Numbers 13:1
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XIII.

(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses . . . —There is no inconsistency between this statement and that which is contained in Deuteronomy 1:22, where the sending of the spies is represented as having originated with the people. It is there said that the saying pleased Moses well; but it would be wholly inconsistent with the character and conduct of Moses to suppose that in a matter of such importance he should have acted in a accordance with the suggestion of the people, or upon his own judgment, without seeking direction from God. The command which was given to Moses must not be regarded as implying of necessity that the expedition of the spies was, in the first instance, ordained by God, any more than the command which was afterwards given to Balaam to accompany the messengers of Balak was any indication that God originally commanded, or approved of his journey.

Numbers 13:1-2. The Israelites being now come to the borders of Canaan, Moses commanded them, in the name of God, to go up and possess it, reminding them of his promise to give them the possession of it, and exhorting them not to fear nor be discouraged, Deuteronomy 1:21. But the unbelieving and distrustful multitude, forgetting the power and faithfulness of God, were afraid to venture on this hazardous undertaking, as they thought it, till some persons were sent to examine and bring them information what sort of country it was, and what kind of people they should have to contend with. We will send men before us, said they, and they shall search out the land, and bring us word again, Deuteronomy 1:22. Moses, therefore, in compliance with their request, is directed by God to send proper persons, chosen from all the tribes, for this purpose. Every one a ruler among them — Not those called princes of the tribes, in the first chapter of this book, but men of wisdom and authority, and rulers or officers of an inferior kind.

13:1-20 A memorable and melancholy history is related in this and the following chapter, of the turning back of Israel from the borders of Canaan, and the sentencing them to wander and perish in the wilderness, for their unbelief and murmuring. It appears, De 1:22, that the motion to search out the land came from the people. They had a better opinion of their own policy than of God's wisdom. Thus we ruin ourselves by believing the reports and representations of sense rather than Divine revelation. We walk by sight not by faith. Moses gave the spies this charge, Be of good courage. It was not only a great undertaking they were put upon, which required good management and resolution; but a great trust was reposed in them, which required that they should be faithful. Courage in such circumstances can only spring from strong faith, which Caleb and Joshua alone possessed.If her father ... - i. e. If her earthly parent had treated her with contumely (compare Deuteronomy 25:9) she would feel for a time humiliated, how much more when God has visited her thus?

And the Lord spake - The mission of the spies was first suggested by the Israelites themselves. See Deuteronomy 1:22.

CHAPTER 13

Nu 13:1-33. The Names of the Men Who Were Sent to Search the Land.

1, 2. The Lord spake unto Moses, Send thou men, that they may search the land, of Canaan—Compare De 1:22, whence it appears, that while the proposal of delegating confidential men from each tribe to explore the land of Canaan emanated from the people who petitioned for it, the measure received the special sanction of God, who granted their request at once as a trial, and a punishment of their distrust.God commandeth Moses to send spies to search out the land of Canaan, Numbers 13:1-3. Their names, Numbers 13:4-16. Moses’s commandment where to go, and what to do, Numbers 13:17-20. Their return with the fruits of the land, and their report, Numbers 13:23-29. They are encouraged by Caleb, Numbers 13:30; but ten others dishearten them by their false report, Numbers 13:31-33.

In answer to the people’s petition about it, as is evident from Deu 1:22. And it is probable from the following story, that the people desired it out of diffidence of God’s promise and providence, though Moses liked of it as a prudent course to learn where or how to make the first invasion. And God granted their desire for their trial and punishment, as well knowing from what root it came.

And the Lord Spake unto Moses,.... When in the wilderness of Paran, either at Rithmah or Kadesh; this was on the twenty ninth day of the month Sivan, on which day, the Jews say (o), the spies were sent to search the land, which was a scheme of the Israelites' own devising, and which they first proposed to Moses, who approved of it as prudential and political, at least he gave his assent unto it to please the people, and carried the affair to the Lord, and consulted him about it; who, rather permitting than approving, gave the following order; for the motion carried in it a good deal of unbelief, calling in question whether the land was so good as had been represented unto them, fearing it was not accessible, and that it would be difficult to get into it, and were desirous of knowing the best way of getting into it before they proceeded any further; all which were unnecessary, if they would have fully trusted in the Lord, in his word, promise, power, providence, and guidance; who had told them it was a land flowing with milk and honey; that he would show them the way to it, by going before them in a pillar of cloud and fire; that he would assuredly bring them into it, having espied it for them, and promised it unto them; so that there was no need on any account for them to send spies before them; however, to gratify them in this point, he assented to it:

saying; as follows.

(o) Ib. ut supra, (Seder Olam Rabba, c. 8. p. 24. & Meyer. Annotat. in ib. p. 338.) Pesikta, Chaskuni.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–24. The spies are sent out, and search the land.

THE REBELLION AT KADESH (chapters 13, 14). Numbers 13:1Despatch of the Spies of Canaan. - Numbers 13:1. The command of Jehovah, to send out men to spy out the land of Canaan, was occasioned, according to the account given by Moses in Deuteronomy 1:22., by a proposal of the congregation, which pleased Moses, so that he laid the matter before the Lord, who then commanded him to send out for this purpose, "of every tribe of their fathers a man, every one a ruler among them, i.e., none but men who were princes in their tribes, who held the prominent position of princes, i.e., distinguished persons of rank; or, as it is stated in Numbers 13:3, "heads of the children of Israel," i.e., not the tribe-princes of the twelve tribes, but those men, out of the total number of the heads of the tribes and families of Israel, who were the most suitable for such a mission, though the selection was to be made in such a manner that every tribe should be represented by one of its own chiefs. That there were none of the twelve tribe-princes among them is apparent from a comparison of their names (Numbers 13:4-15) with the (totally different) names of the tribe-princes (Numbers 1:3., Numbers 7:12.). Caleb and Joshua are the only spies that are known. The order, in which the tribes are placed in the list of the names in Numbers 13:4-15, differs from that in Numbers 1:5-15 only in the fact that in Numbers 13:10 Zebulun is separated from the other sons of Leah, and in Numbers 13:11 Manasseh is separated from Ephraim. The expression "of the tribe of Joseph," in Numbers 13:11, stands for "of the children of Joseph," in Numbers 1:10; Numbers 34:23. At the close of the list it is still further stated, that Moses called Hoshea (i.e., help), the son of Nun, Jehoshua, contracted into Joshua (i.e., Jehovah-help, equivalent to, whose help is Jehovah). This statement does not present any such discrepancy, when compared with Exodus 17:9, Exodus 17:13; Exodus 24:13; Exodus 32:17; Exodus 33:11, and Numbers 11:28, where Joshua bears this name as the servant of Moses at a still earlier period, as to point to any diversity of authorship. As there is nothing of a genealogical character in any of these passages, so as to warrant us in expecting to find the family name of Joshua in them, the name Joshua, by which Hosea had become best known in history, could be used proleptically in them all. On the other hand, however, it is not distinctly stated in the verse before us, that this was the occasion on which Moses gave Hosea the new name of Joshua. As the Vav consec. frequently points out merely the order of thought, the words may be understood without hesitation in the following sense: These are the names borne by the heads of the tribes to be sent out as spies, as they stand in the family registers according to their descent; Hosea, however, was named Joshua by Moses; which would not by any means imply that the alteration in the name had not been made till then. It is very probable that Moses may have given him the new name either before or after the defeat of the Amalekites (Exodus 17:9.), or when he took him into his service, though it has not been mentioned before; whilst here the circumstances themselves required that it should be stated that Hosea, as he was called in the list prepared and entered in the documentary record according to the genealogical tables of the tribes, had received from Moses the name of Joshua. In Numbers 13:17-20 Moses gives them the necessary instructions, defining more clearly the motive which the congregation had assigned for sending them out, namely, that they might search out the way into the land and to its towns (Deuteronomy 1:22). "Get you up there (זה in the south country, and go up to the mountain." Negeb, i.e., south country, lit., dryness, aridity, from נגב, to be dry or arid (in Syr., Chald, and Samar.). Hence the dry, parched land, in contrast to the well-watered country (Joshua 15:19; Judges 1:15), was the name given to the southern district of Canaan, which forms the transition from the desert to the strictly cultivated land, and bears for the most part the character of a steppe, in which tracts of sand and heath are intermixed with shrubs, grass, and vegetables, whilst here and there corn is also cultivated; a district therefore which was better fitted for grazing than for agriculture, though it contained a number of towns and villages (see at Joshua 15:21-32). "The mountain" is the mountainous part of Palestine, which was inhabited by Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites (Numbers 13:29), and was called the mountains of the Amorites, on account of their being the strongest of the Canaanitish tribes (Deuteronomy 1:7, Deuteronomy 1:19.). It is not to be restricted, as Knobel supposes, to the limits of the so-called mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:48-62), but included the mountains of Israel or Ephraim also (Joshua 11:21; Joshua 20:7), and formed, according to Deuteronomy 1:7, the backbone of the whole land of Canaan up to Lebanon.
Links
Numbers 13:1 Interlinear
Numbers 13:1 Parallel Texts


Numbers 13:1 NIV
Numbers 13:1 NLT
Numbers 13:1 ESV
Numbers 13:1 NASB
Numbers 13:1 KJV

Numbers 13:1 Bible Apps
Numbers 13:1 Parallel
Numbers 13:1 Biblia Paralela
Numbers 13:1 Chinese Bible
Numbers 13:1 French Bible
Numbers 13:1 German Bible

Bible Hub






Numbers 12:16
Top of Page
Top of Page