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Numbers 13:17-20

Context
The Spies’ Instructions

13:17 When Moses sent 1  them to investigate the land of Canaan, he told them, “Go up through the Negev, 2  and then go up into the hill country 13:18 and see 3  what the land is like, 4  and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, few or many, 13:19 and whether the land they live in is good or bad, and whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or fortified cities, 13:20 and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether or not there are forests in it. And be brave, 5  and bring back some of the fruit of the land.” Now it was the time of year 6  for the first ripe grapes. 7 

1 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the next verb of the same formation to express a temporal clause.

2 tn The instructions had them first go up into the southern desert of the land, and after passing through that, into the hill country of the Canaanites. The text could be rendered “into the Negev” as well as “through the Negev.”

3 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; the word therefore carries the volitional mood of the preceding imperatives. It may be either another imperative, or it may be subordinated as a purpose clause.

4 tn Heb “see the land, what it is.”

5 tn The verb is the Hitpael perfect with vav (ו) consecutive, from the root חָזַק (khazaq, “to be strong”). Here it could mean “strengthen yourselves” or “be courageous” or “determined.” See further uses in 2 Sam 10:12; 1 Kgs 20:22; 1 Chr 19:13.

6 tn Heb “Now the days were the days of.”

7 sn The reference to the first ripe grapes would put the time somewhere at the end of July.



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