Deuteronomy 1:24
And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
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(24) The valley of Eshcol.—See Numbers 13:24.

Deuteronomy 1:24-25. Eshcol — That is, grapes, so called from the goodly cluster of grapes which they brought from thence. It is a good land — So they said unanimously, Numbers 13:27. Only they added, that they were not a match for the inhabitants of it, as is intimated Deuteronomy 1:28.

1:19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.The plan of sending the spies originated with the people; and, as in itself a reasonable one, it approved itself to Moses; it was submitted to God, sanctioned by Him, and carried out under special divine direction. The orator's purpose in this chapter is to bring before the people emphatically their own responsibilites and behavior. It is therefore important to remind them, that the sending of the spies, which led immediately to their complaining and rebellion, was their own suggestion.

The following verses to the end of the chapter give a condensed account, the fuller one being in Numbers 13-14, of the occurrences which led to the banishment of the people for 40 years into the wilderness.

22-33. ye came … and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land—The proposal to despatch spies emanated from the people through unbelief; but Moses, believing them sincere, gave his cordial assent to this measure, and God on being consulted permitted them to follow the suggestion (see on [111]Nu 13:1). The issue proved disastrous to them, only through their own sin and folly. The valley, or, the brook: the word signifies both, for brooks commonly run in valleys.

Of Eshcol, i.e. of grapes, so called from the goodly cluster of grapes which they brought from thence, Numbers 13:23.

And they turned and went up into the mountain,.... As they were ordered and directed by Moses, Numbers 13:17.

and came unto the valley of Eshcol; so called from the cluster of grapes they cut down there, as they returned:

and searched it out; the whole land, and so were capable of giving a particular account of it.

And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
24. and they turned] See on Deuteronomy 1:7.

the mountain] The Mt of the Amorite: see on Deuteronomy 1:7. So JE, Numbers 13:17, but it adds through the Negeb; see on Deuteronomy 1:20.

the valley of Eshcol] LXX φάραγξ βότρυος, ‘ravine of the cluster’; but Heb. naḥal is the Ar. wâdy, a valley with a winter-stream, Gk χειμάῤῥοος, Ital. fiumara. Heb. ’eshkôl is the Ar. ’ithkâl (weakened from ‘ithkâl with initial ‘ayin), a cluster of dates or palm-branch with clusters, and means a cluster of dates, Song of Solomon 7:8, or of grapes as here (dates not ripening so high as Ḥebron). As a place-name Eshkôl occurs elsewhere only in P, Numbers 32:9; but in Genesis 14:13; Genesis 14:24 as the name of a person, the brother of Mamre the Ạmorite at Ḥebron. The neighbourhood of Ḥebron is fertile with numerous springs, and the vine flourishes there. Baedeker (5th ed. 134) reports to the N.W. a Wâdy Iskâhil. While JE and D take the spies no further than Ḥebron, P, Numbers 13:2; Numbers 13:17; Numbers 13:21; Numbers 13:25, describes them as exploring the whole land, from the wilderness of Ṣin to Reḥob, the entry to Ḥamath, and as taking 40 days.

Deuteronomy 1:24Everything had been done on the part of God and Moses to bring Israel speedily and safely to Canaan. The reason for their being compelled to remain in the desert for forty years was to be found exclusively in their resistance to the commandments of God. The discontent of the people with the guidance of God was manifested at the very first places of encampment in the desert (Numbers 11 and 12); but Moses passed over this, and simply reminded them of the rebellion at Kadesh (Numbers 13 and 14), because it was this which was followed by the condemnation of the rebellious generation to die out in the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 1:19-25

"When we departed from Horeb, we passed through the great and dreadful wilderness, which ye have seen," i.e., become acquainted with, viz., the desert of et Tih, "of the way to the mountains of the Amorites, and came to Kadesh-Barnea" (see at Numbers 12:16). הלך, with an accusative, to pass through a country (cf. Deuteronomy 2:7; Isaiah 50:10, etc.). Moses had there explained to the Israelites, that they had reached the mountainous country of the Amorites, which Jehovah was about to give them; that the land lay before them, and they might take possession of it without fear (Deuteronomy 1:20, Deuteronomy 1:21). But they proposed to send out men to survey the land, with its towns, and the way into it. Moses approved of this proposal, and sent out twelve men, one from each tribe, who went through the land, etc. (as is more fully related in Numbers 13, and has been expounded in connection with that passage, Deuteronomy 1:22-25). Moses' summons to them to take the land (Deuteronomy 1:20, Deuteronomy 1:21) is not expressly mentioned there, but it is contained implicite in the fact that spies were sent out; as the only possible reason for doing this must have been, that they might force a way into the land, and take possession of it. In Deuteronomy 1:25, Moses simply mentions so much of the report of the spies as had reference to the nature of the land, viz., that it was good, that he may place in immediate contrast with this the refusal of the people to enter in.

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