1These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph between Paran and Tophel, and Laban and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
2It is 11 days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
3Now in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that Yahweh had commanded him to say to them,
4after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth at Edrei.
5Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses began to declare this law, saying,
6“Yahweh our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain;
7turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the places near there, in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the Shephelah, and in the Negev and by the seashore, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
8Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land that Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them.’
9“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to carry you myself alone;
10Yahweh your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
11Yahweh, the God of your fathers, make you 1,000 times as many as you are, and bless you as he has promised you!
12How can I carry your weight and your burden and your strife by myself alone?
13Take wise men of understanding and well known according to your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.’
15“So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands and leaders of hundreds and leaders of fifties and leaders of tens, and officers according to your tribes.
16I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear cases between your brothers and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the foreigner who is living with him.
17You are not to show partiality in judgment; you are to hear the small and the great alike. You are not to be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you are to bring to me, and I will hear it.’
18I commanded you at that time all the things that you were to do.
19“We traveled from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Yahweh our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
20I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites that Yahweh our God is giving to us.
21Behold, Yahweh your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession of it as Yahweh the God of your fathers has spoken to you. Do not be afraid or dismayed.’
22“You came near to me, every one of you, and said, ‘Let us send men ahead of us so that they can spy out the land for us and bring us back word of the route by which we are to go up and the cities to which we will come.’
23The thing pleased me well, and I took 12 men of you, one man for every tribe,
24and they turned and went up into the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out.
25They took of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us, and brought us back word and said, ‘It is a good land that Yahweh our God gives to us.’
26“Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your God,
27and you murmured in your tents and said, ‘Because Yahweh hated us, he has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28Where can we go up? Our brothers have made our hearts to melt, saying, “The people are stronger and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven, and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”’
29“Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified or be afraid of them.
30Yahweh your God who goes before you, he will fight for you just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
31and in the wilderness where you have seen how that Yahweh your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the ways that you went until you came to this place.’
32Yet in spite of this you did not believe Yahweh your God
33who went before you on the way to seek out a place for you to pitch your tents in, going in fire by night to show you by what way you should go, and going in the cloud by day.
34“Yahweh heard the voice of your words and was angry, and swore, saying,
35‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers
36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he will see it, and I will give to him the land that he has set his feet on, and to his children, because he has fully followed after Yahweh.’
37“Also Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘You also will not go in there;
38Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he will go in there. Encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.
39Moreover your little ones, whom you said would be a prey, and your children, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, they will go in there, and I will give it to them, and they will possess it.
40But as for you, turn and journey into the wilderness by the road to the Red Sea.’
41“Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against Yahweh; we will go up and fight according to all that Yahweh our God commanded us.’ Every man of you put on his weapons of war and thought it easy to go up into the hill country.
42“Yahweh said to me, ‘Tell them, Do not go up and do not fight, for I am not among you to keep you from being defeated before your enemies.’
43So I spoke to you but you did not listen. Instead, you rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh and were presumptuous, and went up into the hill country.
44But the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you, and chased you as bees do, and beat you down in Seir, even to Hormah.
45You returned and wept before Yahweh, but Yahweh did not listen to your voice nor gave ear to you.
46So you stayed in Kadesh many days, all the days that you remained there.”