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Saturday, March 23 2019

A Bible Journey, 154: How The Rebellion Changed History

"Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it ... Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God ... Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers"

The "children" of Israel (see A Bible Journey, 46: The Family At The Heart Of A Nation) could have entered the Promised Land of their forefather Abraham (see Abraham's Exodus) in only about fourteen months after the Exodus, but they refused to enter due to a spirit of rebellion and cowardice (see A Bible Journey, 133: The Spirit Of Rebellion).

For that defiant refusal, the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) declared a death sentence of forty years of aimless wandering in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula - always traveling, but never getting anywhere that mattered.


If the Israelites had entered their homeland when the LORD first gave them the opportunity to do so, consider the profound difference that it would have made to the subsequent events of Bible history.

  • The Israelites would have entered the Promised Land from the south, through a desert, the Negev (see The Negev Of Israel), rather than from the west, across a river, the Jordan, forty years later.

  • Moses would have entered the Promised Land, rather than dying forty years later outside of the original stated boundaries of the Promised Land west of the Jordan River. Aaron and Miriam would also have entered the Promised Land (see A Bible Journey, 137: What Did Moses and Aaron Lose At Meribah?).

  • Moses, not Joshua, would have led the Israelites into the Promised Land - there would have been no Book of Joshua, or if there were, it would have begun forty years later, after Moses died forty years later (see A Bible Journey, 144: The Succession Of Joshua).

  • There would have been no east of the Jordan River tribal lands (see A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites).

  • There would have been no Book of Deuteronomy, which was written to the children and grandchildren of the adult generation of the Exodus who died in the Sinai. Those children and grandchildren, who did enter the Promised Land, were very different - they had never been in Egypt, and they were never slaves (see Hometowns: Campsites Of The Sinai).

The account of the Book of Deuteronomy begins near the end of Moses' life, near the end of the forty years wandering, "in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel."

Israel From Space

"1:1 These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 1:2 (There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)

1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; 1:4 After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:

1:5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying, 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: 1:7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. 1:8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them." (Deuteronomy 1:1-8 KJV)

The Book of Deuteronomy is a reiteration of the Law that the LORD gave to Moses to deliver to the people of Israel. It was a repetition for Moses, but a first time hearing, as responsible adults, for the Israelites who were about to cross into the Promised Land.

"1:9 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: 1:10 The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 1:11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 1:12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

1:14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.

1:15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. 1:18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do." (Deuteronomy 1:9-18 KJV)

Moses delivered the history lesson of the Book of Deuteronomy - focusing on the rebellious event that caused the wilderness wandering.

The Grapes Of Canaan

"1:19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea. 1:20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us. 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

1:22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.

1:23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: 1:24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out. 1:25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us." (Deuteronomy 1:19-25 KJV)

Moses spoke to them in the present tense, although the people that he was actually speaking to were all dead. It was a stark emphasis to the children and grandchildren that they were then in the same "place" as their parents and grandparents were when they chose to rebel and fail. The difference is that those of that later generation did not fail.

"1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: 1:27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

1:29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 1:30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 1:31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.

1:32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, 1:33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.

1:34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, 1:35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, 1:36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

1:37 Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. 1:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. 1:40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

1:41 Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.

1:42 And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.

1:43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill. 1:44 And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah. 1:45 And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you. 1:46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there." (Deuteronomy 1:26-46 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why were there also two copies of the Ten Commandments made?
See A Bible Journey, 84: What Did Moses Do To The Ten Commandments?

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This Day In History, March 23

1324: German emperor Louis IV was excommunicated by Pope John XXII (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).

1400: The Tran Dynasty of Vietnam was deposed after 175 years of rule. The ancient one-people, single-nation of Vietnam has a recorded history that extends to the third century BC. It was only from the middle of the 20th century that foreigners divided Vietnam into their colonies of north and south.



1534: Pope Clement declared that the marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon (the Spanish-born daughter of the Roman Catholic monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain - the employers of Christopher Columbus and the founders of the Spanish Inquisition, including the torture of non-Catholics with "waterboarding"; see the location of Aragon in the map below) was still in effect. The marriage was ended in Britain the year before, and Henry had then married Anne Boleyn. To accommodate his repeated marriages and divorces, Henry eventually created the Church of England with himself as the head.

Catherine and Anne


1540: The Waltham Abbey was surrendered to King Henry VIII of England. It was the last Church of Rome religious community to be shut during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

1568: The Peace of Longjumeau was signed, ending the second phase of the French Wars of Religion.

1657: France and England formed an alliance against Spain.

1801: Russian Czar Paul I was assassinated.

1808: Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.

1821: The Battle and fall of the city of Kalamata during the Greek War of Independence.

1849: After the Austrians had been victorious at Novara, Charles Albert of Sardinia abdicated in favor of Victor Emmanuel II.

1877: John Doyle Lee, a Mormon fanatic, was executed by firing squad for masterminding the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 127 Arkansas Methodists bound for California were killed by Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians.

1879: The Battle of Topater, the first battle of the War of the Pacific between Chile and the allied forces of Bolivia and Peru.

1918: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the immense German artillery gun, "Big Bertha," shelled Paris from a distance of 120 kilometers / 75 miles.

1919: Italian Conservative dictator Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist Party (see Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).


1925: Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in public schools in the state. Teacher John Scopes ignored the ban and was later tried in what became known as "The Scopes Monkey Trial" (see Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists).

1933: The German Reichstag (Parliament) passed an "enabling law" that gave Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party the sweeping dictatorial powers (e.g. to make murder "legal" for Hitler to commit) they had been seeking (see The Terrorist Attack That Enabled Hitler To Become A Dictator and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion; also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).

1956: Pakistan became the first official Islamic republic in the world.

1966: Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Michael Ramsey met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome - the first meeting between the heads of the two churches in 400 years.

1983: Dr. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, died 112 days after being the first human to receive a mechanical heart.

2001: The Russian space station Mir was brought down out of orbit after 15 years. It burned up in re-entry and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. When it was launched in 1986, Mir was the world's first space station, later copied the U.S. Skylab (in orbit 1973 to 1979) and the International Space Station, a joint effort by Russia, the European Space Agency and NASA (in orbit 1998 to the present).



Copyright © Wayne Blank