1All the congregation lifted up their voice and cried out, and the people wept that night.
2All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!
3Why does Yahweh bring us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey: wouldn’t it be better for us to return into Egypt?”
4They said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and return into Egypt.”
5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes,
7and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land that we passed through to spy it out is an exceeding good land.
8If Yahweh delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.
9Only do not rebel against Yahweh, and do not be afraid of the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their protection has departed from over them, and Yahweh is with us. Do not fear them.”
10But all the congregation threatened to stone them with stones. But the glory of Yahweh appeared in the Tent of Meeting to all the children of Israel.
11Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will this people treat me with contempt? And how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs that I have worked among them?
12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
13Moses said to Yahweh, “Then the Egyptians will hear it; for you brought up this people in your might from among them,
14and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you Yahweh are in the midst of this people, for you Yahweh are seen eye to eye, and your cloud stands over them and you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.
15Now if you killed this people as one man, then the nations that have heard the fame of you will speak, saying,
16‘Because Yahweh was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness.’
17“Now please let the power of the Lord be great according as you have spoken, saying,
18‘Yahweh is slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and disobedience; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation.’
19Please pardon the iniquity of this people in keeping with the greatness of your loving kindness, and just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
20Yahweh said, “I have pardoned according to your word;
21but truly, as I live, and as all the earth will be filled with the glory of Yahweh,
22because all those men who have seen my glory and my signs that I worked in Egypt and in the wilderness yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice,
23surely they will not see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of those who despised me see it.
24But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him and has followed me fully, I will bring him into the land into which he went, and his seed will possess it.
25Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn, and go into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”
26Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
27“How long must I bear with this evil congregation that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel that they murmur against me.
28Tell them: As I live, says Yahweh, surely as you have spoken in my ears, so I will do to you:
29your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, and all who were numbered of you according to your whole number, from 20 years old and upward who have murmured against me,
30surely you will not come into the land concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell in it, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
31But your little ones that you said should be a prey, I will bring them in, and they will know the land that you have rejected.
32But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness.
33Your children will be wanderers in the wilderness 40 years and will bear your prostitution until your dead bodies be consumed in the wilderness.
34According to the number of the days that you spied out the land, even 40 days, for every day a year, you will bear your iniquities, even 40 years, and you will know my alienation.
35I, Yahweh, have spoken. If I do not this to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against me…. In this wilderness they will be consumed, and there they will die.”
36The men whom Moses sent to spy out the land who returned and made all the congregation to murmur against him by bringing up an evil report against the land,
37even those men who brought up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before Yahweh.
38But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive of those men who went to spy out the land.
39Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly.
40They rose up early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Behold, we are here, and will go up to the place that Yahweh has promised: for we have sinned.”
41Moses said, “Why now do you disobey the commandment of Yahweh, since it will not prosper?
42Do not go up, for Yahweh isn’t among you; that you not be struck down before your enemies.
43For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and you will fall by the sword; because you are turned back from following Yahweh, therefore Yahweh will not be with you.”
44But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and Moses, didn’t depart out of the camp.
45Then the Amalekite came down, and the Canaanite who lived in that mountain, and struck them and beat them down even to Hormah.