14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 1 it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 2 of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 3 that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 4 this entire people at once, 5 then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 6 be great, just as you have said, 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 7 forgiving iniquity and transgression, 8 but by no means clearing 9 the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 10 14:19 Please forgive 11 the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 12 just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
14:20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 13 14:21 But truly, as I live, 14 all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 14:22 For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted 15 me now these ten times, 16 and have not obeyed me, 17 14:23 they will by no means 18 see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it. 14:24 Only my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully – I will bring him into the land where he had gone, and his descendants 19 will possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites were living in the valleys.) 20 Tomorrow, turn and journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”
14:26 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 14:27 “How long must I bear 21 with this evil congregation 22 that murmurs against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites that they murmured against me. 14:28 Say to them, ‘As I live, 23 says 24 the Lord, I will surely do to you just what you have spoken in my hearing. 25 14:29 Your dead bodies 26 will fall in this wilderness – all those of you who were numbered, according to your full number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me. 14:30 You will by no means enter into the land where 27 I swore 28 to settle 29 you. The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 14:31 But I will bring in your little ones, whom you said would become victims of war, 30 and they will enjoy 31 the land that you have despised. 14:32 But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, 14:33 and your children will wander 32 in the wilderness forty years and suffer for your unfaithfulness, 33 until your dead bodies lie finished 34 in the wilderness. 14:34 According to the number of the days you have investigated this land, forty days – one day for a year – you will suffer for 35 your iniquities, forty years, and you will know what it means to thwart me. 36 14:35 I, the Lord, have said, “I will surely do so to all this evil congregation that has gathered together against me. In this wilderness they will be finished, and there they will die!”’”
14:36 The men whom Moses sent to investigate the land, who returned and made the whole community murmur against him by producing 37 an evil report about the land, 14:37 those men who produced the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord. 14:38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among 38 the men who went to investigate the land, lived. 14:39 When Moses told 39 these things to all the Israelites, the people mourned 40 greatly.
1 tn The construction is unusual in that we have here a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive with no verb before it to establish the time sequence. The context requires that this be taken as a vav (ו) consecutive. It actually forms the protasis for the next verse, and would best be rendered “when…then they will say.”
2 tn The singular participle is to be taken here as a collective, representing all the inhabitants of the land.
4 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect of מוּת (mut), וְהֵמַתָּה (vÿhemattah). The vav (ו) consecutive makes this also a future time sequence verb, but again in a conditional clause.
5 tn Heb “as one man.”
6 tc The form in the text is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay), the word that is usually used in place of the tetragrammaton. It is the plural form with the pronominal suffix, and so must refer to God.
7 tn The expression is רַב־חֶסֶד (rav khesed) means “much of loyal love,” or “faithful love.” Some have it “totally faithful,” but that omits the aspect of his love.
8 tn Or “rebellion.”
9 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the verbal activity of the imperfect tense, which here serves as a habitual imperfect. Negated it states what God does not do; and the infinitive makes that certain.
10 sn The Decalogue adds “to those who hate me.” The point of the line is that the effects of sin, if not the sinful traits themselves, are passed on to the next generation.
12 tn The construct unit is “the greatness of your loyal love.” This is the genitive of specification, the first word being the modifier.
13 tn Heb “forgiven according to your word.” The direct object, “them,” is implied.
15 tn The verb נָסָה (nasah) means “to test, to tempt, to prove.” It can be used to indicate things are tried or proven, or for testing in a good sense, or tempting in the bad sense, i.e., putting God to the test. In all uses there is uncertainty or doubt about the outcome. Some uses of the verb are positive: If God tests Abraham in Genesis 22:1, it is because there is uncertainty whether he fears the
16 tn “Ten” is here a round figure, emphasizing the complete testing. But see F. V. Winnett, The Mosaic Tradition, 121-54.
17 tn Heb “listened to my voice.”
18 tn The word אִם (’im) indicates a negative oath formula: “if” means “they will not.” It is elliptical. In a human oath one would be saying: “The
19 tn Heb “seed.”
20 sn The judgment on Israel is that they turn back to the desert and not attack the tribes in the land. So a parenthetical clause is inserted to state who was living there. They would surely block the entrance to the land from the south – unless God removed them. And he is not going to do that for Israel.
21 tn The figure is aposiopesis, or sudden silence. The main verb is deleted from the line, “how long…this evil community.” The intensity of the emotion is the reason for the ellipsis.
22 sn It is worth mentioning in passing that this is one of the Rabbinic proof texts for having at least ten men to form a congregation and have prayer. If God called ten men (the bad spies) a “congregation,” then a congregation must have ten men. But here the word “community/congregation” refers in this context to the people of Israel as a whole, not just to the ten spies.
23 sn Here again is the oath that God swore in his wrath, an oath he swore by himself, that they would not enter the land. “As the
24 tn The word נְאֻם (nÿ’um) is an “oracle.” It is followed by the subjective genitive: “the oracle of the
25 tn Heb “in my ears.”
sn They had expressed the longing to have died in the wilderness, and not in war. God will now give them that. They would not say to God “your will be done,” so he says to them, “your will be done” (to borrow from C. S. Lewis).
27 tn The relative pronoun “which” is joined with the resumptive pronoun “in it” to form a smoother reading “where.”
28 tn The Hebrew text uses the anthropomorphic expression “I raised my hand” in taking an oath.
29 tn Heb “to cause you to dwell; to cause you to settle.”
30 tn Or “plunder.”
31 tn Heb “know.”
32 tn The word is “shepherds.” It means that the people would be wilderness nomads, grazing their flock on available land.
33 tn Heb “you shall bear your whoredoms.” The imagery of prostitution is used throughout the Bible to reflect spiritual unfaithfulness, leaving the covenant relationship and following after false gods. Here it is used generally for their rebellion in the wilderness, but not for following other gods.
34 tn The infinitive is from תָּמַם (tamam), which means “to be complete.” The word is often used to express completeness in a good sense – whole, blameless, or the like. Here and in v. 35 it seems to mean “until your deaths have been completed.” See also Gen 47:15; Deut 2:15.
35 tn Heb “you shall bear.”
36 tn The phrase refers to the consequences of open hostility to God, or perhaps abandonment of God. The noun תְּנוּאָה (tÿnu’ah) occurs in Job 33:10 (perhaps). The related verb occurs in Num 30:6 HT (30:5 ET) and 32:7 with the sense of “disallow, discourage.” The sense of the expression adopted in this translation comes from the meticulous study of R. Loewe, “Divine Frustration Exegetically Frustrated,” Words and Meanings, 137-58.
37 tn The verb is the Hiphil infinitive construct with a lamed (ל) preposition from the root יָצָא (yatsa’, “to bring out”). The use of the infinitive here is epexegetical, that is, explaining how they caused the people to murmur.
38 tn The Hebrew text uses the preposition “from,” “some of” – “from those men.” The relative pronoun is added to make a smoother reading.
39 tn The preterite here is subordinated to the next preterite to form a temporal clause.