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Numbers 13:1-17

Context
Spies Sent Out

13:1 1 The Lord spoke 2  to Moses: 13:2 “Send out men to investigate 3  the land of Canaan, which I am giving 4  to the Israelites. You are to send one man from each ancestral tribe, 5  each one a leader among them.” 13:3 So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command 6  of the Lord. All of them were leaders 7  of the Israelites.

13:4 Now these were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur; 13:5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 13:6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 13:7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 13:8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 13:9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 13:10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 13:11 from the tribe 8  of Joseph, namely, the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi; 13:12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13:13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 13:14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vopshi; 13:15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 13:16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to investigate the land. And Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua. 9 

The Spies’ Instructions

13:17 When Moses sent 10  them to investigate the land of Canaan, he told them, “Go up through the Negev, 11  and then go up into the hill country

1 sn Chapter 13 provides the names of the spies sent into the land (vv. 1-16), their instructions (vv. 17-20), their activities (vv. 21-25), and their reports (vv. 26-33). It is a chapter that serves as a good lesson on faith, for some of the spies walked by faith, and some by sight.

2 tn The verse starts with the vav (ו) consecutive on the verb: “and….”

3 tn The imperfect tense with the conjunction is here subordinated to the preceding imperative to form the purpose clause. It can thus be translated “send…to investigate.”

4 tn The participle here should be given a future interpretation, meaning “which I am about to give” or “which I am going to give.”

5 tn Heb “one man one man of the tribe of his fathers.”

6 tn Heb “mouth.”

7 tn Heb “heads.”

8 tc Some scholars emend “tribe” to “sons.” Cf. Num 1:10.

9 sn The difference in the names is slight, a change from “he saves” to “the Lord saves.” The Greek text of the OT used Iesoun for Hebrew Yeshua.

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

11 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.”



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