And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan
He sent them from Kadeshbarnea, as Caleb affirms, ( Joshua 14:7 ) ;
and said unto them, go ye up this [way] southward;
pointing as it were with his finger which way they should go, even up such a hill southward; and which, as Aben Ezra observes, was not the south of the camp, but the south of the land of Canaan; and who further observes, that it is well known that Egypt, from whence the Israelites now came, was to the south of the land of Israel, of which this is a demonstration; the latitude of Egypt is less than thirty degrees, and the latitude of Jerusalem is thirty three, and the wilderness of Paran was in the south of the land of Egypt: it should be rendered by "the south", as in ( Numbers 13:22 ) ; or from the "south" F16, since the Israelites must go northward, as a learned man F17 observes, to enter into the land of Canaan: now this south part of Canaan afterwards belonged to the tribe of Judah, and lying southward, and mountainous, was dry and barren, ( Joshua 15:1 Joshua 15:19 ) ; and was, as Jarchi says, the dregs of the land of Israel; and here, as he observes, the same method was taken as merchants do, who, when they show their goods, show the worst first, and then the best:
F16 (bgnb) "per meridianam plagam", V. L. "hac meridiana plaga", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F17 Bishop Clayton's Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p. 392.