The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron:
How long will this wicked community complain against me? I've heard the Israelites' dissent as they continue to complain against me.
Say to them, "As I live," says the LORD, "just as I've heard you say, so I'll do to you.
Your dead bodies will fall in this desert. None of you who were enlisted and were registered from 20 years old and above, who complained against me,
will enter the land in which I promised to settle you, with the exception of Caleb, Jephunneh's son, and Joshua, Nun's son.
But your children, whom you said would be taken by force, I'll bring them in and they will know the land that you rejected.
Your bodies, however, will fall in this desert,
and your children will be shepherds in the desert for forty years. They will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies fall in the desert.
For as many days as you explored the land, that is, forty days, just as many years you'll bear your guilt, that is, forty years. This is how you will understand my frustration."
I the LORD have spoken. I will do this to the entire wicked community who gathered against me. They will die in this desert. There they'll meet their end.
The men whom Moses sent out to explore the land had returned and caused the entire community to complain against him by starting a rumor about the land.
These men died by a plague in the LORD's presence on account of their false rumor.
But Joshua, Nun's son, and Caleb, Jephunneh's son, survived from those men who went to explore the land.
Moses spoke these words to all the Israelites, and the people mourned bitterly.
They rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain range, saying, "Let's go up to the place the LORD told us to, for we have sinned."
But Moses said, "Why do you disobey the LORD's command? It won't succeed.
Don't go up, for the LORD isn't with you. Don't be struck down before your enemies.
The Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you and you will fall by the sword because you turned away from the LORD, and the LORD is no longer with you."
Yet they recklessly ascended toward the top of the mountains, even though Moses and the LORD's chest containing the covenant didn't depart from the camp.
Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites, who lived in those mountains, descended, struck them down, and beat them all the way to Hormah.