The 12 Israeli spies were sent by Moses Rabenu to explore the land of
Israel - Canaan, when the Israelites - people of Israelarrived from
Egypt to Isarel.The spiesreturned with a heavy grapevine that they
had to carry on a stick, a sign that theland of Israel is rich and
Size (H x W) :2.3 x2 inch/6 x5 cm
The Grapes of CanaanbyJames Tissot. Although the spies brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it (Numbers 13:23), only two of the twelve brought back a good report of the land.
The Twelve Spies(Hebrew: שנים עשר המרגלים), as recorded in theBook of Numbers, were a group ofIsraelitechieftains, one from each of theTwelve Tribes, who were dispatched byMosesto scout out the Land ofCanaanfor 40 days as a future home for the Israelite people, during the time the Israelites were in the desert followingthe ExodusfromAncient Egypt. The account is found inNumbers 13:1-14.
God had promisedAbrahamthat there would be aPromised Landfor the nations to come out of his son,Isaac. The land of Canaan which the spies were to explore was the same Promised Land. When ten of the twelve spies told lies about the land, they were slandering what they believed God had promised them. They did not believe that God could help them, and the people as a whole were persuaded that it was not possible to take the land. As a result, the entire nation was made to wander in the desert for 40 years, until almost the entire generation of men had the two spies who brought back a good report and believed that God would help them succeed. They were the only men from their generation permitted to go into the Promised Land after the time of wandering.
About the Spies
God had promised the Israelites that they would be able to conquer the land with its incumbent Canaanite nations.Mosesinstructed the spies to report back on the agriculture and lay of the land. During their tour, however, the spies saw fortified cities and resident giants, which frightened them and led them to believe that the Israelites would not be able to conquer the land as God had promised. Ten of the spies decided to bring back a false report, emphasizing the difficulty of the task before them.
They gave Moses this account, "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.But the people who live there are very powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants ofAnakthere."
Two of the spies — Joshua and Caleb — did not go along with the majority and tried to convince the Israelites that they could conquer the land.However, the Israelites believed the majority's conclusions. All of the spies except Joshua and Caleb were struck down with a plague and died.
"Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.'"
Joshuawas at first a fierce warrior. He was chosen to as the representative from his tribe, Ephraim, to explore the land of Canaan, and was in agreement with Caleb that the Promised Land could be conquered. After the incident with the 12 spies, Joshua lived through the 40 year wandering period, and was named successor to Moses as instructed by God. Joshua completed the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and of taking possession of it. Joshua also was the leader in renewing the Mosaic covenant with their God.
Calebwas from the tribe of Judah. He was also chosen to explore the land of Canaan, and he was (along with Joshua) the other man who said that the God of Israel could help the Israelite people to victory against the Canaanites. God promised Caleb and Joshua that they would receive the land which they had explored for themselves and their descendants. Caleb was also told that he would live to go into the Promised Land. (from wikipedia)
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