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Sunday, December 1 2013

Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land

It took the Israelites about fourteen months to complete their preparations for nationhood at Mount Sinai (see Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments, Exodus 22: Freedom By The Law, Exodus 26: The First Christian Tabernacle and Leviticus 23: The True Christian Holy Days) and then to journey north to the Promised Land (see Numbers 10: North To The Promised Land). They had it within their means to arrive in the Promised Land in just fourteen months, not the forty years that it took their children to complete the journey. The reason is found in the events described in Numbers chapters 13 and 14 (see also Deuteronomy: The Law and History Lessons By Moses)..

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) delivered the Israelites to the southern border of what was to have been their country.

"13:1 And the LORD 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." (Numbers 13:1-2 KJV)

The scouts were representatives of each tribe, apart from Levi whose tribal responsibilities were solely for the Tabernacle (see Numbers 4: The Levite Clans). Notice also that for the tribe of Joseph, that was divided into Ephraim and Manasseh (see Genesis 48: The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh), Ephraim in this event represented both, in the person of Joshua (see the Fact Finder question below), rendered as "Oshea" in these verses.

The Grapes Of Canaan

"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. 13:4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. 13:5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. 13:6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 13:7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. 13:9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. 13:10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 13:11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. 13:12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13:13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 13:14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

13:16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua." (Numbers 13:3-16 KJV)

The scouts then entered the Promised Land, as all of Israel could have done immediately afterward (as we will cover in the next study, for chapter 14).

"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.

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 13:17-25 KJV)

Just as the LORD had promised, the scouts found a land that "floweth with milk and honey." The problem began when the scouts, except for Joshua of Ephraim and Caleb of Judah, proved to be faint-hearted men who then "brought up an evil report of the land" so that they would remain out in the wilderness where it was "safe."

"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 shewed 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. 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.

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.

13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:26-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Joshua fulfill a major part of Israel's history?
See Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua


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This Day In History, December 1

800: Charlemagne presided over the charges laid against Pope Leo III by the Romans. Later known as the "Father of Europe" (Pater Europae) Charlemagne's Germanic "Roman" Empire (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) united most of Western Europe for the first time since fall of the original Roman Empire centuries before (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Charlemagne 1135: King Henry I of England died.

1145: Pope Eugene III proclaimed the Second Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). It was undertaken by King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad III from 1147 to 1149 (see also Emperors and Popes).

1553: The Imperial Chamber at Speyer outlawed Albert (Albrecht) II, and he sought asylum in France.

1640: In a nationalist revolution, Spanish garrisons were driven out of Portugal. Two weeks later, the Duke of Braganca was crowned as John IV.

1742: Empress Elizabeth ordered all Jews out of Russia.

1821: The Dominican Republic declared independence from Spain.

1822: Dom Pedro became the first emperor of Brazil.

1906: The Cinema Omnia Pathe, considered to be the world's first cinema, opened in Paris.

1913: Crete, after having achieved independence from Turkey after the First Balkan War, was annexed by Greece.

1918: The Danish Parliament passed an act granting independence to Iceland.

1918: The union of Transylvania and Romania was declared.

1918: Alexander I proclaimed the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

1925: In Switzerland, the Pact of Locarno was signed by France, Belgium, Germany, Britain and Italy. Although it guaranteed peace and inviolable frontiers in Europe, the signers were involved in World War Two less than 15 years later (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1959: 12 countries signed a treaty to make Antarctica a scientific preserve with no territorial claims.

1973: David Ben-Gurion (born in Poland as David Gruen), present-day Israel's (ses Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah) first Prime Minister, died at age 87 (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration).

1989: Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet leader to visit the Vatican and meet the Pope.

1990: Workers digging the English Channel tunnel broke through the last section, opening Britain to the continent for the first time since the Ice Age.


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