, yet tested me these ten times and did not listen to my voice, 23 will see the land I swore to their ancestors! None of those who treated me with contempt will see it. 24 But my servant Kalev, because he had a different Spirit with him and has fully followed me — him I will bring into the land he entered, and it will belong to his descendants.
25 “Now, since the ‘Amaleki and the Kena‘ani are living in the valley, tomorrow turn around and get yourselves into the desert along the way to the Sea of Suf.”
(iv) 26 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, 27 “How long am I to put up with this evil community who keep grumbling about me? I have heard the complaints of the people of Isra’el, which they continue to raise against me. 28 Tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, Adonai swears, as surely as you have spoken in my ears, I will do this to you: 29 your carcasses will fall in this desert! Every single one of you who were included in the census over the age of twenty, you who have complained against me, 30 will certainly not enter the land about which I raised my hand to swear that I would have you live in it — except for Kalev the son of Y’funeh and Y’hoshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, who you said would be taken as booty — them I will bring in. They will know the land you have rejected. 32 But you, your carcasses will fall in this desert; 33 and your children will wander about in the desert for forty years bearing the consequences of your prostitutions until the desert eats up your carcasses. 34 It will be a year for every day you spent reconnoitering the land that you will bear the consequences of your offenses — forty days, forty years. Then you will know what it means to oppose me! 35 I, Adonai, have spoken.’ I will certainly do this to this whole evil community who have assembled together against me — they will be destroyed in this desert and die there.”
36 The men whom Moshe had sent to reconnoiter the land and who, when they returned, made the entire community complain against him by giving an unfavorable report about the land — 37 those men who gave the unfavorable report about the land died by the plague in the presence of Adonai. 38 Of the men who went to reconnoiter the land, only Y’hoshua the son of Nun and Kalev the son of Y’funeh remained alive.
39 When Moshe told these things to all the people of Isra’el, the people felt great remorse. 40 They arose early the next morning, came up to the top of the mountain and said, “Here we are, and we did sin, but now we’ll go up to the place Adonai promised.” 41 Moshe answered, “Why are you opposing what Adonai said? You won’t succeed! 42 Don’t go up there, because Adonai isn’t with you. If you do, your enemies will defeat you. 43 The ‘Amalekim and the Kena‘anim are there ahead of you, and you will be struck down by the sword. The reason will be that you have turned away from following Adonai, so that Adonai won’t be with you.”
44 But they were presumptuous and went on up toward the high parts of the hill-country, even though the ark for the covenant of Adonai — and Moshe — stayed in the camp. 45 So the ‘Amalekim and the Kena‘anim living in that hill-country descended, struck them down and beat them back all the way to Hormah.
15 Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘When you have come into the land where you are going to live, which I am giving to you, 3 and want to make an offering by fire to Adonai — a burnt offering or sacrifice to fulfill a special vow, or to be a voluntary offering, or at your designated times, to make a fragrant aroma for Adonai — then, whether it is comes from the herd or from the flock, 4 the person bringing the offering is to present Adonai with a grain offering consisting of two quarts of fine flour mixed with one quart of olive oil, 5 and one quart of wine for the drink offering. This is what you are to prepare with the burnt offering or for each lamb sacrificed.
6 “‘For a ram, prepare one gallon of fine flour mixed with one-and-one-third quarts of olive oil; 7 while for the drink offering, you are to present one-and-one-third quarts of wine as a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
(v) 8 “‘When you prepare a bull as a burnt offering, as a sacrifice to fulfill a special vow or as peace offerings for Adonai, 9 there is to be presented with the bull a grain offering of one-and-a-half gallons of fine flour mixed with two quarts of olive oil. 10 For the drink offering, present two quarts of wine for an offering made by fire, a fragant aroma for Adonai.
11 “‘Do it this way for each bull, ram, male lamb or kid. 12 For as many animals as you prepare, do this for each one, regardless of how many animals there are.
13 “‘Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for Adonai. 14 If a foreigner stays with you — or whoever may be with you, through all your generations — and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for Adonai, he is to do the same as you. 15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before Adonai as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.’”
(vi) 17 Adonai said to Moshe, 18 “Speak to the people of Isra’el; tell them, ‘When you enter the land where I am bringing you 19 and eat bread produced in the land, you are to set aside a portion as a gift for Adonai. 20 Set aside from your first dough a cake as a gift; set it aside as you would set aside a portion of the grain from the threshing-floor. 21 From your first dough you will give Adonai a portion as a gift through all your generations.
22 “‘If by mistake you fail to observe all these mitzvot that Adonai has spoken to Moshe, 23 yes, everything that Adonai has ordered you to do through Moshe, from the day Adonai gave the order and onward through all your generations, 24 then, if it was done by mistake by the community and was not known to them, the whole community is to offer one young bull for a burnt offering as a fragrant aroma to Adonai, with its grain and drink offerings, in keeping with the rule, and one male goat as a sin offering. 25 The cohen is to make atonement for the whole community of the people of Isra’el; and they will be forgiven; because it was a mistake; and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire, to Adonai, and their sin offering before Adonai for their mistake. 26 The whole community of the people of Isra’el will be forgiven, likewise the foreigner staying with them; because for all the people it was a mistake.
(vii) 27 “‘If an individual sins by mistake, he is to offer a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. 28 The cohen will make atonement before Adonai for the person who makes a mistake by sinning inadvertently; he will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven — 29 no matter whether he is a citizen of Isra’el or a foreigner living with them. You are to have one law for whoever it is that does something wrong by mistake.
30 “‘But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming Adonai. That person will be cut off from his people. 31 Because he has had contempt for the word of Adonai and has disobeyed his command, that person will be cut off completely; his offense will remain with him.’”
32 While the people of Isra’el were in the desert, they found a man gathering wood on Shabbat. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moshe, Aharon and the whole congregation. 34 They kept him in custody, because it had not yet been decided what to do to him. 35 Then Adonai said to Moshe, “This man must be put to death; the entire community is to stone him to death outside the camp.” 36 So the whole community brought him outside the camp and threw stones at him until he died, as Adonai had ordered Moshe.
(Maftir) 37 Adonai said to Moshe, 38 “Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. 39 It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot and obey them, so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; 40 but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God. 41 I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your God. I am Adonai your God.”
Haftarah Shlach L’kha: Y’hoshua (Joshua) 2:1–24
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Shlach L’kha: Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 3:7–19