Good News Translation (GNB)
12

Miriam is Punished

121Moses had married a Cushite12.1 Cushite (compare Hab 3.7); or Midianite; or Ethiopian. woman, and Miriam and Aaron criticized him for it. 2They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through12.2 through; or to. Moses? Hasn't he also spoken through12.2 through; or to. us?” The LORD heard what they said. 3(Moses was a humble man, more humble than anyone else on earth.)

4Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “I want the three of you to come out to the Tent of my presence.” They went, 5and the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent, and called out, “Aaron! Miriam!” The two of them stepped forward, 6and the LORD said, “Now hear what I have to say! When there are prophets among you,12.6 Some ancient translations Whenyou; Hebrew unclear. I reveal myself to them in visions and speak to them in dreams. 7

12.7:
Heb 3.2
It is different when I speak with my servant Moses; I have put him in charge of all my people Israel.12.7 I have putIsrael; or he can be trusted with all my affairs. 8So I speak to him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen my form! How dare you speak against my servant Moses?”

9The LORD was angry with them; and so as he departed 10and the cloud left the Tent, Miriam's skin was suddenly covered with a dreaded disease and turned as white as snow. When Aaron looked at her and saw that she was covered with the disease, 11he said to Moses, “Please, sir, do not make us suffer this punishment for our foolish sin. 12Don't let her become like something born dead with half its flesh eaten away.”

13So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, heal her!”

14

12.14:
Num 5.2–3
The LORD answered, “If her father had spat in her face, she would have to bear her disgrace for seven days. So let her be shut out of the camp for a week, and after that she can be brought back in.” 15Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until she was brought back in. 16Then they left Hazeroth and set up camp in the wilderness of Paran.

13

The Spies

(Deut 1.19–33)

131The LORD said to Moses, 2“Choose one of the leaders from each of the twelve tribes and send them as spies to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” 3-15Moses obeyed and from the wilderness of Paran he sent out leaders, as follows:

Tribe Leader
Reuben Shammua son of Zaccur
Simeon Shaphat son of Hori
Judah Caleb son of Jephunneh
Issachar Igal son of Joseph
Ephraim Hoshea son of Nun
Benjamin Palti son of Raphu
Zebulun Gaddiel son of Sodi
Manasseh Gaddi son of Susi
Dan Ammiel son of Gemalli
Asher Sethur son of Michael
Naphtali Nahbi son of Vophsi
Gad Geuel son of Machi

16These are the spies Moses sent to explore the land. He changed the name of Hoshea son of Nun to Joshua.

17When Moses sent them out, he said to them, “Go north from here into the southern part of the land of Canaan and then on into the hill country. 18Find out what kind of country it is, how many people live there, and how strong they are. 19Find out whether the land is good or bad and whether the people live in open towns or in fortified cities. 20Find out whether the soil is fertile and whether the land is wooded. And be sure to bring back some of the fruit that grows there.” (It was the season when grapes were beginning to ripen.)

21So the men went north and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin in the south all the way to Rehob, near Hamath Pass in the north. 22They went first into the southern part of the land and came to Hebron, where the clans of Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of a race of giants called the Anakim, lived. (Hebron was founded seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23They came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there they cut off a branch which had one bunch of grapes on it so heavy that it took two men to carry it on a pole between them. They also brought back some pomegranates and figs. 24(That place was named the Valley of Eshcol13.24 Eshcol: This name in Hebrew means “bunch of grapes”. because of the bunch of grapes the Israelites cut off there.)

25After exploring the land for forty days, the spies returned 26to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had brought. 27They said to Moses, “We explored the land and found it to be rich and fertile; and here is some of its fruit. 28But the people who live there are powerful, and their cities are very large and well fortified. Even worse, we saw the descendants of the giants there. 29Amalekites live in the southern part of the land; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and Canaanites live by the Mediterranean Sea and along the River Jordan.”

30Caleb silenced the people who were complaining against13.30 complaining against; or gathered round. Moses, and said, “We should attack now and take the land; we are strong enough to conquer it.”

31But the men who had gone with Caleb said, “No, we are not strong enough to attack them; the people there are more powerful than we are.” 32So they spread a false report among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “That land doesn't even produce enough to feed the people who live there. Everyone we saw was very tall, 33

13.33:
Gen 6.4
and we even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that is how we must have looked to them.”

14

The People Complain

141All night long the people cried out in distress. 2They complained against Moses and Aaron, and said, “It would have been better to die in Egypt or even here in the wilderness! 3Why is the LORD taking us into that land? We will be killed in battle, and our wives and children will be captured. Wouldn't it be better to go back to Egypt?” 4So they said to one another, “Let's choose a leader and go back to Egypt!”

5Then Moses and Aaron bowed to the ground in front of all the people. 6And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of the spies, tore their clothes in sorrow 7and said to the people, “The land we explored is an excellent land. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, he will take us there and give us that rich and fertile land. 9

14.9:
Heb 3.16
Do not rebel against the LORD and don't be afraid of the people who live there. We will conquer them easily. The LORD is with us and has defeated the gods who protected them; so don't be afraid.” 10The whole community was threatening to stone them to death, but suddenly the people saw the dazzling light of the LORD's presence appear over the tent.

Moses Prays for the People

11The LORD said to Moses, “How much longer will these people reject me? How much longer will they refuse to trust in me, even though I have performed so many miracles among them? 12I will send an epidemic and destroy them, but I will make you the father of a nation that is larger and more powerful than they are!”

13

14.13–19:
Ex 32.11–14
But Moses said to the LORD, “You brought these people out of Egypt by your power. When the Egyptians hear what you have done to your people, 14they will tell it to the people who live in this land. These people have already heard that you, LORD, are with us, that you are plainly seen when your cloud stops over us, and that you go before us in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill all your people, the nations who have heard of your fame will say 16that you killed your people in the wilderness because you were not able to bring them into the land you promised to give them. 17So now LORD, I pray, show us your power and do what you promised when you said, 18
14.18:
Ex 20.5–6
34.6–7
Deut 5.9–10
7.9–10
‘I, the LORD, am not easily angered, and I show great love and faithfulness and forgive sin and rebellion. Yet I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.’ 19And now, LORD, according to the greatness of your unchanging love, forgive, I pray, the sin of these people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”

20The LORD answered, “I will forgive them, as you have asked. 21

14.21–23:
Heb 3.18
But I promise that as surely as I live and as surely as my presence fills the earth, 22none of these people will live to enter that land. They have seen the dazzling light of my presence and the miracles that I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, but they have tried my patience over and over again and have refused to obey me. 23They will never enter the land which I promised to their ancestors. None of those who have rejected me will ever enter it. 24
14.24:
Josh 14.9–12
But because my servant Caleb has a different attitude and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land which he explored, and his descendants will possess the land 25in whose valleys the Amalekites and the Canaanites now live. Turn back tomorrow and go into the wilderness in the direction of the Gulf of Aqaba.”

The Lord Punishes the People for Complaining

26The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 27“How much longer are these wicked people going to complain against me? I have heard enough of these complaints! 28Now give them this answer: ‘I swear that as surely as I live, I will do to you just what you have asked. I, the LORD, have spoken. 29

14.29:
Heb 3.17
You will die and your corpses will be scattered across this wilderness. Because you have complained against me, none of you over twenty years of age will enter that land. 30I promised to let you live there, but not one of you will, except Caleb and Joshua. 31You said that your children would be captured, but I will bring them into the land that you rejected, and it will be their home. 32You will die here in this wilderness. 33
14.33:
Acts 7.36
Your children will wander in the wilderness for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last one of you dies. 34You will suffer the consequences of your sin for forty years, one year for each of the forty days you spent exploring the land. You will know what it means to have me against you! 35I swear that I will do this to you wicked people who have gathered together against me. Here in the wilderness every one of you will die. I, the LORD, have spoken.’ ”

36-37The men Moses had sent to explore the land brought back a false report which caused the people to complain against the LORD. And so the LORD struck them with a disease, and they died. 38Of the twelve spies only Joshua and Caleb survived.

The First Attempt to Invade the Land

(Deut 1.41–46)

39When Moses told the Israelites what the LORD had said, they mourned bitterly. 40Early the next morning they started out to invade the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go to the place which the LORD told us about. We admit that we have sinned.”

41But Moses said, “Then why are you disobeying the LORD now? You will not succeed! 42Don't go. The LORD is not with you, and your enemies will defeat you. 43When you face the Amalekites and the Canaanites, you will die in battle; the LORD will not be with you, because you have refused to follow him.”

44Yet they still dared to go up into the hill country, even though neither the LORD's Covenant Box nor Moses left the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived there attacked and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hormah.