Loading

Numbers Thirteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Numbers 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Numbers 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

every one a ruler. The mission was critically important, so Moses sent a team of leaders who would be able to persuade all their followers, probably assuming they would return with an enthusiastic report of both the desirability of the promised land and their ability, under God, to proceed with the conquest. But these were the same people who were complaining and who had even been ready to worship an idol and return to Egypt, forgetting all God had done for them. They soon disappointed Him once again, more seriously than ever. How often, even today, do those men entrusted with spiritual leadership turn cowardly when faced with serious opposition, whether physical or intellectual.

Numbers 13:3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.

Numbers 13:4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.

Numbers 13:5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori.

Numbers 13:6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.

Numbers 13:7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph.

Numbers 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.

Numbers 13:9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.

Numbers 13:10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi.

Numbers 13:11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi.

Numbers 13:12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli.

Numbers 13:13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael.

Numbers 13:14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.

Numbers 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

Numbers 13:16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

Numbers 13:17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:

Numbers 13:18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;

Numbers 13:19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;

Numbers 13:20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

Numbers 13:21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.

Numbers 13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

came unto Hebron. The Israelites were encamped in the wilderness of Paran (Numbers 13:26), just south of the promised land. Hebron was in the mountains to the north of them, just west of the Dead Sea. Abraham himself had lived in Hebron long before, and had built an altar there (Genesis 13:18).

Numbers 13:23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.

Numbers 13:24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence.

Numbers 13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

Numbers 13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.

Numbers 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

Numbers 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

Numbers 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

Numbers 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

Numbers 13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

the giants. The Hebrew word here (Nephilim) is the same as used in Genesis 6:4: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” These sons of Anak, or Anakim, were “men of a great stature,” and they terrified the Israelite spies (Numbers 13:32).

There were also other tribes of giants in the land. “That was also accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims” (Deuteronomy 2:20, 21). Here, and in a number of other passages, the word for “giants” is Rephaim, evidently a tribe descended from the “Rephaims” associated with the “Zuzims” and the “Emims” of Genesis 14:5. The Emims also were called “a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims” (Deuteronomy 2:10).

All of these references indicate that there had been another irruption of the fallen “sons of God” just as in the days before the Flood. This time the irruption was probably in connection with the events surrounding the rebellion at Babel and the subsequent worldwide dispersion of the occult religious system introduced there. These demon-possessed men and women became the progenitors of tribes characterized by giantism, just as in the antediluvian days. However, despite the fears of the spies, already many of these giant tribes had been defeated by the Edomites and Ammonites, so there was no need to fear the others. The next generation of Israelites then fought against these tribes, and “the Lord destroyed them before them” (Deuteronomy 2:21).