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The Twelve Spies

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The Grapes of Canaan by James Tissot . Although the spies brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it (Numbers 13:23), only two of the twelve brought back a good report of the land.

The Twelve Spies ( Hebrew :

שנים עשר המרגלים‬), as recorded in the Book of Numbers , were a group of Israelite chieftains, one from each of the Twelve Tribes , who were dispatched by Moses to scout out the Land of Canaan for 40 days [1] as a future home for the Israelite people, during the time when the Israelites were in the wilderness following their Exodus from Ancient Egypt . The account is found in Numbers 13:1-33 .

God had promised Abraham that there would be a Promised Land for the nations to come out of his son, Isaac . The land of Canaan which the spies were to explore was the same Promised Land. Moses asked for an assessment of the geographical features of the land, the strength and numbers of the population, the agricultural potential and actual performance of the land, civic organization (whether their cities were like camps or strongholds), and forestry conditions. He also asked them to be positive in their outlook and to return with samples of local produce.

When ten of the twelve spies showed little faith in the doom and gloom report they gave about the land, they were slandering what they believed God had promised them. They did not believe that God could help them, and the people as a whole were persuaded that it was not possible to take the land. As a result, the entire nation was made to wander in the desert for 40 years, until almost the entire generation of men had died. [2] Joshua and Caleb were the two spies who brought back a good report and believed that God would help them succeed. They were the only men from their generation permitted to go into the Promised Land after the time of wandering. [3]

Contents

  • 1 About the spies
  • 2 Consequences
  • 3 Tisha B’Av
  • 4 References

About the spies[ edit ]

God had promised the Israelites that they would be able to conquer the land with its indigenous Canaanite nations. Moses instructed the spies to report back on the agriculture and lay of the land. However, during their tour, the spies saw fortified cities and resident giants, which frightened them and led them to believe that the Israelites would not be able to conquer the land as God had promised. Ten of the spies decided to bring back an unbalanced report, emphasizing the difficulty of the task before them. [4]

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. But the people who live there are very powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.”

— Numbers, 13:27-28

Two of the spies — Joshua and Caleb — did not go along with the majority and tried to convince the Israelites that they could conquer the land:

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.”

— Numbers, 13:30

However, the Israelite community believed the majority’s conclusions. All of the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, were struck down with a plague and died. [5]

Joshua was at first a fierce warrior. He was chosen as the representative from his tribe, Ephraim , to explore the land of Canaan, and was in agreement with Caleb that the Promised Land could be conquered. After the incident with the 12 spies, Joshua lived through the 40 year wandering period, and was named successor to Moses as instructed by God. Joshua completed the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and of taking possession of it. Joshua also was the leader in renewing the Mosaic covenant with their God. [6]

Caleb was from the tribe of Judah. He was also chosen to explore the land of Canaan, and he was (along with Joshua) the other man who said that the God of Israel could help the Israelite people to victory against the Canaanites. God promised Caleb and Joshua that they would receive the land which they had explored for themselves and their descendants. Caleb was also told that he would live to go into the Promised Land. [7]

The names of the twelve spies were: [8]

  1. Shammua son of Zaccur, from the tribe of Reuben
  2. Shaphat son of Hori, from the tribe of Simeon
  3. Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah
  4. Igal son of Joseph, from the tribe of Issachar
  5. Hoshea (Joshua) son of Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim
  6. Palti son of Raphu, from the tribe of Benjamin
  7. Gaddiel son of Sodi, from the tribe of Zebulin
  8. Gaddi son of Susi, from the tribe of Manasseh
  9. Ammiel son of Gemalli, from the tribe of Dan
  10. Sethur son of Michael, from the tribe of Asher
  11. Nahbi son of Vophsi, from the tribe of Naphtali
  12. Geuel son of Maki, from the tribe of Gad

Some people think the word “spies” is an incorrect translation. The Hebrew word that the Torah uses is מרגלים (“meraglim”), which can also mean “traitors” or “deserters”. In Numbers 13: , the Hebrew word describing the group is also the word usually translated as “men” or the word usually translated as “princes”. In addition, the twelve were clearly not trained as spies, nor did they conduct any covert activity, nor did they enlist any indigenous people for later help. Thus, the phrase “Twelve Scouts” or “Twelve Observers” might be an alternative way of describing the group. However, the final point remains that their “report” resulted in a great outcry and the Israelites despaired of entering the promised land and were punished by God accordingly, as outlined above.[ citation needed ]

Consequences[ edit ]

The Israelites’ belief of the false report amounted to the acceptance of lashon hara (lit.” “evil tongue” / “slander” in Hebrew) against the Land of Israel .

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread 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 were of great size. 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.”

— Numbers, 13:31-33

This was considered a grave sin by God. Corresponding to the 40 days that the spies toured the land, God decreed that the Israelites would wander in the wilderness for 40 years as a result of their unwillingness to take the land. Moreover, the entire generation of men who left Egypt during the Exodus would die in the desert, save for Joshua and Caleb who did not slander the land. [2]

For 40 years, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, eating quail and manna . They were led into the Promised Land by Joshua; the victory at Jericho marked the beginning of possession of the land. As victories were won, the tracts of land were assigned to each tribe, and they lived peacefully with each other. God brought victories where needed, and his promise to Abraham was fulfilled.

Tisha B’Av[ edit ]

According to Rabbinic tradition (as seen in the Mishnah Taanit 4:6), the sin of the spies produced the annual fast day of Tisha B’Av . When the Israelites accepted the false report, they wept over the false belief that God was setting them up for defeat. The night that the people cried was the ninth of Av , which became a day of weeping and misfortune for all time. [9]

Rashi , commenting on Numbers 13:25 , notes that the journey was shortened by God, as God foresaw their downfall and subsequent proportionate punishment (1 day equaling 1 year). [10]

References[ edit ]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Israelites carrying grapes of Canaan .
  1. ^ Numbers 14:34
  2. ^ a b Numbers 14:30; Dummelow, J.R. The One Volume Bible Commentary. 1950. Macmillan Company. pp.107-108
  3. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Caleb, and Joshua, in Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1 A-C and Volume 2 (H-J). 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group.

    ISBN   0-385-19351-3 , pp.808-809

  4. ^ Numbers 13:26-33; Wigoder, Geoffrey. Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible. 1986. The Jerusalem Publishing House. ISBN   0-89577-407-0 , pp.563-564
  5. ^ Numbers 14:36-38; Clarke, Adam. Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1967. Beacon Hill Press. SBN 081023211, p.189
  6. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Joshua, Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 2 H-J. 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN   0-385-19360-2 , p.999
  7. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Caleb, Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1 A-C. 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN   0-385-19351-3 , pp.808-809
  8. ^ The Holy Bible, New International Version, Zondervan, 1984, LOC 73174297, pp.104-105
  9. ^ Mishna Taanit 4:6 read online ; Orthodox Union page on Tisha B’Av . Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  10. ^ Mid. Tanchuma 8, quoted in The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary on Numbers 13, accessed 24 February 2016
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      The Twelve Spies

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Jump to navigation
      Jump to search

      The Grapes of Canaan by James Tissot . Although the spies brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it (Numbers 13:23), only two of the twelve brought back a good report of the land.

      The Twelve Spies ( Hebrew :

      שנים עשר המרגלים‬), as recorded in the Book of Numbers , were a group of Israelite chieftains, one from each of the Twelve Tribes , who were dispatched by Moses to scout out the Land of Canaan for 40 days [1] as a future home for the Israelite people, during the time when the Israelites were in the wilderness following their Exodus from Ancient Egypt . The account is found in Numbers 13:1-33 .

      God had promised Abraham that there would be a Promised Land for the nations to come out of his son, Isaac . The land of Canaan which the spies were to explore was the same Promised Land. Moses asked for an assessment of the geographical features of the land, the strength and numbers of the population, the agricultural potential and actual performance of the land, civic organization (whether their cities were like camps or strongholds), and forestry conditions. He also asked them to be positive in their outlook and to return with samples of local produce.

      When ten of the twelve spies showed little faith in the doom and gloom report they gave about the land, they were slandering what they believed God had promised them. They did not believe that God could help them, and the people as a whole were persuaded that it was not possible to take the land. As a result, the entire nation was made to wander in the desert for 40 years, until almost the entire generation of men had died. [2] Joshua and Caleb were the two spies who brought back a good report and believed that God would help them succeed. They were the only men from their generation permitted to go into the Promised Land after the time of wandering. [3]

      Contents

      • 1 About the spies
      • 2 Consequences
      • 3 Tisha B’Av
      • 4 References

      About the spies[ edit ]

      God had promised the Israelites that they would be able to conquer the land with its indigenous Canaanite nations. Moses instructed the spies to report back on the agriculture and lay of the land. However, during their tour, the spies saw fortified cities and resident giants, which frightened them and led them to believe that the Israelites would not be able to conquer the land as God had promised. Ten of the spies decided to bring back an unbalanced report, emphasizing the difficulty of the task before them. [4]

      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. But the people who live there are very powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.”

      — Numbers, 13:27-28

      Two of the spies — Joshua and Caleb — did not go along with the majority and tried to convince the Israelites that they could conquer the land:

      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.”

      — Numbers, 13:30

      However, the Israelite community believed the majority’s conclusions. All of the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, were struck down with a plague and died. [5]

      Joshua was at first a fierce warrior. He was chosen as the representative from his tribe, Ephraim , to explore the land of Canaan, and was in agreement with Caleb that the Promised Land could be conquered. After the incident with the 12 spies, Joshua lived through the 40 year wandering period, and was named successor to Moses as instructed by God. Joshua completed the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and of taking possession of it. Joshua also was the leader in renewing the Mosaic covenant with their God. [6]

      Caleb was from the tribe of Judah. He was also chosen to explore the land of Canaan, and he was (along with Joshua) the other man who said that the God of Israel could help the Israelite people to victory against the Canaanites. God promised Caleb and Joshua that they would receive the land which they had explored for themselves and their descendants. Caleb was also told that he would live to go into the Promised Land. [7]

      The names of the twelve spies were: [8]

      1. Shammua son of Zaccur, from the tribe of Reuben
      2. Shaphat son of Hori, from the tribe of Simeon
      3. Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah
      4. Igal son of Joseph, from the tribe of Issachar
      5. Hoshea (Joshua) son of Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim
      6. Palti son of Raphu, from the tribe of Benjamin
      7. Gaddiel son of Sodi, from the tribe of Zebulin
      8. Gaddi son of Susi, from the tribe of Manasseh
      9. Ammiel son of Gemalli, from the tribe of Dan
      10. Sethur son of Michael, from the tribe of Asher
      11. Nahbi son of Vophsi, from the tribe of Naphtali
      12. Geuel son of Maki, from the tribe of Gad

      Some people think the word “spies” is an incorrect translation. The Hebrew word that the Torah uses is מרגלים (“meraglim”), which can also mean “traitors” or “deserters”. In Numbers 13: , the Hebrew word describing the group is also the word usually translated as “men” or the word usually translated as “princes”. In addition, the twelve were clearly not trained as spies, nor did they conduct any covert activity, nor did they enlist any indigenous people for later help. Thus, the phrase “Twelve Scouts” or “Twelve Observers” might be an alternative way of describing the group. However, the final point remains that their “report” resulted in a great outcry and the Israelites despaired of entering the promised land and were punished by God accordingly, as outlined above.[ citation needed ]

      Consequences[ edit ]

      The Israelites’ belief of the false report amounted to the acceptance of lashon hara (lit.” “evil tongue” / “slander” in Hebrew) against the Land of Israel .

      But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread 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 were of great size. 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.”

      — Numbers, 13:31-33

      This was considered a grave sin by God. Corresponding to the 40 days that the spies toured the land, God decreed that the Israelites would wander in the wilderness for 40 years as a result of their unwillingness to take the land. Moreover, the entire generation of men who left Egypt during the Exodus would die in the desert, save for Joshua and Caleb who did not slander the land. [2]

      For 40 years, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, eating quail and manna . They were led into the Promised Land by Joshua; the victory at Jericho marked the beginning of possession of the land. As victories were won, the tracts of land were assigned to each tribe, and they lived peacefully with each other. God brought victories where needed, and his promise to Abraham was fulfilled.

      Tisha B’Av[ edit ]

      According to Rabbinic tradition (as seen in the Mishnah Taanit 4:6), the sin of the spies produced the annual fast day of Tisha B’Av . When the Israelites accepted the false report, they wept over the false belief that God was setting them up for defeat. The night that the people cried was the ninth of Av , which became a day of weeping and misfortune for all time. [9]

      Rashi , commenting on Numbers 13:25 , notes that the journey was shortened by God, as God foresaw their downfall and subsequent proportionate punishment (1 day equaling 1 year). [10]

      References[ edit ]

      Wikimedia Commons has media related to Israelites carrying grapes of Canaan .
      1. ^ Numbers 14:34
      2. ^ a b Numbers 14:30; Dummelow, J.R. The One Volume Bible Commentary. 1950. Macmillan Company. pp.107-108
      3. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Caleb, and Joshua, in Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1 A-C and Volume 2 (H-J). 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group.

        ISBN   0-385-19351-3 , pp.808-809

      4. ^ Numbers 13:26-33; Wigoder, Geoffrey. Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible. 1986. The Jerusalem Publishing House. ISBN   0-89577-407-0 , pp.563-564
      5. ^ Numbers 14:36-38; Clarke, Adam. Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1967. Beacon Hill Press. SBN 081023211, p.189
      6. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Joshua, Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 2 H-J. 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN   0-385-19360-2 , p.999
      7. ^ Numbers 14:20-31; Caleb, Freeman, David Noel. The Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 1 A-C. 1992. Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN   0-385-19351-3 , pp.808-809
      8. ^ The Holy Bible, New International Version, Zondervan, 1984, LOC 73174297, pp.104-105
      9. ^ Mishna Taanit 4:6 read online ; Orthodox Union page on Tisha B’Av . Retrieved 5 February 2011.
      10. ^ Mid. Tanchuma 8, quoted in The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary on Numbers 13, accessed 24 February 2016
      • v
      • t
      • e
      The Three Weeks
      Periods of observance
      • The Three Weeks
      • The Nine Days
      • Week in which Tisha B’Av occurs
      Days of obervance
      • Seventeenth of Tammuz
      • Tisha B’Av
      Observances and events
      • Seudah HaMafseket
      Texts
      • Book of Lamentations
      • Kinnot
      • Book of Job
      Historic events
      • Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70)
      • Alhambra Decree
      • The Twelve Spies

      Retrieved from ” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Twelve_Spies&oldid=863125455 ”
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          Bible > Isaiah > Chapter 53 > Verse 1
          ◄ Isaiah 53:1 ►
          Parallel Verses
          King James Version
          Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

          Darby Bible Translation
          Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed?

          World English Bible
          Who has believed our message? To whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?

          Young’s Literal Translation
          Who hath given credence to that which we heard? And the arm of Jehovah, On whom hath it been revealed?

          Isaiah 53:1 Parallel

          Commentary

          King James Translators’ Notes

          report: or, doctrine?: Heb. hearing?

          Geneva Study Bible

          Who a hath believed our report? and to whom is the b arm of the LORD revealed?

          (a) The prophet shows that very few will receive their preaching from Christ, and from their deliverance by him, Joh 12:38, Ro 10:16.

          (b) Meaning, that no one can believe but whose hearts God touches with the virtue of his Holy Spirit. Isaiah 53:1 Parallel Commentaries

          Library

          The Suffering Servant –V
          ‘He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities’–ISAIAH liii. 11. These are all but the closing words of this great prophecy, and are the fitting crown of all that has gone before. We have been listening to the voice of a member of the race to whom the Servant of the Lord belonged, whether we limit that to the Jewish people or include in it all humanity. That voice has been confessing …
          Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

          The Suffering Servant –vi
          ‘Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’–ISAIAH liii. 12. The first clause of this verse is somewhat difficult. There are two ways of understanding it. One is that adopted in A. V., according to which the suffering Servant is represented as equal to the greatest conquerors. …
          Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

          The Suffering Servant-I
          ‘For He grew up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3. He was despised, and rejected of men, a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.’–ISAIAH liii, 2, 3. To hold fast the fulfilment of this prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Jesus it is not necessary to deny its reference to Israel. …
          Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

          Messiah Suffering and Wounded for Us
          Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: ….. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. W hen our Lord was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared in glory and conversed with Him. Had we been informed of the interview only, we should probably have desired to know the subject of their conversation, as we might reasonably suppose it turned upon very interesting and important …
          John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

          April the Second “On Him!”
          “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” –ISAIAH liii. Let me tell a dream which was given by night to one of my dearest friends. He beheld a stupendous range of glorious sun-lit mountains, with their lower slopes enfolded in white mist. “Lord,” he cried, “I pray that I may dwell upon those heights!” “Thou must first descend into the vale,” a voice replied. Into the vale he went. And down there he found himself surrounded with all manner of fierce, ugly, loathsome things. As he looked …
          John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

          Religion a Weariness to the Natural Man.
          “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”–Isaiah liii. 2. “Religion is a weariness;” such is the judgment commonly passed, often avowed, concerning the greatest of blessings which Almighty God has bestowed upon us. And when God gave the blessing, He at the same time foretold that such would be the judgment of the world upon it, even as manifested in the gracious Person of Him whom He sent to give it to us. “He hath no form nor …
          John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

          The Crucifixion.
          “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.”–Isaiah liii. 7. St. Peter makes it almost a description of a Christian, that he loves Him whom he has not seen; speaking of Christ, he says, “whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Again he speaks of “tasting that the …
          John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

          Of Justification by Christ
          It has been objected by some, who dissent from, nay, I may add, by others also, who actually are friends to the present ecclesiastical establishment, that the ministers of the Church of England preach themselves, and not Christ Jesus the Lord; that they entertain their people with lectures of mere morality, without declaring to them the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ. How well grounded such an objection may be, is not my business to inquire: All I shall say at present to the point is, …
          George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

          Expiation
          Now, Jesus Christ has been made by God an offering for sin; and oh that to-night we may be able to do in reality what the Jew did in metaphor! May we put our hand upon the head of Christ Jesus; as we see him offered up upon the cross for guilty men, may we know that our sins are transferred to him, and may we be able to cry, in the ecstasy of faith, “Great God, I am clean; through Jesus’ blood I am clean.” I. In trying now to expound the doctrine of Christ’s being an offering for sin, we will begin …
          Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 10: 1864

          Sin Laid on Jesus
          I hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It is the most grievous sentence of the three; but it is the most charming and the most full of comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned, and where sorrow reached her climax there it is that a weary soul finds sweetest rest. The Savior bruised is the healing of bruised hearts. I want now to draw the hearts of …
          Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 12: 1866

          Cross References
          Luke 18:31
          Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

          John 12:38
          That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

          Romans 10:16
          But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

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