The LORD now said to Moses,
"Send men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to Israel. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes."
So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He sent out twelve men, all tribal leaders of Israel, from their camp in the wilderness of Paran.
These were the tribes and the names of the leaders: Tribe - Leader Reuben - Shammua son of Zaccur
Simeon - Shaphat son of Hori
Judah - Caleb son of Jephunneh
Issachar - Igal son of Joseph
Ephraim - Hoshea son of Nun
Benjamin - Palti son of Raphu
Zebulun - Gaddiel son of Sodi
Manasseh son of Joseph - Gaddi son of Susi
Dan - Ammiel son of Gemalli
Asher - Sethur son of Michael
Naphtali - Nahbi son of Vophsi
Gad - Geuel son of Maki
These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. By this time Moses had changed Hoshea's name to Joshua. a17
Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: "Go northward through the Negev into the hill country.
See what the land is like and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many.
What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls or are they unprotected?
How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Enter the land boldly, and bring back samples of the crops you see." (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)
So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near Lebo-hamath.
Going northward, they passed first through the Negev and arrived at Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai -- all descendants of Anak -- lived. (The ancient town of Hebron was founded seven years before the Egyptian city of Zoan.)
When they came to what is now known as the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also took samples of the pomegranates and figs.
At that time the Israelites renamed the valley Eshcol -- "cluster" -- because of the cluster of grapes they had cut there.
After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned
to Moses, Aaron, and the people of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land.
This was their report to Moses: "We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country -- a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of its fruit as proof.
But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak who are living there!
The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea b and along the Jordan Valley."
But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. "Let's go at once to take the land," he said. "We can certainly conquer it!"
But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, "We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!"
So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: "The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge.
We even saw giants c there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that's what we looked like to them!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)