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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Chapter 13

Now in chapter thirteen we get the story. Now, they come to Kadesh Barnea and they are now on the border ready to enter into the Promised Land. They had been about two years, a little over two years now in the wilderness. And now they've come to the place of entering in and possessing the land that God had promised to them. In coming to the borders of the land, Moses thought it would be wise to send spies into the land in order that they might travel through the land, look at the cities, look at the crops; just sort of size up the land, the fortifications of the people and all and to come back and bring the report and bring back some fruit from the land.

And so they chose from each tribe one man to go in, and thus, there were twelve spies that entered into the land. And in the first part of the thirteenth chapter it lists those that went in; two of them are important to us. Of the tribe of Judah, in verse six, Caleb, and then of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea, in verse eight. Now at the end of the listing we are told in verse sixteen that

Moses called Oshea the son of Nun [Jehoshea or] Jehoshua ( Numbers 13:16 ).

Which was later contracted to Joshua. Oshea means deliverer or salvation and Yeh is the contraction for Jehovah, the name of God. So the name Joshua is one of the compound names of Jehovah, which means, "God is salvation" or the "Lord is salvation" or the "Lord our salvation". The Greek word for Joshua is Jesus. So that when Joseph was debating what to do with Mary when she was pregnant and the angel of the Lord came to him and said, "Don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bare a son thou shalt call his name Jesus" or the Hebrew Yeshua Why? "For he shall save his people from their sins" ( Matthew 1:20-21 ). The name implies the mission. Jehovah is our salvation; so Jehoshua, later Joshua.

So they went in to spy out the land. And they were in the land for forty days and they spied out the land. And Joshua and Caleb on the way backstopped by the Valley of-or the Brooke of Eshcol and there they cut a bunch of grapes that they carried in a staff between them. In other words, it's so large that they just had a stick on their shoulders and tied the grapes in the middle to show the people the huge bunches of grapes, how big were the bunches of grapes in the land. And so they came back to the camp of Israel and Joshua and Caleb gave their report and they said there in verse twenty-six:

They brought to the congregation, and shewed them through the land. And told him, We came into the land whither you sent us, and surely if flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people are strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and we saw there some of the giants, the sons of Anak. And the Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: the Hittites, and Jebusites, and the Amorites, are in the mountains: and Canaanites are by the sea, in the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it ( Numbers 13:26-30 ).

Oh, this guy Caleb he says, "Let's go for it. We can do it. Let's go up and possess it at once. It's a great land. Problems there? Sure, but wow, let's go for it".

But the men that went with him said, Hey, we're not able to go up against those people; for they're stronger than we are. And they brought an evil report unto the people. Telling them awe, the cities are huge and the walls are high. And there were giants: we were like grasshoppers in their sight ( Numbers 13:31-33 ).

Man, they'll eat us up.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-13.html. 2014.
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