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Numbers 13:31-33

Context
13:31 But the men 1  who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against these people, because they are stronger than we are!” 13:32 Then they presented the Israelites with a discouraging 2  report of the land they had investigated, saying, “The land that we passed through 3  to investigate is a land that devours 4  its inhabitants. 5  All the people we saw there 6  are of great stature. 13:33 We even saw the Nephilim 7  there (the descendants of Anak came from the Nephilim), and we seemed liked grasshoppers both to ourselves 8  and to them.” 9 

1 tn The vav (ו) disjunctive on the noun at the beginning of the clause forms a strong adversative clause here.

2 tn Or “an evil report,” i.e., one that was a defamation of the grace of God.

3 tn Heb “which we passed over in it”; the pronoun on the preposition serves as a resumptive pronoun for the relative, and need not be translated literally.

4 tn The verb is the feminine singular participle from אָכַל (’akhal); it modifies the land as a “devouring land,” a bold figure for the difficulty of living in the place.

5 sn The expression has been interpreted in a number of ways by commentators, such as that the land was infertile, that the Canaanites were cannibals, that it was a land filled with warlike dissensions, or that it denotes a land geared for battle. It may be that they intended the land to seem infertile and insecure.

6 tn Heb “in its midst.”

7 tc The Greek version uses gigantes (“giants”) to translate “the Nephilim,” but it does not retain the clause “the sons of Anak are from the Nephilim.”

sn The Nephilim are the legendary giants of antiquity. They are first discussed in Gen 6:4. This forms part of the pessimism of the spies’ report.

8 tn Heb “in our eyes.”

9 tn Heb “in their eyes.”



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