A A A A A
Bible Book List

Numbers 13 International Standard Version (ISV)

The Twelve Explorers

13 Later, the Lord told Moses, “Send men to explore the land of Canaan that I’m about to give to the Israelis. Send one man to represent each of his ancestor’s tribes, every one of them a distinguished leader[a] among them.”

So that’s just what Moses did, sending them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the Lord’s instructions. All of the men were Israeli leaders. These were their names: From Reuben’s tribe, Zaccur’s son Shammua; From Simeon’s tribe, Hori’s son Shaphat; From Judah’s tribe, Jephunneh’s son Caleb; from Issachar’s tribe, Joseph’s son Igal; From Ephraim’s tribe, Nun’s son Hoshea; From Benjamin’s tribe, Raphu’s son Palti; 10 from Zebulun’s tribe, Sodi’s son Gaddiel; 11 from Joseph’s tribe of Manasseh, Susi’s son Gaddi; 12 From Dan’s tribe, Gemalli’s son Ammiel; 13 from Asher’s tribe, Michael’s son Sethur; 14 from Naphtali’s tribe, Vophsi’s son Nahbi; 15 and from Gad’s tribe, Machi’s son Geuel. 16 These are the names of the men sent by Moses to explore the land.

Moses Issues Orders to the Explorers

Moses renamed Nun’s son Hoshea to Joshua. 17 Then he[b] sent them out to explore the land of Canaan. He instructed them, “Go up from here through the Negev,[c] then ascend to the hill country. 18 See what the land is like. Observe whether the people who live there are strong or weak, or whether they’re few or numerous. 19 Look to see whether the land where they live is good or bad, and whether the cities in which they live are merely tents or if they’re fortified. 20 Examine the farmland,[d] whether it’s fertile or barren, and see if there are fruit-bearing trees in it or not. Be very courageous, and bring back some samples of the fruit of the land.”

As it was, that time of year[e] was the season for the first fruits of the grape harvest. 21 So they went to explore the land from the Wilderness of Zin to Rehob, and as far as the outskirts of Hamath. 22 They went through the Negev[f] and reached Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak lived. (Hebron had been constructed seven years before Zoan in Egypt had been built).[g] 23 Soon they arrived in the valley of Eshcol, where they cut a single branch of grapes and carried it on a pole between two men,[h] along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 The entire place was called the Eshcol Valley on account of the cluster of grapes that the men of Israel had taken from there.

The Explorers Return

25 At the end of 40 days, they all returned from exploring the land, 26 came in to Moses and Aaron, and delivered their report to the entire congregation of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back their report to the entire congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 “We arrived at the place where you’ve sent us,” they reported, “and it certainly does flow with milk and honey. Furthermore, this is its fruit, 28 except that the people who have settled in the land are strong, and their cities are greatly fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak. 29 Amalek lives throughout the Negev,[i] while the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live by the sea and on the bank of the Jordan.”

30 Caleb silenced the people on Moses’ behalf and responded, “Let’s go up and take control, because we can definitely conquer it.”

31 “We can’t attack those people,” the men who were with him said, “because they’re too strong compared to us.”

32 So they put out this false report to the Israelis about the land that they had explored: “The land that we’ve explored is one[j] that devours its inhabitants. All the people whom we observed were giants.[k] 33 We also saw the Nephilim,[l] the descendants of Anak. Compared to the Nephilim, as we see things, we’re like grasshoppers, and that’s their opinion of us!”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 13:2 Lit. them one lifted up
  2. Numbers 13:17 Lit. Moses
  3. Numbers 13:17 I.e. the southern region of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  4. Numbers 13:20 Lit. land
  5. Numbers 13:20 The Heb. lacks of year
  6. Numbers 13:22 I.e. the southern region of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  7. Numbers 13:22 The Heb. lacks had been built
  8. Numbers 13:23 The Heb. lacks men
  9. Numbers 13:29 I.e. the southern region of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  10. Numbers 13:32 Lit. is a land
  11. Numbers 13:32 Lit. observed are men of measurements
  12. Numbers 13:33 Cf. Gen 6:4
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Numbers 13 New International Version (NIV)

Exploring Canaan

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. These are their names:

from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur;

from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi;

12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki.

16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.)

17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Report on the Exploration

26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 13:23 Eshkol means cluster; also in verse 24.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes