Parashah 37: Shlach L’kha (Send on your behalf) 13:1–15:41
1Adonai said to Moshe, 2“Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, which I am giving to the people of Isra’el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe.” 3Moshe dispatched them from the Pa’ran Desert as Adonai had ordered; all of them were leading men among the people of Isra’el. 4Here are their names:
from the tribe of Re’uven, Shamua the son of Zakur;
5from the tribe of Shim‘on, Shafat the son of Hori;
6from the tribe of Y’hudah, Kalev the son of Y’funeh;
7from the tribe of Yissakhar, Yig’al the son of Yosef;
8from the tribe of Efrayim, Hoshea the son of Nun;
9from the tribe of Binyamin, Palti the son of Rafu;
10from the tribe of Z’vulun, Gadi’el the son of Sodi;
11from the tribe of Yosef, that is, from the tribe of M’nasheh, Gadi the son of Susi;
12from the tribe of Dan, ‘Ammi’el the son of G’malli;
13from the tribe of Asher, S’tur the son of Mikha’el;
14from the tribe of Naftali, Nachbi the son of Vofsi; and
15from the tribe of Gad, Ge’u’el the son of Makhi.
16These are the names of the men Moshe sent out to reconnoiter the land. Moshe gave to Hoshea the son of Nun the name Y’hoshua.
17Moshe sent them to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, instructing them, “Go on up to the Negev and into the hills, 18and see what the land is like. Notice the people living there, whether they are strong or weak, few or many; 19and what kind of country they live in, whether it is good or bad; and what kind of cities they live in, open or fortified. 20See whether the land is fertile or unproductive and whether there is wood in it or not. Finally, be bold enough to bring back some of the fruit of the land.”
When they left it was the season for the first grapes to ripen. (ii) 21They went up and reconnoitered the land from the Tzin Desert to Rechov near the entrance to Hamat. 22They went up into the Negev and arrived at Hevron; Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the ‘Anakim, lived there. (Hevron was built seven years before Tzo‘an in Egypt.) 23They came to the Eshkol Valley; and there they cut off a branch bearing one cluster of grapes, which they carried on a pole between two of them; they also took pomegranates and figs. 24That place was called the Valley of Eshkol [cluster], because of the cluster which the people of Isra’el cut down there.
25Forty days later, they returned from reconnoitering the land 26and went to Moshe, Aharon and the entire community of the people of Isra’el at Kadesh in the Pa’ran Desert, where they brought back word to them and to the entire community and showed them the fruit of the land. 27What they told him was this: “We entered the land where you sent us, and indeed it does flow with milk and honey — here is its fruit! 28However the people living in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified and very large. Moreover, we saw the ‘Anakim there. 29‘Amalek lives in the area of the Negev; the Hitti, the Y’vusi and the Emori live in the hills; and the Kena‘ani live by the sea and alongside the Yarden.”
30Kalev silenced the people around Moshe and said, “We ought to go up immediately and take possession of it; there is no question that we can conquer it.” 31But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people, because they are stronger than we are”; 32and they spread a negative report about the land they had reconnoitered for the people of Isra’el by saying, “The land we passed through in order to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there were giant! 33We saw the N’filim, the descendants of ‘Anak, who was from the N’filim; to ourselves we looked like grasshoppers by comparison, and we looked that way to them too!”