1These are the words that Moses spoke to all of Israel on the other side of#Literally “in the beyond of” the Jordan in the desert,#Or “the wilderness” in the desert plateau#Or “desert plain”; others render this as a named location, “Arabah” opposite Suph, between Paran and between Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2It is a journey of eleven days#Literally “one and ten days” from Herob by the way of Mount Seir#Literally “by the mountain of Seir” up to Kadesh Barnea.
3And it was#Literally “and it happened” or “and then” in the fortieth year, on the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Moses spoke to the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” according to all that Yahweh had instructed him to speak to them. 4This happened after defeating#Literally “after he had struck down” Sihon king of the Amorites, who was reigning#Or “dwelling,” and in this context “reigning” in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who was reigning#Or “dwelling,” and in this context “reigning” in Ashtaroth in Edrei. 5On the other side of #Literally “in the beyond of” the Jordan in the land of Moab Moses began to explain this law,#Hebrew torah saying:#Literally “to say”
Historical Prologue
6“Yahweh our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘You have stayed long enough#Literally “much time” at this mountain. 7Turn now and move on,#Literally “journey on with respect to yourselves” or “move yourselves out” and go into the hill of the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” and to all of the neighboring regions#Or “peoples” in the Jordan Valley#Literally “Arabah,” arid stretches of land. in the hill country and in the Negev and in the coastal area along the sea, into the land of the Canaanites#Hebrew “Canaanite” and into the Lebanon, as far as the great river Euphrates. 8Look, I have set the land before you;#Literally “before your face” go and take possession of the land that Yahweh swore to your ancestors,#Or “fathers” to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give it to them and to their offspring after them.’
9“And I spoke to them at that time, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘I am not able to bear you alone. 10Yahweh your God has multiplied you, and look; you are today as the stars of the heaven in number.#Literally “with respect to multitude/abundance” 11Yahweh, the God of your ancestors,#Or “fathers” may he add to you as you are now a thousand times, and may he bless you just as he promised you.#Literally “spoke to you” 12How can I bear you by myself,#Literally “to me alone” your burden and your load and your strife? 13Choose for yourselves wise and discerning and knowledgeable men#Literally “men wise and discerning and knowledgeable” for each of your tribes, and I will appoint them as your leaders.’
14“And you answered me, and you said, ‘The thing you have said to do is good.’ 15And so I took the leaders of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and then I appointed them as leaders over you as commanders of groups of thousands and commanders of groups of hundreds and commanders of groups of fifties and commanders of groups of tens as officials for your tribes. 16And at that time I instructed your judges, saying, ‘hear out your fellow men,#Literally “hear between your brothers,” with the idea of listening carefully in this context and then judge fairly#Or “righteously” between a man and between his brother and between his opponent who is a resident alien.#Literally “between his resident alien/non-Israelite who dwells temporarily among Israel” 17You must not be partial#Literally “recognize faces” in your judgment; #Literally “in the process of rendering a judgment” hear out the small person as also the great person; do not be intimidated by any person,#Literally “do not fear before the faces of any man” because the judgment is God’s; and the case that is too difficult#Or “hard” for you, bring it to me, and I will hear it out.’ 18And so I instructed you at that time concerning all of the things that you should do.
19“Then we set out from Horeb, and we went through the whole of that great and terrible desert that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” as Yahweh our God had commanded us, and so we came up to Kadesh Barnea. 20I said to you, ‘You have reached#Literally “You have come up to” the hill country of the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” that Yahweh our God is giving to us. 21See, Yahweh your God has set before you the land; go up and possess it as Yahweh the God of your ancestors#Or “fathers” said to you; do not fear and do not be dismayed.’
22“Then all of you approached me, and you said, ‘Let us send men before us,#Literally “before our faces” or “ahead of us” and let them explore the land for us, and let them bring back a report#Literally “a word” to us concerning the way that we should take#Literally “we should go up by it” and concerning the cities that we shall come to.’ 23The plan was good in my opinion,#Literally “in my eyes” and so I took from among you twelve men, one from each tribe.#Literally “man one from the tribe” 24And they set out#Literally “turned” and went up into the hill country,#Literally “went up toward the hill country mountain” and they went up to the wadi#A valley that is dry most of the year, but contains a stream during the rainy season of Eschol, and they spied out the land. 25They took in their hands#Hebrew “hand” some of the fruit#Literally “from the fruit” of the land, and they brought it down to us, and they brought to us back a report,#Literally “a word” and they said, ‘The land that Yahweh our God is giving to us is good.’ 26But you were not willing to go up, and you rebelled against the command#Literally “mouth” of Yahweh your God. 27And you grumbled in your tents, and you said, ‘Because of the hatred of Yahweh toward us he has brought us out from the land of Egypt to give us into the hand of the Amorites#Hebrew “Amorite” to destroy us. 28Where can we go up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt,#Literally “caused to melt our hearts” saying,#Literally “to say” “The people are greater#Or “bigger” and taller than we are,#Hebrew “than us” and there are great fortified cities reaching up to heaven, and we saw the sons of the Anakites living there.” ’
29“And so I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, and do not fear them. 30Yahweh your God, who is going before you,#Literally “to your faces” will himself#The Hebrew pronoun indicates emphasis fight for you, just as#Literally “like all that” he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31and just as he did in the wilderness#Or “desert” when#Or “where” you saw that#Or “how” Yahweh your God carried you, just as someone#Or “a man” carries his son, all along the way that you traveled until you reached#Literally “you came” this place.’ 32But through all of this you did not trust in Yahweh your God, 33who goes#Literally “is the one going” before you#Literally “before your faces” on your#Hebrew “the” way, seeking a place for your encampment, in fire at night and in a cloud by day, to show you the way that you should go.#Literally “you should go in it”
34“Then Yahweh heard the sound of your words, and he was angry, and he swore, saying,#Literally “to say” 35‘No one of these men#The beginning of an oath in Hebrew; the text emphatically denies anyone of that evil generation the privilege of seeing the promised land of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give to your ancestors,#Or “fathers” 36except Caleb, the son of Jephunneh; he himself#Emphatic use of the pronoun shall see it, and to him I will give the land upon which he has trodden and to his sons#Or “descendants” because he followed Yahweh unreservedly.’#Literally “he filled his hands after Yahweh” 37Even with me Yahweh was angry because of you, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. 38Joshua, the son of Nun, your assistant,#Literally “the one standing before you” will go there; encourage him because he will cause Israel to inherit it. 39And your little children, who you thought shall become plunder, and your sons, who do not today know good or bad, shall themselves#The Hebrew pronoun is used for emphasis go there, and I will give it to them, and they shall take possession of it. 40But you turn and set out in the direction of the wilderness by way of the Red Sea.’#Literally “sea of reeds”
41“You replied and said to me, ‘We have sinned against Yahweh, and now we will go up and fight according to all that Yahweh our God commanded us’; and so each man fastened on his battle gear,#Literally “his vessels of battle” and you regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42So Yahweh said to me, ‘Say to them, “You shall not go up, and you shall not fight because I am not in your midst; you will be defeated before#Literally “in the faces of your enemies” your enemies.” ’ 43So I spoke to you, but you did not listen; you rebelled against the command of Yahweh;#Literally “mouth of Yahweh” you behaved presumptuously, and you went up into the hill country. 44The Amorites living in the hill country went out to oppose you#Literally “to meet you” and chased you as a swarm of wild honey bees do; and so they beat#Literally “cut” you down in Seir as far as Hormah. 45So you returned and wept before Yahweh;#Literally “before the faces of Yahweh” but Yahweh did not listen to your voice and did not pay any attention to you. 46You stayed in Kadesh many days; such were the days that you stayed there.
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