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Numbers 13, Exploring Canaan

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Barry and Helen Setterfield, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Barry and Helen Setterfield

    Dec 28, 2002
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    (First of all, we want to apologize for so few Bible study contributions lately. Health and teen daughter problems have been getting in the way a bit, but we're still here!)

    This is the famous chapter recounting how Moses sent a representative of each of the twelve tribes to scout out the land the Lord was giving them. Among the twelve representatives are Joshua and Caleb.

    Moses gave the spies a list of questions -- a very thorough list, regarding the land, the people, the towns, the productivity of the land. The journey the spies were to take began the south and they would travel about 250 miles north and then they would have to come back. That is five hundred miles, approximately, to be done in about 40 days. That averages to 12.5 miles a day, every day. If they took Sabbaths off, they would have to travel more on the other days.

    The time of their travel was about mid-summer, when the first grapes come in (late July, early August here in California). The size of the grape cluster cut, as indicated by the fact that it evidently took two men to transport it, is probably something none of us have seen in real life. We have some pretty good red flame grapes out in the back here, and I never yet -- even in the best harvest years -- have had trouble carrying any one bunch! So we can see from this that the land was extremely productive at that time. What is interesting, however, is that both pomegranates and figs were carried back to Moses. This sort of dates the trip as taking what would be, for us, approximately early August to mid-September, as pomegranates ripen quite late in the year (ours in about October) and figs are also later fruits.

    And then the men came back with their report. The first part of the report was extremely good -- the land was wonderful and productive. They also noted that many people lived in this area and that the cities were both fortified and large.

    Their report was from their human eyes. And this part was absolutely truthful.

    Then Caleb interrupts with the eyes of faith, declaring they should take the land now, "for we can certainly do it!"

    Immediately the ten others (Joshua and Caleb excluded) declared that taking the land was an impossibility. The people there were stronger -- related to giants even! There was no way they were going to take that land...

    And the Bible reports "they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored."

    The study notes from the NIV are appropriate here:
    "The promised land was a good land, a gracious gift from God. By speaking bad things about it, the faithless spies were speaking evil of the Lord....Their words became exaggerations and distortions. The Anakites were now said to be Nephilim...The reference to the Nephilim seems deliberately intended to evoke fear. The exaggeration of the faithless led to their final folly: 'We seemed like grasshoppers.'"

    Thus, in their report, they are not only spreading fear among the Israelites, they are denying to goodness and protection of the Lord. It is this which will be important to remember.
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 30, 2001
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    Greetings Barry and Helen... Dropped moderating the C/A Forum and decided I would come by here and maybe learn something... Read the post from yesterday and today and maybe commenting later... The quiet over here is sure nice... A true breath of fresh air... Will try to come here daily... I remain your friend in Christ Jesus... Brother Glen [​IMG]
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 10, 2001
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    Bible in a year forum:

    March - Reading 6