Numbers 14

Numbers 14:6-9
14:6 Joshua [first mention of Joshua (Israel’s general) is in Ex. 17:8-16; later became Moses’ successor and led Israel in conquest of Canaan (Num. 27:15-20)] son of Nun and Caleb [first mention of Caleb in 13:6; Caleb had confidence in his people (13:30) and in His God (14:8)] son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes [an action symbolic of mourning for the dead (cf. Gen. 37:29,34); they mourned “the loss of faith, the death of hope” (Expositors)]

14:7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly [in an effort to “revive the dead”], “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.

14:8 If the LORD is pleased with us [“to smile over;” refers to God’s favor toward His people and expresses the relationship God desires with them], he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey [a general way of referring to the rich and fertile promised land; milk and honey were among principle products of Canaan], and will give it to us.

14:9 Only [note two things necessary to take possession of the land] [1] do not rebel [word often refers in the OT to the breaking of covenant obligations] against the LORD. And [2] do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up [literally, “they (are) our bread” / cf. Num. 13:32 “devours;” “We shall destroy them as easily as we eat our bread.” (Wesley)]. Their protection [defense; shadow or shade from searing heat of desert sun] is gone [while the other spies saw only the power of the enemy, Caleb and Joshua saw their weakness], but the LORD is with us [cf. Rom. 8:31]. [therefore] Do not be afraid of them.”

The people threatened to stone Joshua and Caleb 14:10

Numbers 14:26-30
14:26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:

14:27 “How long will this wicked community grumble [“to be obstinate,” “to complain,” “to murmur”] against me [ultimately our grumbling is against God, not against His leaders (cf. 14:2)]? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.

14:28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live [an oath; God swore by Himself because He is the highest authority], declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say [cf. 14:2 re: their remarks about dying in Egypt or in the desert]:

14:29 In this desert [the place where they complained] your bodies will fall [the high cost of grumbling against God]—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.

14:30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home [refers to the reward they would receive in the future following 40 years (14:34) of wandering in the wilderness], except [God rewarded the two who demonstrated faith] Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Numbers 14:36-37
14:36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made [by means of their negative report] the whole community [indicates the sphere of their negative influence; “The spirit of rebellion is very contagious.” (Nee)] grumble [indicates result of their negative influence] against him [God] by spreading a bad report about it—

14:37 these men [fearful and faithless] responsible for spreading the bad report [not including Caleb and Joshua] about the land were struck down and died [an immediate death; on the spot] of a plague [God’s judgment on their unfaithfulness] before the LORD.

14:38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived [a reminder that the majority is not always right].

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