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Tuesday, August 16 2011
Why Did The Grapes Of Eshcol Become The Grapes Of Wrath?
It doesn't take forty years to walk from Egypt, down to Mount Sinai (see Why Did Paul Say That Sinai Was In Arabia?), and then up into the land of Israel. The Israelites did it in a matter of months. Prior to what would have been their entry into the Promised Land, the LORD commanded Moses to send scouts, a representative of each Israelite tribe, to "search the land of Canaan."
"13:1 And the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] spake unto Moses, saying, 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. 13:3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
Moses then gave the scouts specific orders for what sort of information that they were to gather - the natural resources needed to sustain a nation on the march and the military capability of the inhabitants there.
"13:17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 13:18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 13:19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 13:20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes." (Numbers 13:17-20 KJV)
The scouts then performed their mission, taking a full forty days - even visiting Hebron where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel are entombed.
"13:21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. 13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt. 13:23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 13:24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days." (Numbers 13:17-20 KJV)
"The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence"
The scouts returned with a report of a bountiful land, for "surely it floweth with milk and honey."
"13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." (Numbers 13:26-27 KJV)
They also reported that the inhabitants of the land were strong and heavily armed.
"13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan." (Numbers 13:28-29 KJV)
It then became obvious who the actual leaders were among the scouts. Only two of them, Caleb of Judah and Joshua of Ephraim, were courageous. The others were fearful.
"13:30 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.
Just as they had done at Mount Sinai (see The Mount Sinai Riot), the people then began to riot. The only difference was that this time it was not out of idolatry, but out of cowardice. They actually wanted to stone Moses and return to their slavery to Pharaoh (although ironically, after what happened to him, the Pharaoh would very likely have fought to prevent the Israelites from re-entering his country).
"14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Then came the reason why the Israelites spent forty years in the Sinai: "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."
"14:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
Fact Finder: What did "milk and honey" represent?
This Day In History, August 16
30 BC: Marcus Atonius, more popularly known today as Mark Antony, died at age 52. He was a Roman military and political leader, an associate of Julius Caesar, and lover and ally of Cleopatra (see Antony and Cleopatra).
1513: English and German forces under Henry VIII defeated the French at Guinegate, in what was called the Battle of the Spurs.
1777: France declared bankruptcy.
1812: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), General Isaac Brock, together with native allies, attacked and captured Detroit along with U.S. General William Hull and his army. Hull, with more than 2,000 men, had retired to Fort Detroit after a failed U.S. invasion of Upper Canada (today known as Ontario). Brock was knighted for the action, however news of the award did not reach Canada until after Brock's death at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812.
1868: A magnitude 8.5 earthquake in the Peru-Chile Trench in the Pacific produced a tsunami that struck the coast of Peru and Chile, killing approximately 70,000 people.
1896: Gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River, near the present site of Dawson, Canada; it set off what is often described as the greatest gold rush in human history.
1914: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Liege fell to the Germans after fierce Belgian resistance and heavy German casualties. On the same day, the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), who a year earlier had been rejected by the Austrian army on medical grounds, volunteered for service in a German regiment and was accepted.
1949: After 45 years of burial in Vienna, the body of Theodor Herzl was taken to Israel, according to his request that the Jewish people move him there after the creation of the State of Israel. He was buried on a ridge facing Jerusalem, bearing the name Mount Herzl (see also Anti-Zion Is Anti-Christ).
1960: Cyprus became an independent republic, with Archbishop Makarios as its first president.
1964: During the Vietnam civil war (the Vietnamese people were divided into North and South by French colonial forces in the 1950s), a U.S. backed coup overthrew South Vietnam President Duong Van Minh and replaced him with General Nguyen Khanh.
1972: Morocco's King Hassan II escaped unhurt when an airliner carrying him to Rabat was fired on by Moroccan Air Force pilots.
1989: A geomagnetic storm produced by a solar flare affected computers on earth e.g. it caused a shutdown of all trading on Toronto's stock exchange.