The People Complain
1Then all the community lifted up their voices,#Hebrew “they lifted up and gave their voice” and the people wept during that night. 2And all the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and all the community said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt or in this desert! 3Why did Yahweh bring us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little children will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4They said to each other,#Literally “A man said to his brother” “Let us appoint a leader, and we will return to Egypt.”
5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before#Literally “in the presence of” the assembly of the community of the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the explorers of the land, tore their garments. 7And they said to all the community of the Israelites,#Literally “sons/children of Israel” “The land that we went through to explore is an exceptionally good land.#Literally “the land is very very good” 8If Yahweh delights in us, then he will bring us into this land, and he will give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 9Only do not rebel against Yahweh, and you will not fear the people of the land, because they will be our food. Their protection#Literally “Their shadow” has been turned from them; Yahweh is with us. You should not fear them.” 10And all the community said to stone them with stones, but the glory of Yahweh appeared in the tent of assembly among the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel”
11And Yahweh said to Moses, “How long until this people will despise me, and how long until they will not believe in me, and in all the signs that I have done in their#Hebrew “his” midst? 12I will strike them#Hebrew “him” with disease, and I will dispossess them;#Hebrew “him” I will make you into a greater and stronger nation than them.”#Hebrew “him”
13And Moses said to Yahweh, “Then the Egyptians will hear that you brought up this people from their#Hebrew “his” midst in your power, 14and they will tell it#Literally “say” to the inhabitants of this land. They heard that you, Yahweh, are in the midst of this people, that you are seen eye to eye, and your cloud is standing over them, and in a column of cloud you go before them by day and in a column of fire at night. 15But if you destroy this people all at once,#Literally “as one man” the nations that will have heard your message will say, 16‘Yahweh was unable to bring this people in the land that he swore by an oath, and he slaughtered them in the desert.’ 17But now, please, let the power of my Lord be great, just has you spoke,
18‘Yahweh is slow to anger#Literally “slow of noses”
and great of loyal love,
forgiving#Literally “lifting up” sin and rebellion;
but surely he leaves nothing unpunished,
visiting the sin of the fathers on the sons
to the third and fourth generations.’
19Please forgive the sin of this people according to the greatness of your loyal love, just as you forgave#Literally “lifted up” this people, from Egypt until now.”
20Yahweh said, “I have forgiven them according to your word; 21but as I am alive, the glory of Yahweh will fill all the earth. 22But because all the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the desert yet tested me these ten times and did not listen to my voice, 23they will not see the land that I swore by oath to their ancestors,#Or “fathers” and all those who despised me will not see it. 24But my servant Caleb, because another spirit was with him, he remained true after me, and I will bring him into the land that he entered,#Or “he went to” and his offspring will take possession of it. 25And the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; tomorrow turn and set out for the desert by way of the Red Sea.”#Literally “sea of reed”
26And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27“How long will I bear this evil community who are grumbling against me? I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” which they are making#Literally “they are grumbling” against me. 28Say to them, ‘Surely as I live,’ declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh, ‘just as you spoke in my hearing,#Literally “in my ears” so I will do to you; 29in this desert your corpses will fall, and all your counted ones, according to all your number, from twenty years old#Literally “a son of twenty years” and above who grumbled against me. 30You yourselves will not come into the land that I swore by oath#Literally “I lifted up my hand” to make you to dwell in it, but Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31But your little children, whom you said would be plunder, I will bring them, and they will know the land that you rejected. 32But for you, all your corpses will fall in this desert. 33And your children will be shepherds in the desert forty years,#Hebrew “year” and you will bear your unfaithfulness until all your corpses have fallen#Literally “until to complete your corpses” in the desert. 34According to the number of the days#Hebrew “day” that you explored the land, forty days,#Hebrew “day” a day for each year,#Literally “a day for a year a day for a year” you will bear your sins forty years,#Hebrew “year” and you will know my opposition.’ 35I, Yahweh, have spoken; I will surely do this to all this evil community who has banded together against me. In this desert they will come to an end, and there they will die.”
36As for the men whom Moses sent to explore the land, who returned and made the community grumble against him by spreading a report over the land, 37the men who spread the evil report of the land died by the plague before Yahweh.#Literally “in the presence of Yahweh” 38But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh lived from among the men who went to explore the land.
39And Moses spoke words to all the Israelites,#Literally “sons/children of Israel” and the people mourned greatly. 40They rose early in the morning and went to the top of the mount, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that Yahweh said, because we have sinned.” 41But Moses said, “Why are you going against the command of Yahweh? It will not succeed. 42You should not go up because Yahweh is not in your midst; do not let yourselves be defeated in the presence of your enemies, 43because the Amalekites#Hebrew “Amalekite” and the Canaanites#Hebrew “Canaanite” are there before you,#Literally “in your presence” and you will fall by the sword; because you have turned back from Yahweh, and Yahweh will not be with you.” 44But they dared to go to the top of the mountain, and the ark of the covenant of Yahweh and Moses did not depart from the midst of the camp. 45So the Amalekites#Hebrew “Amalekite” and the Canaanites#Hebrew “Canaanite” who were living on the mountain descended, and they beat them down, up to Hormah.