Then all the people gave load cries of grief, and all that night they gave themselves up to weeping.
And all the children of Israel, crying out against Moses and Aaron, said, If only we had come to our death in the land of Egypt, or even in this waste land!
Why is the Lord taking us into this land to come to our death by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will get into strange hands: would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?
And they said to one another, Let us make a captain over us, and go back to Egypt.
Then Moses and Aaron went down on their faces before the meeting of the people.
And Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, two of those who had been to see the land, giving signs of grief,
Said to all the children of Israel, This land which we went through to see is a very good land.
And if the Lord has delight in us, he will take us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Only, do not go against the Lord or go in fear of the people of the land, for they will be our food; their strength has been taken from them and the Lord is with us: have no fear of them.
But all the people said they were to be stoned. Then the glory of the Lord was seen in the Tent of meeting, before the eyes of all the children of Israel.
And the Lord said to Moses, How long will this people have no respect for me? how long will they be without faith, in the face of all the signs I have done among them?
I will send disease on them for their destruction, and take away their heritage, and I will make of you a nation greater and stronger than they.
And Moses said to the Lord, Then it will come to the ears of the Egyptians; for by your power you took this people out from among them;
And they will give the news to the people of this land: they have had word that you, Lord, are present with this people, letting yourself be seen face to face, and that your cloud is resting over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.
Now if you put to death all this people as one man, then the nations who have had word of your glory will say,
Because the Lord was not able to take this people into the land which he made an oath to give them, he sent destruction on them in the waste land.
So now, may my prayer come before you, and let the power of the Lord be great, as you said:
The Lord is slow to wrath and great in mercy, overlooking wrongdoing and evil, and will not let wrongdoers go free; sending punishment on children for the sins of their fathers, to the third and fourth generation.
May the sin of this people have forgiveness, in the measure of your great mercy, as you have had mercy on them from Egypt up till now.
And the Lord said, I have had mercy, as you say:
But truly, as I am living, and as all the earth will be full of the glory of the Lord;
Because all these men, having seen my glory and the signs which I have done in Egypt and in the waste land, still have put me to the test ten times, and have not given ear to my voice;
They will not see the land about which I made an oath to their fathers; not one of these by whom I have not been honoured will see it.
But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit in him, and has been true to me with all his heart, him I will take into that land into which he went, and his seed will have it for their heritage.
Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites are in the valley; tomorrow, turning round, go into the waste land by the way to the Red Sea.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
How long am I to put up with this evil people and their outcries against me? The words which they say against me have come to my ears.
Say to them, By my life, says the Lord, as certainly as your words have come to my ears, so certainly will I do this to you:
Your dead bodies will be stretched out in this waste land; and of all your number, all those of twenty years old and over who have been crying out against me,
Not one will come into the land which I gave my word you would have for your resting-place, but only Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun.
And your little ones, whom you said would come into strange hands, I will take in, and they will see the land which you would not have.
But as for you, your dead bodies will be stretched in this waste land.
And your children will be wanderers in the waste land for forty years, undergoing punishment for your false ways, till your bodies become dust in the waste land.
And as you went through the land viewing it for forty days, so for forty years, a year for every day, you will undergo punishment for your wrongdoing, and you will see that I am against you.
I the Lord have said it, and this I will certainly do to all this evil people who have come together against me: in this waste land destruction will come on them, and death will be their fate.
And the men whom Moses sent to see the land, and who, by the bad account they gave of the land, were the cause of the outcry the people made against Moses,
Those same men who said evil of the land, came to their death by disease before the Lord.
But Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, of those who went to see the land, were not touched by disease.
And when Moses put these words before the children of Israel, the people were full of grief.
And early in the morning they got up and went to the top of the mountain, saying, We are here and we will go up to the place which the Lord said he would give us: for we have done wrong.
And Moses said, Why are you now acting against the Lord's order, seeing that no good will come of it?
Go not up, for the Lord is not with you, and you will be overcome by those who are fighting against you.
For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will be put to death by their swords: because you have gone back from the way of the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.
But they gave no attention to his words and went to the top of the mountain, though Moses and the ark of the Lord's agreement did not go out of the tent-circle.
Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites who were living in the hill-country, and overcame them completely, driving them back as far as Hormah.