The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
"How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.1
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So tell them, 'As surely as I live,2 declares the LORD, I will do to you3 the very things I heard you say:
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In this desert your bodies will fall4--every one of you twenty years old or more5 who was counted in the census6 and who has grumbled against me.
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Not one of you will enter the land7 I swore with uplifted hand8 to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh9 and Joshua son of Nun.10
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As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.11
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But you--your bodies will fall12 in this desert.
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Your children will be shepherds here for forty years,13 suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert.
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For forty years14--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land15--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'
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I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things16 to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.17"
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So the men Moses had sent18 to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble19 against him by spreading a bad report20 about it--
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these men responsible for spreading the bad report21 about the land were struck down and died of a plague22 before the LORD.
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Of the men who went to explore the land,23 only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.24
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When Moses reported this25 to all the Israelites, they mourned26 bitterly.
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Early the next morning they went up toward the high hill country.27 "We have sinned28," they said. "We will go up to the place the LORD promised."
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But Moses said, "Why are you disobeying the LORD's command? This will not succeed!29
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Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies,30
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for the Amalekites31 and Canaanites32 will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you33 and you will fall by the sword."
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Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up34 toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD's covenant moved from the camp.35
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Then the Amalekites and Canaanites36 who lived in that hill country37 came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.38
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